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Steem Community Takes Back Majority from Justin Sun

Steemians retook control of the Steem blockchain from Justin Sun after unprecedented levels of voter turnout.

Steemians successfully retook control of the Steem blockchain after a hostile takeover by Justin Sun. Meanwhile, the Tron founder attempted to buy witnesses in a controversial, now-deleted letter.

Four days ago, Justin Sun executed a hostile takeover of the Steem blockchain. Using tokens purchased in a deal with the project’s founder, along with support from two major exchanges, he was able to all 20 of Steem’s top elected representatives. These representatives, known as witnesses, make the governance decisions around the Steem blockchain.

Today, however, the community rallied to re-elect 11 out of 20 of the blockchain’s witnesses. The community is back in control.

Background on the Steem Takeover

In February, in a deal with its founder Ned Scott, Justin Sun acquired Steemit Inc, the company behind the popular social media blockchain. As part of the deal, Sun became the owner of 70 million STEEM the company owned, representing about 20% of the total token supply.

However, in the past, Steemit Inc said that these funds would be used for continued development and to help further decentralize the network. Scott later denied he made any such claims.

Later, witnesses voted to temporarily freeze the funds controlled by Sun until there was more certainty that these promises would be upheld.

Justin Sun took drastic action in response. In collusion with Binance, Huobi, and Poloniex, he executed a hostile takeover of the Steem blockchain and went on to publicly denounce community-elected witnesses as “malicious hackers.”

Steemians Retake Control

What ensued was a bloodbath. Steemians railed against the move. Steemit Inc experienced mass resignations. Binance and Huobi pulled their support.

With the loss of critical support, Sun had to use funds purchased from Steemit Inc plus those held on Tron-owned Poloniex to keep his witnesses in power⁠. This only gave him a narrow lead.

And Steemians rallied. With unprecedented turnout, thousands of tokenholders came out to vote against his puppet accounts, putting community representatives back in power. Over the course of four days the community regained a majority.

Sun Attempts to Buy Witness Loyalty

Justin Sun then attempted to use his Steem to sway witnesses who would commit their loyalty to him. The letter stirred up a firestorm and was later deleted. Read the full text:


“I am Justin Sun and I bought 70 million STEEM with my hard earned money. When I hodl them, I want to vote for witnesses with good hearts who truly care about our community. Also they have to be a true believer of the sanctity of private property and love our community!

So here we go!

The witnesses I vote for need to upgrade to 22.5 hard fork.

Request opinion to witnesses

1.Are you willing to believe the sanctity of private property or do you just want to take innocent people’s hard earned money under toxic “consensus”?

2.Are you willing to shorten the SP power-down period to 3-7 days from the current period?

3.Are you willing to remove the down-voting policy of STEEM blockchain?

4.Are you willing to introduce smart contracts into the STEEM block chain?

5.Are you willing to keep a good relationship with prestigious exchanges and increase our STEEM token value or do you just want to fuck them?

6.Are you willing to protect the rights of the community members or do you just want to hurt and destroy those you disagree with?

7.Are you willing to support Steemit, Inc. in accomplishing their job to increase our token value or do you just want to stab them in the back for your own interest?

8.Are you willing to increase STEEM token value that benefits the whole community or do you only care about your own interest and don’t give a fuck about the real community?

9.Are you willing to welcome new investors in the future and include everyone into our community or do you just want to fuck those new investors, freeze their investment and kick them out?

10.Are you willing to always stick to the truth or will you just spread rumors to generate misunderstandings in the community and poison our community culture?

11.Do you like Justin Sun or you just want to fuck him?

We will vote for the witnesses after reviewing witnesses’ public answers to the above questions ASAP!

Do you have a dream to become one of the Top20 Witnesses? This is your chance!”


Sun later deleted the text of the letter, replacing it with: “Happy to talk to community. Looking forward to seeing it.”

Although Steem’s community witnesses are back in the majority, things could quickly change. Steemians need to remain diligent should it wish to keep control. And, if they can solidify their hold, then this is a major victory for both Steem and for decentralized governance.

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