Decentralisation In Blockchains - Let's Talk About It - Part 2 (Social Defense)

Come & Take It


Social Elected Stake Based Blockchains can move act as one, like Spartans

The Social Defense to Preserve Censorship-resistance against Hostile Takeover Attempts

Account ownership at its core is fundamental. Owning your account, having social functions built into the core of the blockchain gives incredible agility to defend against hostile takeover attempts.


Blockchains, regardless of the governance model, need a social element at the core. Without built-in censorship-resistant native social features like account & community list ownership, the chain owners will know very little about the nodes running the blockchain.

On a "social blockchain," stakeholders can know every node elected to consensus- maybe not by name but by reputation, work added, & stories they share. This connection between nodes & stakeholders adds tremendous agility.

Without a social connection, stakeholders lose the ability to communicate with nodes in a meaningful way.

On elected platforms without built-in social at the core, stakeholders will only vote when they need to, even if incentivized- worse, if incentivised, the chain is prone to centralisation. However, on socially oriented blockchains, voter participation is much more significant because social activity grows relationships between voters & nodes.

Elected social blockchains will have many different factions, people who agree & disagree, like & dislike each other; this is where decentralization comes into play. True communities are like families; not everyone agrees on everything, and differences in opinions are strong points.

Living Organism

Blockchain is code, usually open-sourced, voluntary to run, immutable & the future of how our online world will run. Blockchains adapt & grow to find flaws in governance; it acts like a living organism.

While blockchain is layer one, the most important is layer zero, the community; armor & weapons are only as useful as those who wield them.

Money Attacks

Stake-based systems are naturally collusion-resistance because of "skin in the game." Skin in the game, in this context, basically means any mechanism that holds individual contributors in a decision individually accountable for their contributions. If a group makes a harmful decision, those who approved the decision must suffer more than those who attempted to dissent; this avoids the "tragedy of the commons" inherent in voting systems.

Open-source software, which can be easily forked, combined with skin in the game principles, gives communities the power to hold the "nuclear option" and, as a side effect, removes the incentive for any would-be attacker to try and take over the network. The best offense is a good defense.

Suppose a system gets taken over by a harmful coalition. In that case, the community can come together and create an alternative version of the system, which has (mostly) the same rules except that it removes the power of the attacking coalition to control the system.

Forking is very easy in an open-source software context; the main challenge in creating a successful fork is usually gathering the legitimacy (game-theoretically viewed as a form of "common knowledge") needed to get all those who disagree with the main coalition's direction to follow along with you; the "alien takeover" event that no one person can disregard, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

When you have a money attack on a stake-based blockchain with a strong layer zero, the community then gets to leap off the attacker's shoulders, giving the new coin more value. It creates negative sell pressure on the attacker's chain and positive buy pressure on the new community forked chain. (Of course, that's only true if the former centralized chain allows you to send tokens)- However, there will always be spillover in any money attack, the attacker and try and freeze the entire chain. Still, during the money attack, the underlining asset's price would have increased, causing some community members to sell and take profits.

Moreover, if a attacker froze the entire chain, all exchanges would also be frozen; thus, the asset price would plummet. It would need to be a kamikaze event where an attacker is willing to "burn it all" in an attempt to destroy a community. This attack is much less attractive to hostile opponents due to the ease of forking the code, thus rendering the attack temporary and not worth the overwhelming cost to the attacker. In the eyes of sustained attack, the hostile actors will exhaust quickly as the community becomes wiser and more readily able to fork out the attacker at the cost of the attackers' funds.

Money attacks boost the attacked token's price by forced buying. The forked community chain gets sympathy and support from outside sympathizers looking in. This whole element causes a whirlwind effect wreaking havoc on the attacker's coin while finically enriching the new coin and giving it tons of free publicity in the process.

Attackers of strong elected social chains would be better off forking the open-source software and "airdropping" tokens to current holders, for free, vs. attacking and risking all the negative press, money lost, & headache involved in trying to force a community into a centralized authoritarian vision for the chain. Trying to centralise a community run on open-source software is akin to centralising the air by blowing up a balloon or capturing the ocean in a bucket.

Decentralisation forms on the first layer; this is only the start.

Decentralised models for building app frameworks are important for mainstream adoption done right. Sending a clear signal to web 2 companies that they are better off joining, not overtaking these web 3 communities is key. While what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, having a culture built around the awareness of what this is and how we as communities can properly defend ourselves against hostile takeover attempts will server to propel web 3 in the right direction.

Part 1:

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I would argue money attack should not be seen as something negative, and rather should be encouraged in a decentralized and trust-less systems.

In DPOS stakes give influence, the reason one would want to spend money and acquire the stakes would be to have influence and have say in the system. How big can this 'say' or influence can go? How big of influence one can acquire? Should we put a cap on it and say - "if you get too much of influence and try to implement your ideas, we are out of here?" I think the answer should be NO. In fact the system/network should encourage any participants to gain as much influence as they wish without any limits. In such approach the market would decide how high of an influence one entity or group can get.

On Hive, I don't even think it is possible to get that high of stakes and influence that would give total control like deciding who all consensus witnesses would be and therefore implement attacker's ideas. If such attempts were made, I think Hive price would go so high that it would be very expensive endeavor to pursue. If such money attack were to happen, I believe most of the stakeholders would welcome it with open arms.

