Justin Sun’s Epic Fail — Steem Community Nailed It

Is anyone convinced by Justin Sun's antics?

by Paul de Havilland 3 min March 7, 2020
Justin Sun Epic Fail Steem Community Nailed It
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Oops, He Did It Again!

When it comes to Tron, it can often be hard to know where to start. Hot on the heels of his charity buffet lunch with Warren ‘Unconvinced’ Buffett, Justin Sun decided to grab control of the Steemit network.

Although he may have espoused the virtues of decentralization and community-driven consensus, taking power from the few and giving it to the many, Sun apparently doesn’t practice what he preaches.

The problem is, when you do that to Steem there are too many Witnesses. As brazen as the hostile takeover was, the rationale — that he was saving the network from malicious actors — begged a suspension of disbelief of which Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would be proud. People cannot actually fly. Not even ninjas.

The ninja-mined stake that Steemit Inc. (now a Sun empire entity) owns has never been used to vote on governance decisions. In fact, that stake was expressly intended to decentralize the Steem network. With Sun calling the shots, the ninja-mined stake was used to reorder Steem Witnesses and put Sun-linked accounts in control.

Although Sun claimed this was to prevent malicious actors, the community was almost as unconvinced as his lunch date. And even though all concerned in the fiasco have been back-pedaling faster than a politician on a campaign promise, the community outrage has barely subsided.

Brazen Take-Over Outdone By Brazen Explanation

It is easier to believe that pigs can fly (like ninjas) than it is to buy the explanation that the benevolent leader had the best interests of the entire community at heart. TRON’s super representative reshuffle was barely two weeks ago. Yet the emperor expected the fuming Steem community to swallow this line:

It would be laughable were it not so laughable.

To his credit, Sun remains committed to public service, reminding us all that we should protect ourselves from COVID-19 through basic hygiene habits. And that goes for people living in “the world” and in Iran.

Again… if only it weren’t so laughable.

Nailed It

Steem Nails Response with Series of Departures

With the network they helped build now co-opted by the master of the copy and paste, an exodus of personnel was probably predictable. Andrew Levine was the first to bid farewell, saying, “I have resigned as Head of Communications for Steemit. I’m going to take a little time to gather my thoughts and get some rest.”

The exodus was joined by Steve Bergino, Steemit’s Blockchain Engineer:

“This decision has been difficult for me to say the least; I am going to take a little time to myself and collect my thoughts.”

Blockchain Developer @vandeberg also stepped down, informing the Steem community that he was “exhausted and want(ed) to take some time to rest before I say anything further.”

@roadscape was matter of fact in his announcement:

“I have resigned from Steemit, Inc.”

The Epic Scarcity of Dignity

The crypto industry can sometimes feel like a hostile environment, characterized by shouting matches, trolling, and keyboard warrior behavior of the worst kind. The hatred, tribalism, and the normalization of a personal attack culture can be overwhelming.

Which makes the series of departures even more dignified and classy. There were no parting shots. No blame game. No hurling of abuse. While circumstances surrounding the departures were unfortunate, leaving an organization whose mission you can no longer support and doing it without overtly denigrating anyone is a display of pure dignity and class.

Hats off to the departing Steemians. They brought civility and integrity to a toxic affair. They demonstrated a very public show of grace when they may have been justified in taking a swipe at the egregious conduct that forced them to leave. All members of the crypto world should try to replicate that behavior.

It is truly worth copying and pasting.

Opinions expressed in this column are those of the author.

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Paul de Havilland

Paul de Havilland is a fan of disruptive technologies, and an enthusiastic investor in startups. He has covered both traditional and emerging asset classes, and also writes extensively on politics and development. His passions include violin and opera.