This statement has been co-authored by the Steem community, which includes witnesses, developers & stakeholders.
Consensus witnesses are bound by our task to maintain the integrity of the Steem Blockchain.
With the recent purchase of Steemit Inc by the TRON Foundation, the Steem blockchain obtained a new major stakeholder. As another major player in the decentralized space, the TRON Foundation's interest in the Steem ecosystem has the potential to bring marketing power, resources and other potential benefits to both companies. It is thrilling to think of what will be discovered and shared with this introduction between our two vibrant blockchain communities.
While these opportunities are exciting, in these early stages the most important task for witnesses is to ensure the security of the Steem blockchain. To this end, we have updated to a temporary protective protocol to maintain the status quo currently established in regards to Steemit Inc's stake and it's intended usage. This update is reversible, and is simply to be used to ensure that the security and decentralization of the Steem blockchain remains intact.
Communication on the company acquisition is scattered and conflicting at this time, and we believe it is important to be proactive, rather than risk a possible security threat to the Steem blockchain. Since there are many new developments in the ecosystem, this is an ideal time to take a look at one of our long term impediments to decentralization with the involvement of the entire community, old and new. With this announcement, we're providing a detailed look at this soft fork update, why it was implemented, and how you can get involved as the voices of the Steem community.
What A Soft Fork Is, and What Soft Fork 0.22.2 Does:
A soft fork is a fully reversible code update, which is an excellent way for Steem consensus witnesses to deploy changes for the community to review and give feedback on, which may include changing their witness votes if they do not agree. What is especially important when considering a soft fork is to remember: it does not require any exchange to update their node, and all 0.22 versions running now will continue to operate. A soft fork does not mean that anyone running a backup witness will suddenly disable or necessarily miss blocks!
In general, Soft Fork 0.22.2 and transactions on the Steem blockchain will continue smoothly across the board for everyone with absolutely no change to a majority of the current Steem code. With the soft fork running, if any of the below clearly defined set of transactions happen (it is unlikely that they will), they will not be processed by the consensus witnesses. As there is more community feedback, and the Tron Foundation and Steemit Inc have a better chance to detail their roadmap and their plans for the future, this temporary soft fork can be adjusted to fit whichever direction the future holds for everyone.
Here are the Technical Details of Soft Fork 0.22.2 :
The GitHub repos for comparison and consideration:
- compare steemit/steem:0.22.x -> SteemDevs/steem:0.22.2# Softfork 0.22.2 has been written by community members, tested on a testnet in one of the most robust environments to date, and has been vetted by those who know the Steem blockchain best. Though it is a temporary update, the deployment of this soft fork has been carefully thought through in terms of impact to the overall ecosystem.
Why Was This Soft Fork Deployed?
With the recent developments for Steemit Inc with the TRON Foundation acquisition, there have been a lot of uncertainties around the company and its continued use of the assets it controls, as well as plans for the future. This makes it an excellent time to return to a long standing situation that has had lasting repercussions for the Steem blockchain: Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake. In an ecosystem where we are moving towards true adoption for decentralized technologies, this large amount of stake, mined at the beginning of the blockchain with an "unfair" advantage, has always been problematic in terms of creating a potential for heavy centralization.
The Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake is a special case, as up to this point it has been clearly declared on many occasions as earmarked solely for the development of the Steem ecosystem, and to be non-voting in governance issues.
There has always been a good-faith trust by the community that this would remain the case into the future. This social contract was defined by Ned in the 2017 roadmap, and has been an important background factor for the Steem ecosystem for many years. With the changes in the company ownership, this is an excellent time to transition the good-faith agreement into a truly trustless one, utilizing blockchain code, and taking further steps to help Steemit Inc support even better decentralization and the development, onboarding, and expansion of the Steem blockchain.
For now, because there has not been a clear declaration from Steemit Inc on the use of this ninja-mined stake, Soft Fork 0.22.2 has been deployed to allow for the entire community to discuss how best to achieve the original goals that this ninja-mined stake exists to support.
This reversible soft fork will not process certain transactions related only to Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake as listed above, and is simply the due diligence required by consensus witnesses in regards to centralization that could have an impact on the integrity of the Steem blockchain. It is very likely that the soft fork code will not impact any transactions at all, and that there will be further announcements from witnesses, community members, Steemit Inc, and the TRON foundation in the near future.
Let's talk about the future of Steem!
We have a vibrant platform (with many front ends) which gives us all the ability to voice our concerns and excitement while discussing topics like this one in a public manner. We encourage you all to do so! No matter if you are a witness, a content creator, a business owner, or new community member — if you feel these actions are not representative of your vision for Steem, be sure to express that and vote for witnesses accordingly. As consensus witnesses were elected to represent you and to uphold the security and integrity of the Steem blockchain, we are here to support everyone in our ecosystem. Please get involved by voicing your thoughts, and using your votes.
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The Steem Consensus Witnesses