Crypto Lessons Everyone Can Learn From the Hostile Takeover of the Steem Blockchain

Steem, STEEM, and Steemit are in "the news" far more than usual these last couple weeks, in what will come to be known as The Fall of Ned the Snake, The Rise of Justin the Sun, a brief period right before the community corrected the biggest blemish on this blockchain since its inceptions.

I'm going to start with the important lessons, that apply to many places besides Steem, and then at the bottom I'll put a timeline of everything that happened. Skip down to the Princess Bride meme for the timeline.


The Important Crypto Lessons

  1. Exchanges are a point of dangerous centralization! Remember when the owner of QuadrigaCX died with all the keys? Remember Mt. Gox? Holding crypto in a wallet is just that, holding it close to you. You've got control over it. Putting it into an exchange account is like putting it into a paypal or bank account. You now have a bunch of digital IOUs, while the exchange holds all your actually coins in their wallets. This means they are subject to government intervention, the business closing down, hacks, and deliberate conspiracies such as what happened to Steem. Three different Chinese exchanges used their customers' STEEM to assist in a coup against our consensus governance system. Simply put: "If you don't hold the keys, they're not your coins."

  2. It's hyper-important to vote in a Delegated Proof of Stake (dPoS) system, or other voting-based governance system. Especially when that governance decides the security of something. Not nearly as important to vote when a group is choosing where to go eat dinner, much more important when deciding the block producers of the blockchain where you live. Don't confuse voting for witnesses with the voting that people do out in the left vs right, blue vs red world. Not only does our version not include the barrel of a gun, but anyone can run for witness, and any account can vote (with equal effect) on 30 different witnesses. It was great to see our community step up and re-activate a LOT of VESTS that hadn't been voting.

  3. A community (even a relatively small one) can make things happen when they put their differences aside, get communicate a LOT, and collaborate to get something done. The greatest thing about Steem has always been the community; coming here in 2016 and realizing I was now on a social media where the norm was an understanding of personal sovereignty. Mind blowing. We all know Tron actually bought Steemit hoping for that user count, so they can add it to their "15 million"... Ha!

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What Exactly Happened?

Here is the timeline of events as simplified as I can get them, and as far as I know them. Please do comment with things I missed, if I mis-quoted somewhere, etc. I tried to really summarize, and just include a bunch of links for those who want to dive deeper.


What Comes Next?

It's hard to say. Theoretically the town hall is still on for March 6th... But with Justin all over Twitter calling our witnesses "hackers" and "criminals," the conversation seems less likely to be productive than it did 60 hours ago. Personally, I'm going to take a bit of a break from posting much, focus on getting ready to hit the road in 8 days, and do more reading of content & comments, so I can stay abreast of the community's thoughts.

Pretty sure there will be a hardfork. On one chain will be Tron, SteemitInc,, their full nodes... The other side will have the community(ies), Splinterlands, Steempeak, Keychain, 3speak, SteemSQL, SteemServices, and many others.

What I'll be doing if there's a HardFork

  1. I'll stick with the community chain, keep my same stake on that chain (or increase, especially if price drops.)
  2. I'll liquidate 100% (over time probably, depends on post-fork price) on the tron-chain, remove all my content (replace it all with a redirect to my content on the community chain), and use my down-votes against steemitron as I power down.
  3. Revel in our new/old blockchain that has just removed a ~20% stake that was ill-gotten gains, PLUS we've gone through major crisis together, AND we got more news than ever before.

Have You Seen The News?

| CoinDesk | Cointelegraph | Yahoo Finance |
| CryptoBriefing | ForkLog | The Block |
| CryptoNewsFlash | CoinDesk | CoinDesk |

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