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Steem Successfully Forks Creating “Hive” Blockchain

Key Takeaways

  • Steem hardforked at 14:00 UTC, giving holders tokens in the new “Hive” blockchain at a one-to-one ratio.
  • Leadership behind the Hive blockchain vow to focus on decentralization in the aftermath of Justin Sun’s takeover of Steem.
  • Accounts and content from the Steem blockchain will be migrated automatically, several major exchanges already plan to support the fork.

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Steem successfully forked, creating the new “Hive” blockchain. Leaders of the Steem community orchestrated the move to expel Justin Sun and his recently acquired Steemit Inc.

New Hive Blockchain Goes Live

The Steem community implemented a hard fork to push out Tron CEO Justin Sun after he executed a takeover of the social media network. The new fork, dubbed “Hive,” will focus on decentralization and run independently of the existing chain.

“This new direction steps away from the burden of the Steemit Inc. ninja-mined stake, which has impacted the long term ability to work towards further development and decentralization for years,” said the announcement.

How the Hive and Steem Differ

Over 30 developers are contributing to the new ecosystem. Hive has ambitious goals to fill the role previously occupied by Steemit Inc. The new project aims to accelerate the pace of development and enabling communication around the community while making the platform easy to use.

One of the distinctive features of Hive compared to Steem are the measures taken to prevent “governance attacks.” Given the circumstances of the fork this should not come as a surprise.

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The team behind Hive is adding a 30-day delay on transferring voting rights on the blockchain. The delay will help mitigate sudden changes to the representatives who are responsible for securing the chain and validating transactions.

Plans for Migrating Steem

At launch, existing Steem accounts will be copied over to the Hive network. Although accounts will be independent from one-another after the fork, most content will be migrated automatically.

Major cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance and Huobi, will support the planned hard fork by distributing the new Hive tokens to Steem holders in a one-to-one ratio. However, accounts holding coins from the Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake will not be included in the distribution.

The market has responded favorably to the fork. The price of STEEM surged, more than doubling over the last three days. Tokens went from trading around $0.13 to well above $0.4 before settling in a range around $0.3.

Steem / US dollar price chart on TradingView
STEEM/USD on TradingView

What to Expect Next

That said, the decision to fork is far from unanimous. According to Justin Sun, he legally purchased his holdings and should be entitled to the same voting rights as other holders. Some are still sympathetic to his stance.

However, many lost their trust in Sun after he used Steem held on exchanges to oust every existing community representative, stamping out dissent. Only after a protracted battle was the Steem community able to retake a majority.

However, it only takes 4 of 20 representatives to block any major updates to the Steem blockchain. Justin Sun still controls 9 of these representatives. Until one side gains a greater majority the gridlock is likely to continue.

Unable to reconcile their differences, community leaders deemed the hardfork necessary to retake control of the project definitively. If the community becomes divided then Hive may look closer to Bitcoin or Ethereum Classic, existing in the shadow of its predecessor.

But, if the majority of the community migrates, then Hive could overtake the Steem blockchain and come out of the fight stronger than before.

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