The following letter has been drawn up by Andrew (@apshamilton) at @jpbliberty on behalf of a number of the Steem investors who are directly named in the code of Hard Fork 23. It has been sent by JPBLiberty acting on behalf of their clients to a number of witnesses still operating with Steem.
Letter to Witnesses
URGENT: Theft of $5M in Crypto Assets - Steem Hard Fork 0.23
I am writing to you to on behalf of a number of cryptocurrency investors whose assets are about to be expropriated by the proposed hard fork (0.23) of the Steem blockchain scheduled in less than 24 hours.
The nature of this hard fork, which has just become public in the last few hours, is to involuntarily transfer the Steem cryptocurrency holdings of 66 Steem account holders (23.6M Steem ~= US$5M) to a new Steem account called @community321.
Details of the code of this planned theft are at: https://github.com/steemhardfork/steemhf/commit/66321e06f862a28b53e5268f0d67db0fd65b3bcf#diff-5f5356c18939f3b2ce7f3e74ab944614R14
As a Steem witnesses you will be asked to modify the version of the Steem blockchain code you are running on your servers to version 0.23 in order to implement this theft.
YOU MUST NOT IMPLEMENT THIS CODE CHANGE (HARD FORK 0.23).
If you do so, you will committing criminal offences including grand larceny and securities fraud as well as expose yourself to civil liability for damages.
It is completely unprecedented for the persons controlling a cryptocurrency blockchain to change the computer code of the blockchain to involuntarily transfer cryptocurrency assets from one person to another, (except in the case of proven fraud, which is not the situation here).
Whatever your concerns about the Hive hard fork and the behaviour of the listed accounts, you cannot steal other people’s assets in retribution without facing serious legal consequences.
It is the difference between walking into a bank and giving out $100 bills to 80% of the people there (what Hive did) and walking into a bank and taking $100 from 20% of the people there (what hf 0.23 does). It may be mathematically and computationally similar, but one is perfectly legal and the other is completely illegal.
JPB Liberty is a litigation funding company which prepares and arranges funding of legal claims related to the cryptocurrency industry. JPB Liberty is investigating a class action lawsuit against all persons knowingly involved in Steem hard fork 0.23.
JPB Liberty is also well advanced in preparing a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Google and Twitter for banning the advertisements of the cryptocurrency industry in early 2018. You may have a claim in this lawsuit. More details at www.jpbliberty.com.
It is far better to be the beneficiary of a large class action lawsuit than to be the target of one.
CEO, Australian Legal Practitioner