Governance Question to the Original Witnesses (and the Steemit team)

in hive-174578 •  5 months ago 

Screenshot 20200307 10.58.33.png

Apologies for the mass tagging of the witnesses, I have no idea how else to stick my hand up to try and get your attention... it's pretty crowded down here in the bottom end of town!

In the midst of all this ruckus about the TRON takeover, the purpose of the @steemit stake (and related accounts). We are going to need a face much bigger core problem when (if...) this crisis gets resolved.. and like it or not, we are going to need to fix this problem together with the TRON team and the exchanges.

Let me get this out the way... the takeover of the consensus witness spots by the new owners of Steemit (with the exchanges) was shitty.. but at it's heart, it could have been much worse if done by truly malicious attackers. I am NOT condoning their actions, but it has exposed a flaw in our assumptions about our decentralisation and governance model.

This problem at the heart of our governance is something that I want your opinion on... without needing to necessarily commit to a definite solution yet, just that the recognition that the problem is there and that there is the commitment to PROPERLY fix it... even at the cost to your own positions (and possible rewards) as consensus witnesses, in the interests of the COMMUNITY who have rallied around you in this crisis.


The 30 votes and 20 consensus witnesses model is fundamentally a broken implementation of the dPOS model.

We have relied on trust, words and assumptions (aka unicorns and fairy dust) to believe that our blockchain was decentralised. The recent days have shown that these assumptions were flawed... as much as the flawed assumptions that broke the intent of some recent Ethereum #defi smart contracts.

We can NOT blame the @steemit owners and exchanges for exercising their stake (even though I don't personally agree with it...).... likewise, it is NOT an acceptable solution to simply bind or restrict their stakes, as that will NOT prevent a large malicious attacker from doing the same thing. In fact, there might come a time that the large stakes of the exchanges and Steemit serve as a bulwark against that truly malicious attacker!

Decentralisation is NOT the ability to exclude large players... it is the design of a system that prevents domination of a network by large actors. Our rules were fundamentally flawed (and we were "lucky" this time...)... we need a proper solution.

Yes, our chain was temporarily centralised... but the point is, this should NOT have been possible in the first place! The problem is not WHO did it... but the fact that it WAS DONE!


After this crisis is over, and now that the COMMUNITY have rallied around you:

  1. Do you acccept the proposition that the 30 votes/20 consensus model of dPOS is fundamentally flawed?

  2. Will you commit to designing and implementing a governance model that will actually secure decentralisation in a proper TRUSTLESS manner (improve dPOS, hybrid dPOS/PoW...whatever..) ... even if it comes at the cost of losing your own consensus witness position or reduces your daily rewards?

  3. Given that a new model will likely have large stakeholders (steemit and exchanges) having representation in the consensus witnesses, is this something that you are willing to accept in the spirit of true decentralisation?

I realise that this post is getting ahead of things... the crisis needs to be resolved before anything happens. However, the old status quo is as bad an outcome as complete domination by sock-puppet accounts.... just in a different way!


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Waiting to see some witness responses here...

Well wait longer. They're not going to answer up when any answer they provide might cast a negative light on what they did.

Don't hold your breath... they aren't likely to want to change when it put them in power...

3 to 4 mining pools (centralized entitys) can attack bitcoin at this very moment. no?

  ·  5 months ago (edited)

Yes, possibly... But the game theory behind managing the large actors is better thought out on Bitcoin.

Large miners have a significant sunk cost into their mining equipment. To manipulate the transactions would take take roughly 10 confirmations to be considered reliable... That is roughly 100 minutes which is a deathly long time in crypto. This would erode the core proposition and value of bitcoin and lead to a dump... Which means that they would never recover the sunk cost of buying the mining infrastructure.

Of course, when we move away from block rewards to solely transaction fees (that is a while away...) it is a different game... Or if the block rewards start to get either so huge or so small to cause different incentives to come into play.

Steem doesn't have these protections in place.. We have much faster transaction times. Now, we are essentially protected because it isn't financially worthwhile to do it (low Steem price)... But ETH #defi assumed that no-one would risk a large ETH holding to attack them... Flash loans changed that assumption!

