I haven't been active for quite some time now, just delegating some of my stake to various initiatives, and the news of Steemit being sold to Justin Sun was the impulse for me to decide to leave the community. I intended to write a nice and long goodbye post, outlining that actions like 0.22.2 were the symptoms of true decentralization starting to appear and take shape, but then the hostile takeover happened and I have to admit I don't feel like writing the same thing anymore, and am left with a sour taste in my mouth.
It is not only the fact that Steemit was sold without notice, or the way that the community has been completely disregarded in this process, but what it entails and implies about decentralization and censorship resistance of the DPoS consensus algorithm (and indirectly, others) that is preoccupying me at the moment.
The fantastic people that made the community of Steem are not dead, even though they might be homeless for now, but I have no doubt that they will find a new home somewhere, sometime. We are still at the beginning of this technology and haven't really seen yet all of the technological and social changes it will bring with it.
I came into this project, and crypto in general, because I had been convinced after reading the bitcoin whitepaper that it was possible to build technological tools--based on incorruptible mathematics--to free ourselves from the tyranny of the preexisting economic order that had so much money it could buy anything it wanted and even position itself above the law, without consequences.
I thought Steem was well on its way to achieve independence, resilience and anti-fragility but I guess I (as many other people) have been proven wrong, the devs have been sold and bought (respect goes to those people with integrity that resigned) and the blockchain taken over by chinese capital while completely shitting over the community that brought its value to the chain in the first place. Steemit might continue to exist as a bastardized, centralized version, and it might even grow further (facebook got where it is now without any hint of decentralization nor respect for user's rights), but in my heart it will only ever be a shadow of its former self. Yesterday was the day that Steem died for me.
The important things in life
Even though my main feelings and those of a part of the community right now revolve around rage, contempt, bitterness and sadness facing this treason, treachery and possible financial loss, this is not what I would advise to take away from all of this. Dan repeatedly said that this was all an experiment, and so it was. During all those years I learned a huge freakin' lot about peer-to-peer networks, economics, consensus algorithms in byzantine distributed systems and last but not least, I saw and experienced the birth of a new community of like-minded people from all over the world gathering together to freely associate and try to build something better for the future, where people are empowered and not baited in a corporate-controlled network. The SteemFest I attended was a blast, and one of my most peculiar and intense moments of life. The breadth and diversity of backgrounds of people that attended, which was but a mere reflection of what was happening online, was astounding. In a way, it was also liberating to witness what people can achieve out of their own volition, and if we set our minds and hearts to a common goal, there can literally be no boundaries that cannot be crossed.
I for myself will take some time away from the crypto world to travel with my family and reflect on everything that happened, try to understand what happened, learn from our mistakes and what we did right, and try to devise new ways to achieve decentralization and trustlessness, and figure out how to build systems and networks that achieve censorship resistance and foment respectful and constructive building of our future.
Finally, I want to send a hearfelt thank you to everyone that participated in this adventure, those with whom I agreed and those with whom I disagreed, you can all be proud of what you did. I will not name anyone, because I would invariably forget some of you, but you know who you are! The last 4 years with all of you have been absolutely incredible and Steem will always have a little special place in my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and I hope I'll see some of you in the future under brighter circumstances.
PS: this post ended up much longer than I thought it would be and feels more like a braindump of hodge-podge thoughts than the structured post I intended to write in the first place, but I had to say it. Thanks for reading anyway ;)