Steem Consensus Witness Statement: Code Updated

in #steem2 years ago (edited)

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.

Fellow Steemians,
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 :

Relevant Accounts

  • misterdelegation
  • steem
  • steemit
  • steemit2
  • steemitadmin

Excluded Operations

  • account_witness_proxy_operation
  • account_witness_vote_operation
  • update_proposal_votes_operation
  • vote_operation
  • withdraw_vesting_operation
  • set_withdraw_vesting_route_operation
  • transfer_operation
  • limit_order_create_operation
  • limit_order_create2_operation
  • transfer_to_vesting_operation
  • transfer_to_savings_operation
  • escrow_transfer_operation

The GitHub repos for comparison and consideration:

Files Changed:

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.

All rewards from this post will be sent to @null.

Steem on!

The Steem Consensus Witnesses


I fully support and stand by the decision made collectively by the Steem witnesses. It has been a pleasure working together with you all to get this protective soft fork executed and I believe this is clearly in the best interest for all Steemians.

Looking forward to the next steps!

Sun's response:

Ya I fully support it if all you top witnesses step down now. If you don't it just looks like you are protecting your paycheck, and the possibility of you getting voted out. If you truly believe it was the best move, and really care about the site and steem. You will put any doubt to rest by stepping down. Otherwise you will be just scaring off investors, and making people choose sides.....

The paycheck you refer to is less than minimum wage. Let's see if you can learn the technical details of running a witness server and executing necessary steps to protect the network on minimum wage. I will wait ...

Just kidding I won't wait because I know you are full of shit, you won't actually do anything, and you are just offended this happened without you being included. Despite the fact that it was done to protect your small investment.

You can ask witnesses to step down all you want. Not sure that's how a voting election works usually but go ahead and give it a shot.

I'd be shocked if Steem was to attain any big serious investors from this point on unless its sometime in the very very far future. Who wants to put their funds into a project in which can just fork out the power of that investment. Justin Sun purchased his stake fair and square, he deserves to have the power that comes with it.

Thank you for truly stepping up in this situation, you were vital and I hope people take notice.

Thanks Justine. I admit everyone did a lot of work and organized this as an entire team. It truly was a fun experience and one that I know was done with good intentions, thorough testing, and analysis of all possible eventualities.

Until next time!

Are you in the top twenty ?or still trying to get back in?

While the hearts may have been in the right place, the precedent set by this (Top 20 Witnesses ability to take anyone's stake away from them) will probably keep anyone from investing in steem ever again. Why should they?

The ninja-mined stake was a problem, but taking it away after someone just paid $10m for it is not the solution, plus I am sure there are legal issues with what was done.

If this was truly about helping steem and not just preserving the current witnesses (which is what it looks like), All THE TOP 20 WITNESSES SHOULD STEP DOWN INDEFINITELY.

The ninja-mined stake might not fit accurately the "stolen goods" definition, but the point stands ... you can not transfer fraudulent items to another part and have the fraudulence magically disappear.

If the stake had a contractual obligation, that contract remains with the entity that was purchased, in this case SteemIt, Inc.

I am not a lawyer and I know you aren't a lawyer either so how about we leave the legal mumbo jumbo to the lawyers.


Then campaign to have them removed. Participate in the consensus protocol on Steem. Maybe you also failed to understand the network before you started using it. That is your fault, not the communities or the witnesses.

Also, come on @wattersblue, you have a 60 SP account (~$13). And you think your voice somehow should be able to influence those with hundreds of thousands invested in this blockchain?

Put your money where your mouth is. Get involved and make a project. UPDATE YOUR PROFILE PICTURE. Something, anything, before you try and act like you somehow speak for everyone.

While the hearts may have been in the right place, the precedent set by this (Top 20 Witnesses ability to take anyone's stake away from them) will probably keep anyone from investing in steem ever again. Why should they?

I have spoken directly with investors that have purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of STEEM and run their business on the blockchain. Have you? The ones I spoke to personally have said what the witnesses did is the reason why they are buying more STEEM. You don't have to take my word for it. You could get off your lazy ass and go find those "investors" that you are speaking for and get their actual opinions too.

Also, you are clearly a sock puppet account. If you can't even speak your opinions from your main account then your opinions clearly don't mean much to you. Why are you hiding?

Possession of stolen goods
Possession of stolen goods is a crime in which an individual has bought, been given, or acquired stolen goods.
In many jurisdictions, if an individual has accepted possession of goods or property and knew they were stolen, then the individual is typically charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the stolen goods. If the individual did not know the goods were stolen, then the goods are returned to the owner and the individual is not prosecuted. However, there are often exceptions, because of the difficulty of proving or disproving an individual's knowledge that the goods were stolen.

