Justin says Steemit is migrating to Tron: Time to Panic or Things will be OK for Now?

1 year ago
6 Min Read
1140 Words

Justin Sun just announced that Steemit will be migrating to the Tron network. At first glance that might be FUD inducing, but I'd like to remind folks of something. While Justin may not have nailed every detail about Steem in his Dlive thing with Ned he was able to distinguish arguably the most critical detail of all.

Steemit does not equal Steem.

So, when you read the tweet, and we know that he knows the difference between Steemit and Steem then we know that he's specifically talking about Steemit and phrased it to not encompass Steem. Maybe his audience doesn't what he just wrote... but what he's saying is true, and taken as truth at the surface level it's probably ok for Steem given the other things he said in his Dlive presentation. Let me walk you through why I think that.

Here's the live Tweet if you want to see it there.


What did Justin Buy?

Justin Sun bought Steemit Inc. With that purchase he now owns approximately 75Million Steem or approximately 20% of the supply. He owns a corporation called Steemit Inc which employs developers (+ managers and staff ) who run infrastructure, develop the blockchain, and add features to Condenser, which is the program that powers the website steemit.com. That said he also purchased the website domain steemit.com.

It's worth noting that the blockchain and condenser are open source. Steemit Inc owns the repositories that Witnesses on the chain have used in the past to pull trusted code to deploy for soft forks and hard forks. Elected witnesses do have their own github repositories and have all of this information redundantly stored.

Steemit inc employs several key developers. I don't know them all by name, but @justinw who manages the infrastructure, @roadscape who manages things having to do with condenser/steemit.com, @vandeberg who develops the steem blockchain itself, and @gerbino who does blockchain work as well.

There may be other things he purchased. I'm not fully looped in, but those are the things that appear in the public domain to be owned by Steemit.

Shoutout to the guys at Steemit Inc

I bet the devs are going through a rough time. Just want to know I'm thinking of you and sending you some love as you navigate this transition. Hang in there Steemit employees!

What Justin Didn't buy.

Justin didn't purchase a blockchain. The blockchain is owned by all the steem token holders. The blockchain holders are not plantation slaves. Everyone here is a free person voluntarily interacting with a chain. He didn't purchase every node in the network, nor every Dapp, nor ownership rights over each and every human interacting here. He also likely doesn't have the copyright to content of every post that authors make on the Steem blockchain.

That much stake tho

Justin did buy a defacto controlling stake in the platform. You have a guaranteed controlling stake in the platform by owning 51% of the blockchain. You can have a defacto controlling stake in a platform by owning enough voting power to control the witnesses. Currently there's ~46M steem power sitting on Yabapmatt for votes. He has 75M. So, if no other accounts are witness voting and Justin decides to witness vote he could setup 30 servers and vote himself into the top 30 positions. He has enough stake to make proposals and vote them in, and control witnesses and blockchains.

The tron foundation owns something like 55% of all Tron. While he may be personally influencing "Super Representatives" (witnesses) on Tron he's not currently voting for Super Representatives on Tron with a 55% stake vote.

Is owning this much stake on a platform cause for concern? YES. That said; it's the same concern we've always had about Steem. Is it really decentralized if there's that much stake controlled by one entity? As it turns out this was also a concern while Ned had the keys. Ned also had this ability to control witnesses and people were uncomfortable then as well, but there was at least a tacit understanding or history of not using the stake for witness voting.

BUT! Good news came yesterday from the Livestream:

Justin shared during the livestream that he will

  1. Keep Steem running for now
  2. Not vote witnesses
  3. Implement Communities (he didn't mention it by name, but it's the product he described)
  4. Implement MST SMTs
  5. Not do a swap (for now)
  6. Help get more Steem listings on exchanges
  7. Hire more developers for Steemit

So, what's it all mean?

Justin tweeted 5 hours ago that SteemIT would be joining the tron network. As far as I'm concerned that's fair game. He bought Steemit Inc. He can bring the steemit.com website or a website like steemit.com to Tron. He's got every right to do that. He purchased it.

The question/threat/danger is will he shut Steem out of Steemit? The current answer is no. That's an imperfect answer for people who care about Steem and steemit.com because it's a "current answer" rather than a long term plan incorporating a healthy steem ecosystem. It's also day 2.

Forks (sister projects)

Also, at one point @smooth said something that I've kept in mind-

No good project dies because of a fork. Fork has a lot of definitions, but in this context he was talking about sister projects using the same codebase. He was referencing something like telos vs eos or steem vs whaleshares. Just having someone else use the code doesn't mean your project dies. It means the ecosystem gets bigger, and it validates that you have something that other people want.

In a world where steemit.com and Tronit.com exist or steemit.com integrates keychain and tronwallet to facilitate both tokens interacting together then this could be a thing of beauty for everyone holding either token. Steem gets new eyeballs and Tron gets a new application.

In a world where one happens at the expense of the other, that's likely bad for Steem holders.

We'll have to see what develops, but here's my summary of the timeline so far:

  1. Justin Sun and team said it's going to be a swap
  2. Something changed his mind
  3. By the time the conversation happened he walked back a lot of what he said and further added that Steem will get development and support
  4. In the tweet shared in this post he said SteemIT will begin migration to Tron.

In that context, especially because he knows the difference between Steem and Steemit I actually think it's fairly exciting... FOR-NOW.

It's good to bring this technology to other chains. The more the merrier. We're not going to die because other people start blogging on their blockchain too.

Here's the Dlive conversation with some (snarky) commentary thrown in by me.