We can NOT blame the @steemit owners and exchanges for exercising their stake (even though I don't personally agree with it...

We cant blame @steemit but we can certainly blame the exchanges since it is not their funds to stake and vote with.

Do you acccept the proposition that the 30 votes/20 consensus model of dPOS is fundamentally flawed?

Absolutely, it should be 10 votes per stake. This would guarantee that you can only force an impass instead of taking over.

Well, I'm not sure that we can hold definite blame to the exchanges. I don't think that they were morally right... But technically they own the Steem. You have an IOU...

This situation has always been possible. It is interesting to note the current events that triggered it.

When we are under threat we can behave differently. When there are slim pickings people fight over the food. It's human nature. I don't know if adopting a system that removes human flaws entirely is a good or workable idea in our subjective world.

They are worried that if they don't act, there won't be a Steem around and they can lose control for allowing this to happen. If they were confident value could be added without a threat of centralization, I don't think it would have happened.

Some people believed Tron would improve Steem, Some people still do. I never suffered from this derangement before and the signs and symptoms are getting worse. The witnesses didn't help. But I honestly don't think they worsened it much.

I don't think they did me a solid, but I also don't see their actions as evil. It was a political decision and probably inevitable. A lot of people say why didn't they fix it before? History is filled with grey moves and what-ifs?

Justin and Roy are talking a lot about the economic benefits, they see this as an issue that only happened because the Steem economy is struggling. The philosophical question of decentralized governance is interesting but it is not the question to ask right now. We can get back to that eventually.

I think the current low value of Steem is partly responsible. If Steem was worth like 5 dollars, witnesses would be raking in piles of cash so big they wouldn't have the motive to fuss with silly little things like the Steemit stake. However, the main issue remains. Does the Steemit stake belong to Justin? Maybe is the clearest thing we can say. Do we want to allow him to take it? It may seem nasty, but even if it is possibly his, we can seize it for the benefit of the community and frankly, meh (I know I'm verging on morally bankruptcy and deplorable mindedness) ~ it's like robin hood.

Making things yours by questionable means doesn't make them safely yours. Justin earn his money working hard or whatever and bought Steemit, but a lot of people disagree that means he bought the Steem.

HF 22.2 did not have my support yet we are long past that now. We seem in survival mode and the trust of the chain has already been broken with the introduction of 22.2; so at this point my feeling is @null the Ninja Stake so that any other big player will think twice about trying a hostile take over until a proper solution is in place in the software to prevent it.

I think we should really find an option for it to be frozen for a year while we make up our minds slowly.

That would work to send a message to others of the same ilk. 😎👍

You'll probably never get any investors of any type in the future if you do that.

With a 13 week power down period we do not have typical investors. We have those that buy/bought STEEM, like myself, to have a greater stake in the community yet all my crypto investments are in PoW. You know, the crypto that you can trust.

My guess it is the same for any serious crypto investor. DPoS always seemed too corruptible to be too exposed in. That has proven correct and we should send the same message to other rich kids that are here to make a buck not for the community/experiment/technology. Our dApps will be the ones to bring us value not speculators, in my opinion.

Speculators and investors can still trade STEEM on the exchanges.

Yes... it is interesting the events that triggered our realisation that our blockchain wasn't truly decentralised. This time we had a reason to band together... but the witnesses shouldn't rely on this happening all the time. The game theory behind the governance system needs to be fixed... we were lucky that it wasn't so insidious this time.

I think we need to accept the fact that the STEEM associated with the steemit stake is lost to the community... it never really was there anyway apart from supporting delegations to worthwhile projects. Hopefully, the new steemit can see the long-term benefit in supporting the same projects... but I think we really need to prepare and expect for the exit of those funds.

The game theory behind the governance system needs to be fixed

Agreed. It's tough. I'm still thinking about how to fix it. I haven't heard anything yet where I simply agree, yup that's the way to do it.

If the funds do exit, a plan B blockchain may be worth the risk. Someone will have to do some serious analysis to see if this is the case.

  ·  5 months ago (edited)

Yes and no... Patched in 1.4 firmware, from memory you needed physical access to the device? So attack vector existed but was limited to very specific situations... But still patched.

Other cases are installing malware pretending to be the Ledger software.