Hive is a sister chain and a fork of the Steem blockchain. The fork took place on March 20 at 2 pm UTC. All the accounts and all the transactions were included in Hive except that the stakes of accounts known to have been controlled by Steemit, Inc that Justin Sun of the Tron foundation bought and a number of others belonging to users who were in support of the so-called sock puppet witness accounts controlled by the Tron foundation. Hive also has a time delay defense against attacks whereby after an account powers up funds, there will be a 30 day delay during which that account will not be able to vote for witnesses. Steemit, Inc’s stake was set to null but a corresponding amount of funds was put under the control of the Steem Proposal System for the community to decide how it will be used. Hive is actually decentralized while Steem is controlled by Justin Sun’s Tron foundation.
If you want to know how Hive came into existence, read on:
Back before Steem was launched, most of the coins were premined despite the fact that Steem’s (and Hive’s) consensus mechanism is Delegated-Proof-of-Stake. The mining took place because the creators of Steem did not want the Securities and Exchanges Commission, a US federal financial supervisory authority, to consider the STEEM cryptocurrency a security. Nor did they want to run an ICO. Steemit, Inc’s stake was dominant in the beginning because it was mined in a fashion dubbed ninja mining. What this means is that Steemit, Inc deliberately published instructions on how to mine STEEM that were incomplete or misleading. That allowed them to surpass all the other miners in the tokens mined by a wide margin. To ensure that result, the mining was once even stopped and started over. Nearly every Steem witness premined their initial stake. Those who were the most competent and motivated and who had the most computing power to throw at it, gained the largest stakes apart from Steemit, Inc itself.
The purpose of the ninja-mining was to create a development fund to enable Steemit, Inc to develop the blockchain and pay for much of the infrastructure. However, the seeds of major malcontent were sown by the methods by which Steemit, Inc’s massive stake, which I think was at least 40% of the total, came into being. It later turned out that Steemit, Inc had considerable difficulty fulfilling on its promise to develop the chain, defeating the purpose of the ninja mine in many Steem witnesses’ opinion. The difficulty was exacerbated by the Chief Technical Officer, Dan Larrimer, of Steemit, Inc resigning in early 2017. He left the company to work his next project, EOS.
Despite the gradual decreasing of Steemit, Inc’s stake relative to the whole as the company kept selling the token to fund development, the dissatisfaction grew on part of the community over the way Steemit, Inc and in particular its CEO, Ned Scott, handled things. Steemit, Inc tended to overpromise and underdeliver. There was a lack of transparency and an apparent lack of even a desire to communicate honestly with the community. After the price of STEEM crashing in November 2018, Steemit, Inc laid off 70% of its staff and Ned Scott stepped down as the manager of the day-to-day affairs of Steemit, Inc. Eli Powell was hired as managing director. Communication improved a lot and Steemit, Inc seemed become more efficient in its operations. It was communicated to the community that the financial situation of Steemit, Inc had stabilized and that the core parts of the roadmap would be realized, as they were. Most importantly, MIRA (Multi-Index RocksDB Adapter) was created to enable Steem to run on solid state drives instead of RAM, which lowered the cost of running the chain considerably. Hivemind, a database of social information closely but not perfectly synced with the consensus layer was released, enabling Communities to be released later. Even the Smart Media Protocol got mostly finished but remained in testing after issues were discovered until the big news in February.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, rumors started to circulate that Ned Scott was looking for a buyer for Steemit, Inc. The rumors were confirmed on February 14 2020 when Justin Sun announced that the Tron foundation led by him had acquired Steemit, Inc and its stake. Immediately, Justin Sun announced that Steemit and all other apps would be migrate to the Tron blockchain and that all STEEM tokens would be swapped for a new Tron-based token. That got the community very nervous. An ugly mess resulted involving a soft fork where community witnesses temporarily froze Steemit, Inc’s stake to get Justin Sun to communicate his plans clearly. Justin Sun enlisted the help of three exchanges by telling them lies about how Steem was under the attack of hackers. The exchanges powered up customer funds and voted Justin Sun’s sock puppet witnesses into all of the top 20 spots (consensus witnesses). The exchanges excluding Poloniex, which is owned by Justin Sun, took back their votes allowing the community a chance to fight back and wrest control from Justin Sun. Small parts of the community supported Justin Sun for various reasons, which resulted in an impasse.
The impasse ended when Blocktrades, a powerful Steem witness, announced he believed the time for negotiations was over and that it was time to fork the chain. That took place. In less than a week, the Hive blockchain was up and running and the HIVE token had already been listed on several exchanges. The majority of the Steem community started selling STEEM and buying HIVE in an effort to migrate their stake over to HIVE. An increasing number of apps migrated to HIVE.
Steemit, Inc has announced plans to develop Steem according to its original road map and the price of STEEM has held up surprisingly well despite lagging behind that of HIVE. This is good news for everyone who got HIVE tokens airdropped to them, which is the vast majority of all Steemians. People have choice now and many have chosen to post to both chains reaping double the rewards.
The biggest difference between Steem and Hive is the degree of centralization. Steem is completely controlled by a single entity, the Tron foundation, which in turn is controlled by a single individual, Justin Sun. While he does not micromanage, it is clear that nothing important happens on Steem without his approval.
Hive, on the other hand, is truly decentralized. There are dozens of witnesses and other large stakeholders who govern the chain through the DPoS system. Steemit, Inc’s stake was not burned but placed under the control of the Hive Proposal System (known as the Steem Proposal System) from which it is released gradually and distributed to projects the community deems worthy of funding.
The crypto space as a whole seems to strongly favor Hive over Steem because Hive represents the core values of the space and everybody loves and underdog. I personally believe Hive has a better chance of success unless Justin Sun decides to kick in Steem funding into high gear. But, frankly, I don’t really care which of the projects will be more successful because having options is only a good thing.
For more info on HIVE: Hive - The Blockchain for Web 3.0
Join the HIVE Quora Space: The Hive
You can access Hive using apps such as hive.blog, peakd.com and 3speak.com.