Steem Community Mobilizes Popular Vote in Battle With Justin Sun

The Steem community is striking back after an attempted end-around by Tron founder Justin Sun.

While CoinDesk has been writing this report, four former Steem blockchain validators (known as “witnesses”) have been voted back onto the council of 20 nodes that keeps Steem running.

Steem validators tell CoinDesk that by hitting four validators it is no longer possible for the Tron Foundation to launch a contentious hard fork to change the economic rules governing STEEM tokens.

On Monday, Sun was able to put a new slate of witnesses in charge after a contentious soft fork limited his voting power.

Sun acquired the popular Steemit app and its large share of STEEM tokens on Feb. 14.  Referring to the tokens that were effectively frozen in a community-led soft fork following the Steemit acquisition, he wrote on Twitter Tuesday:

“#STEEM has successfully defeated the hackers & all funds are super #SAFU.” 

There’s no better way to put this: One man’s “hack” is another’s “legitimate exercise of power by a blockchain’s duly elected leaders.” 

Sun’s tweet got ratio’d pretty hard, with 486 replies to 236 retweets, as of this writing.

Here is what we know. (It’s important to note that unlike some blockchains, Steem uses a delegated proof-of-stake [DPoS] consensus mechanism, meaning a limited number of nodes validate transactions on the chain.)

To recap: Early Monday morning the Steem blockchain was taken over by a group of recently created accounts with names like “goodguy24,” “nicetry001” and “bostonawesome.” These witnesses emerged after the previous set of 20 leaders presided over the aforementioned freezing of Sun’s newly acquired “Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake” of STEEM tokens.

At issue: Whether that pool of tokens – large enough to sway the governance of the entire Steem blockchain – could be used at Sun’s discretion.

Steem has always had angst over Steemit’s cache of STEEM, but former witnesses tell CoinDesk that Steemit had always committed not to vote…

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