Several users are expected to lose 23.6 million STEEM, worth $5 million, in an upcoming hardfork scheduled for May 20.
Justin Sun and Steem
In December 2019, Tron’s CEO Justin Sun purchased the Steemit blog platform and in February 2020 he controversially took over the Steem-blockchain platform. The upgrade will punish those who are against his hostile takeover.
Steem is a blockchain, while Steemit is the blog application that runs on this blockchain. Sun bought the application, but he also used a large stock of Steem coins, and the power of other stock exchanges, to also take over the blockchain platform. When this happened, the hard-working Steem community created their own blockchain to escape to, known as Hive.
The Steem blockchain is executed using a delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) model, where users choose who they want to help keep the network running by delegating their own coins to what is known as a witness. If enough people support a witness, they can create new blocks in the blockchain and upgrade the network.
Steem hardfork will take $5 million
According to the current Steemit witness group Triple A, as reported in Joindy, the hardfork 0.23, which will take place today, will seize the accounts that, according to Sun, pose a “direct threat” to the Steem-blockchain.
“Triple A told Joindy: Account seizure is planned for accounts that pose a direct threat to the Steem blockchain or will seize legitimate assets of Steem holders. This was assessed as an indispensable measure to improve Steem’s network stability and user environment”
On 18 May, a screenshot of someone who worked at Steem was leaked. It shows a list of accounts that will be liquidated (banned and whose money will be removed) in the upcoming upgrade. Among those names are some of the original Steem witnesses, from before Sun took over the network.
A prominent Steem-stakeholder, who is going to lose his money on the upgrade, named Dan Hensley, said the following to Decrypt:
“If Justin thinks he can get away with this, he’s fooled the wrong person.”
Triple A claims that the accounts that are going to be seized are from people who are:
“publicly attacking users, collecting personal information and threatening to kill them.”
They also accuse them of spreading bogus news and damaging network stability.
But many in the Steem community refute these allegations and see them as part of a PR effort by Justin Sun and his friends.