An Open Letter to the Community - HF22.5

An Open Letter to the Community

On February 22, 2020, Steem Witnesses launched Soft Fork 22.2, with the sole intent to freeze the original stakes owned by Steemit, Inc.

Originally, as the core development team behind the Steem blockchain and key contributor to the ecosystem, Steemit used their stake for continued development of the Steem blockchain, onboarding users, and not voting for witnesses. The TRON Foundation is committed to add value and grow the Steem ecosystem and intends to use part of the Steemit stake for such executions. With that in mind, on February 13th, both TRON and Steemit planned to meet to discuss the future road map, with respect of the Steem community. Unfortunately, the Witnesses’ decision created a need to reclaim the stake and vote in new witnesses to usher in new policies for a healthier ecosystem and community.

Soft Fork 22.2 was maliciously structured, intending to freeze a handful of very targeted accounts and taking away their rights and possession to their owned asset, and may be deemed illegal and criminal. The group behind this could essentially do this kind of attack to any Steem community member, on any terms they want. They even threatened to hard fork, and nullify all existing STEEM token, putting every good STEEM holder, developer and community interest at danger. This is very much against every aspect of the original purpose of decentralization and the core value of the Steem blockchain and community. We can’t let it happen.

On March 2, 2020, Steemit regained the staked accounts, so as to course correct the hostile behavior led by a small group of people, and resume the order of the community.

Commitment to the Community

  • The Steem blockchain will not be abandoned or merged to TRON unless the community decides so.
  • Deploy in the next Hard Fork as soon as possible to reduce power down time to 1-3 days in alignment to other mainstream blockchains, while open for discussion for better economic implications.
  • For the next 4-6 weeks, the Steemit team will be using the voting rights to resume the order of the community while having an open channel for meeting community members and Witnesses. The goal is to protect the Steem blockchain from bad actors, add transparency, and receive community suggestions and advice.
  • After the 4-6 weeks period, the Steemit team will give the governance back to the community when it’s back in order and mutual agreement.

Product Roadmap

The Steemit team had a very productive and exciting conversation with TRON on the future roadmap and we can’t wait to share this with everyone. The following features are what we will be focusing on:

  • Maintain Steem blockchain running in parallel with TRON
  • Launch Smart Media Tokens
  • Launch Cross Chain Atomic Swaps
  • Improve Overall Steemit.com User Experience And Onboard More Users

Smart Media Tokens (SMTs)

SMTs are on our public testnet. We have GitHub testing issues created that once completed will ensure confidence in the release.

Alongside the SMT release is the SMT Wizard, a simple front end for creating SMTs, and client libraries. Client library work is mostly done except for small changes being made to the protocol during testing and is awaiting testing.

Cross Chain Atomic Swaps (CCAS)

CCAS will use a combination of Hashed Timelocked Contracts (HTLC) and Header Only Verification (HOV) to seamlessly move tokens (STEEM, TRC-20s, and SMTs) between TRON and Steem.

Steemit.com User Experience Improvements

Steemit.com is an opportunity to onboard massive numbers of users into our ecosystem through a social network / viral media model, now with TRON’s ecosystem and resources, this goal is more achievable than ever.

We are on target for feature parity with reddit.com. With communities core launched, we are very close to this goal. The remaining tasks are around onboarding, including an invite system for new accounts, and optimizing content discovery.

Specifically, our primary goal is to emphasize the organic and sustainable models for growth that Steemit.com enables. We plan on doing this by:

  • Lowering the barriers to entry by streamlining the signup and first-use experience on steemit.com and on the Steem blockchain.
  • Contributing to the quality and authenticity of the user base by implementing an invite / referral signup system.
  • Enhancing the quality of user experience on Steemit.com by removing ads, optimizing the front page, making the rewards system easy to use through browser extensions, and integrating the wallet with the main site.
    Enhancing the mobile experience.

More Rewards to Witnesses

Community is the core to the Steem ecosystem, and Witnesses should earn rewards accordingly given how important their roles are. We will come up with a plan to reward Witnesses privileges in Steemit like staking rewards.

More Users

TRON is known for its thriving ecosystem, and now Steemit has access to TRON’s active 15 million user community, a distribution network of over 600 million DAU, meanwhile leveraging TRON’s powerful marketing resources as well as some top industry leaders.

More Content

A social network without content won’t go far. Steemit.com has a perfect foundation and we will reward more to the content creators and/or curators to feed the users.

More Development

More developer support will be provided. Not only do we have access to more engineer support, but also we can run more hackathons and devote more capital to support the development of community projects.

More Liquidity

We’ll be learning a lot from TRON’s team on how to build a healthy exchange relationship and we’ll be having more conversations with exchanges to learn the best way to get listed and have more trading pairs.

A Brighter Future

Steemit and the Steem community is one of a kind within the current blockchain landscape. It had its own history, but now with TRON’s resources and ecosystem behind it, it’s time to course correct and build a healthier and thriving ecosystem around this dynamic community.

This will be nothing but an exciting future.

The Steemit Team