Thanks for stepping up to protect the regular users. I am in the minority but I have a negative view of the situation.

I won't be watching the video but if you can summarize the points that would be cool.

As far as your negative view of the situation, you are most definitely entitled to that. However, it seems Justin Sun, the guy that actually bought SteemIt, Inc and the stake, does not have a negative view at this moment.

Why would you get more disturbed by what the witnesses did, when it was done to protect your "investment", than the guy that spent upwards of $10M buying SteemIt, Inc?

Well to summarize, I go over some of the history of Justin Sun. I explain why I am against ending the STEEM chain to migrate to TRON would be a bad Idea. It seems that over the past few days with all that has happened. It seems my concerns where warranted.

I had no problem with Justin Buying Steemit, I just didn't want to see the end of the Steem blockchain.

Does this open the door for lawsuits?

Maybe Justin Sun sueing Ned for misrepresentation of what Sun was purchasing. But not for witnesses, no.

And I would love that! 😅😅

Epic Move ! Thanks for being there for us all

lol I Love your enthusiasm.
I am not sure it was such a smart move. Do you know exactly who went along with it and who did not?

You can find the version which each witness is running at:

If they are showing to be running version 2.22 then it can be assumed they support it.

Thank you.

Thanks for the link!

It looks like for now in the top 20 only @timcliff hasn't upgraded yet.

Among the witnesses with a lower rank (from 21 to 40) the following ones are still running an old version (22.1 or even 22.0):

I fully support this update.

A good precautionary move that has already had a positive effect. Within hours a response by @justinsunsteemit wanting to meet with the top witnesses!
I look forward to positive results!

Therefore, i've just voted for you as a witness.

Thank you


Are you not in support of this move sgt-dan ?

I believe I have made it quite clear that I am in full support of this soft-fork. I do understand and respect the reasoning of those that are not in support.

Sometimes people will disagree on things. There are a number of people I respect greatly that are against the action taken. I understand their reasoning.

I am in full support of SOFT FORK 22.2... a temporary solution to a very real possible threat to our blockchain. It was a wise defensive move taken by our witnesses. I am sure the decision was not made lightly.

I wish I shared your confidence.

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We support this conditioned on it being a temporary limitation made until it has been made clear by the new ownership of Steemit Inc how the stake will be used, and where sufficient guarantees has been made to ensure that it will be used as promised.

Well said.


And what if those guarantees are not made? We take this guy's stake away from him?

The damage done to steem from doing this will likely never be undone.

It would indeed make sense!

this, all of this.gif

My position on the soft fork:

I do support the overall mission that the top witnesses and community/stakeholders are trying to achieve: Finding a way for Steem to progress in a way where the security of our governance and blockchain is not under the constant threat of a single stakeholder.

I however am not running the changes on my witness node. My post along with my explanation can be found here.

The precedent set by this will never be able to be overcome. Why would anyone invest in something that can be taken away from them by the Top 20 Witnesses?

Why would anyone invest in something that can be taken away from them by the witnesses Justin Sun could elect unilateraly?

but has steemit not been ruled by one small group for a long time?
I was seeing a possible future where we get rid of kowtowing witnesses and create a Steem that would change the world forever. You know.......... start distributing Steem and create some growth, get rid of flags and find another option for plagiarism sensible basic honest things - NO MORE FLAGS

I don’t foresee that in the future, although once/if SMTs launch you may be able to launch a new SMT token that doesn’t allow downvoting.

I support and run this update on my witness @roelandp. It has been an intense 10 days but great worker with a big group of long term Steem stakeholders, consisting of investors, community members, witnesses.

I will issue my own views shortly on my account - but the gist is:

  1. This is a preventive temporarily measure - softfork nonetheless
  2. The Steemit inc stake is a special fund, just like @steem.dao is and should have had been coded with special ruleset long time ago.
  3. Mixed signals from the new owner of the Steemit stake rise the risks in irreversible use of the stake.
  4. Again: this is temporal and done for the s(t)ake of the Steem chain. Your chain, our chain.

Its not a good thing

It's not temporary if he doesn't meet these strong armed demands though, correct?

Please show me on this rat doll where the witnesses touched you.

Thank you for protecting Steem @roelandp Voted for you as witness.

PLEASE investiate the Matrix-8 Multi-Level Governance Platform to be, as a potential system of governance for Steem. You can begin to find out about it here:


I fully support this update and I'm already running it on all my servers. I'm proud we were able to organise this and come to consensus independently of Steemit INC . Historic days :)

Wow i do not know, but i know that to me this looks like criminality.
Do we have any decent and how many?

