Major cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Huobi have announced support for the Steem (STEEM) community’s hard fork to create the new Hive network.

On March 18, Binance and Huobi published announcements revealing their support for the Steem hard fork that is scheduled for March 20.

The decisions appear to quash allegations from earlier in the month that the exchanges were coordinating with Justin Sun in his apparent attempted takeover of the Steem network.

Binance and Huobi support Hive hard fork

Both exchanges will take snapshots of STEEM account balances at 2 PM UTC, and both exchanges will suspend STEEM deposits and withdrawals 30 minutes prior to the snapshot.

HIVE tokens will be distributed through a 1:1 airdrop, however, the roughly 74 million tokens held by Steemit Inc through a controversial “ninja-mine” will not be airdropped onto the new chain.

Hive announced its plans for a hard fork on March 18, describing itself as having been “created by a large group of Steem community members who have long looked to move towards true decentralization.”

Binance told Cointelegraph that it puts “user needs at the core and always do the best to protect the interests of our users. It’s out of the demands of the community that we decided to support the hard fork and we will distribute the HIVE tokens to the STEEM holders on Binance.”

The exchange added that Hive tokens will have to go through Binance’s usual review process in order to be traded.

Huobi said that it is supporting the airdrop so that customers can receive their tokens, but beyond that, it will not be involved with the Hive hard fork or any other community affairs. The exchange also stated that it does not have any immediate plans to list the Hive token.

Hive rejects Justin Sun’s Steem takeover

Hive comprises a community-led backlash protesting Tron founder Justin Sun’s apparent bid to forcibly take over the Steem network earlier this month.

On March 3, community members of the blockchain-powered blogging platform Steemit discovered that customer funds held on Huobi and Binance had been mobilized to vote alongside Justin Sun to oust the network’s council of nodes in favor of himself.

The move came nearly three weeks after Justin Sun purchased Steemit and announced that the platform would be migrating to the Tron network from its native Steem blockchain.

In response to extreme community backlash, Huobi and Binance quickly withdrew their votes — claiming that they had been informed of upcoming network upgrades and that they did not intend to collude with Sun to execute the network coup. On March 10, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao published an apology letter to the Steem community.

While some analysts speculated that Huobi and Binance may have been quickly attempting to cover their tracks and manage community outrage, the exchanges’ support for the Hive hard fork appears to validate their purported agnosticism with regard to the governance of both the Steem and Hive blockchains.

Hive fork drives dramatic price recovery for Steem

The announcement of the Hive hard fork saw Steem rally 230% from $0.125 to $0.412 over 17 hours.

STEEM seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

STEEM seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Despite retracing 25% back to $0.309 since posting the local high six hours ago, STEEM remains the strongest performing crypto asset of the past 24 hours.