While I agree layer 0 plays a crucial role, problems with layer 1 were the reasons such attack was possible on steem. While trying to build a trustless decentralised system, too much trust was put into exchanges and founders, that they would not dare to attack the network. The problem was that network allowed trust outside the system with assumption that exchanges would not risk user funds. The problem was that network allowed trust to founders that they wouldn't take actions to destroy what they have created.

So now with Hive, those loopholes or bugs that layer 1 - protocol allowed are closed. We don't have to trust exchanges at all. We don't have to trust any single stakeholder.

If layer 1 - code keeps the playing feel fair and open for all to participate, all kinds of money attacks will just benefit the network, its growth and its participants. This may even make the network even more decentralized. Because money attacks if fair conditions are open to all, will encourage competition and counter money attacks.

When you have a money attack on a stake-based blockchain with a strong layer zero, the community then gets to leap off the attacker's shoulders, giving the new coin more value. It creates negative sell pressure on the attacker's chain and positive buy pressure on the new community forked chain.

Some lessons that can be learned here from steem attack is that, perhaps when creating a new chain people should keep their influence on the old chain too. Otherwise, attackers ends up achieving the goal successfully, and gain ability to steal. If you remember, the attack was not successful. It was at stalemate. If it remained as stalemate the attack would never be successful.

Books will be written about the Steem/Steemit hostile takeover.
It will become much more relevant when it starts happening to other chains.
I'm still a bit flabbergasted that no one really talks about it anymore.
Old news dies hard I guess.

Puts tinfoil hat on

I think Hive vs. Steem scared the bejeebus out of most of the web 2 giants. Their whole game plan has always been to buy out the competition. Now they see what happens when you try to buy a community using open-source tech. There is a reason why Hive is the obvious answer yet is being elegantly silenced on web2. It started with not being able to post hive links to Twitter without your tweet being collapsed. Lots of people getting banned, little by little, but I'd say we are down a good 20-30% of Twitter Hive accounts due to just bans alone. People seem to be extra quiet when talking about Hive, and a small part of me thinks there's a reason. Hive laid out the blueprint for how communities can become independent, and there is no business model for web2 in breakaway communities.

takes off tinfoil hat

Weirdly reminded of this:

This pressure-cooker gonna explode sooner or later.

Maybe because there is nothing else to say about it. Probably everything is already written about it. But some of the new Hive users do not even know (have not heard) about the Steem blockchain so far. Either way, this is history, and we were a part of it. People usually do not talk about history. They focus mostly on the present and on the future.

I see it in a way The WEB3 chains are the game rules. So everyone stays free in the law that's in code.

Most WEB2 apps that want to join WEB3 need first a way to opt-in easily. Only time will tell what they do after.

In the special case of Hive, I don't worry. To even empower the decentralization more, we should reward 20-100 witnesses a bit better. Because it is in some way also an honor to be one of them ( if we look to votes).

Even without a rewarding change, I see Hive will become a super big thing in the future.

If I remember right, Smooth build a uniswap style thing on hive 2016. Think about it, this was before the Hype around defi. Because of no smart contracts, it was not a success. With the right tools in place and with our creative community, I see a lot of possibilities.

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wow new knowledge from you, my understanding is increasing, thank you @theycallmedan

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which has (mostly) the same rules except that it removes the power of the attacking coalition to control the system.

Only works if the forking party are willing to fork out the accounts that tried to or were involved in the takeover. Hive would be a much different place if one of the causes of the fork were removed, and that was dissent over the use of the ninja mined stake. it never should have been forked over.

The steps being taken to secure the governance is minimal at most. How many people even know who the top twenty witnesses are off the top of their heads? How many of those witnesses even bother to put a monthly post out? How many of them have posted or talked about the upcoming HF 25?

A couple, and a few of those were ones that wanted last minute changes to the reward system.

At some point the community is going to go away, not many will stand for new chains to keep repeating the same errors or ignoring the causes of the forked chains. I used to believe we had a strong community, and in many respects we do, but what we do not have is a community interested in the foundation, as is witnessed by the lack of people trying to help with HF testing. I tried a couple times, I try to keep up with the HF issues and the testing, I saw you try to help, I saw what I felt were a lot of ignorant remarks made on your try to help with the testing.

People want decentralization, they just do not want to do any of the work involved in strengthening that decentralization.

Thanks for sharing. Now I'm understanding more logically than before. Keep sharing such good posts. Always I'm being happy 😊 to stay in hive.

Very good one. The words about Blockchains like Spartans was very nice and 100% I'm in with them

Good reflections. I think that decentralization on blockchain is a single way. Don't build very trust ecosystem without decentralization. We see all systems that brief history after XXI. My opinion is that Bitcoin, Monero, Cardano and Waves has power to scale society for next years. All others altcoins don't has future. Decentralization is the key. Thanks for more this text. Excelent!

Hello, @theycallmedan I am reaching you because I am trying to access the website at

But the SSL certificate seems to be invalid, I have made a post about it to see if it can help:

I am reaching here in this blog as I have noticed you are connected with the 3Speak project, so maybe you know what is happening and when/how to fix it.

I will wait and use the platform when the issue is solved, for safety, as I am not knowledgeable in network security.

It will revert back shortly. Something to do with our SSL cert being revoked for some reason. The site works for me atm with Brave browser, also the dapp is always up if you want to upload.

Thank you! How can I upload to the dapp and post while I can’t access the website yet?