No. Yes. Many

Two in the top 20. @timcliff and @anyx are presently not running 2.22.

Think @anyx may have made the switch to 22.2. Hang in there Tim!!! ✌️😎


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Witness @riverhead supports this update.

I followed you already my friend. Gracias 💯 💯.

@riverhead, thanks for those huge delegation to help the community growth at large.

I fully support this update. Here is my statement.

Witness @nextgencrypto is updated and running this version.


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I stepped down as a witness due to concerns over the ongoing time commitment as well as anticipated increase in witness demands connected to this fork and the recent sale of Steemit more broadly.

However, as a stakeholder, I support the actions taken, I am voting for witnesses running the modified code. I believe that firm action to address Steemit's lack of transparency and candor, repeated empty and broken promises, mismanagement, and exploitation of the community should have been taken long ago, though, unfortunately, consensus to do so could never be reached for a variety of reasons. Better late then never, I guess.

Is there an easy way to see who has upgraded and who hasn't so people might adjust their witness votes?


0.22.2 is the updated version. Look on


Time to reshuffle my votes

Is there an easy way to see who has upgraded...

Better late then never

Well said, @smooth!

Doesn't this look like a form of the Top witnesses just entrenching themselves in the top witness spots?

Not to me, unless you think that the way to get them out would be with the ninja-mined stake voting. I don't believe that.

No other votes are affected. The top witnesses can be voted out just as easily today as they could two days ago. In fact I would venture to say there has been more movement in and out of the top 20 in the wake of this fork than most times before, but I'm not basing that on real data, just an impression.

I support this! Edit: more details

We are looking forward to seeing the Steem blockchain become an even more decentralized place to develop our interface. We believe these moves can produce a step in the right direction ... the early mined stake of Steemit INC has not been used for 4 years to impact the governance of the chain and it was kept that way as trust based agreement with the community that luckily worked until now, we were always at risk but the risk never came to fruition.
NOW... We feel much more secure with it being a trustless system in the future.

It's one thing to prevent the stake from witness voting it's another one to prevent transfers and selling. Even if they did do that, powering down takes 13 weeks which would have given the community 6 or 7 weeks to prepare a countermeasure should they power down, transfer and power back up.

besides the giving reasoning: a started powerdown could only be stopped either by the keyholder, or a hardfork. A hardfork would be a way more drastic implementation which also requires exchanges to update the software.

Even ONE week would have a massive effect. Not necessarily unilateral control but still enormous influence, by itself probably in the top 5 stakeholders on the entire platform. It isn't practical or meaningful to talk about non-voting without preventing power down in my opinion.

Even 6 weeks worth of power down could have massive effects on Steem governance.

Sure, but this looks a lot like stealing. The precedent set from this cannot be undone. If this was truly done to protect steem then the Top 20 Witnesses should all step down indefinitely. It would give this movement a lot more credence.

Yeah but that's 6 weeks of warning time to prepare for it. You just fired a warning shot and accidentally punctured a hole in their haul, I'm sure that's going to go well.

Why? This SF is really just temporary without bad intentions. It's a protective measure, nothing more.

What is the sunset clause on this? Temporary is just a word until you set an end-point. If you said: "For 3 months until we have time to negotiate terms with the Tron team." That would be one thing but as it stands it might as well be until the heat death of the universe.

Don't forget, witnesses can change their mind or get voted out. If the community doesn't want this protection in place, it won't have it.

That's exactly what I did. Obviously I'm just a grain of salt so ultimately it doesnt matter

It means "for now", just like Justin Sun said he wouldnt initiate a swap "for now"....

A "for now" for a "for now" appears reasonably balanced! ;)

While I was hesitant at first to this idea, the signals that TRON has been sending about the future of Steem and Steemit say to me that the blockchain is under threat from their newly acquired stake and I must support this for the sake of Steem. My witness server is running the updated software from the SteemDevs repository.

I wish for the best outcome both for Steem and its stakeholders, incuding Justin Sun and the TRON Foundation. I look forward to the cooperation between us and hope for the best for TRON as well as the Steem blockchain.

Edit: I have done my best to fill in the context of this collective decision. Please see this post for more details:

The Case For the Temporary Soft Fork

In support and running it.


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As a STEEM witness, I've implemented the related soft fork, and support the statement in this post.

I fully support this update and will write my statement soon.


This is an excellent representation of witnesses coming together to ensure the sanctity of the Steem blockchain. We are in full support from all aspects. Running on this version.

We support this update

All nodes updated also RPC at updated

STEEM witness @liondani supports and runs softfork 0.22.2 !Screenshot from 20200224 010708.png

@smooth shut down his witness today.. Got a free spot. ;)