On May 20, 2020, Steem will undergo hardfork 23 to shut down accounts that object to TRON’s leadership, seizing about $5 million in STEEM in the process.
The popular blockchain and social blogging platform is implementing this hard fork intending to censor several blockchain accounts that are sympathetic to Hive.
Hive is a blockchain that many users moved to after TRON’s CEO, Justin Sun, bought-out Steem’s development company Steemit Inc in February.
The imminent hard fork’s GitHub code suggests that 64 accounts will be affected, while the network data site Steemd estimates that the hardfork will seize 23.6 million STEEM ($5 million) from those rebel users.
Steem – Hive War Escalates
Justin Sun’s decision to seize tokens from Hive supporters is part of a long-running series of retaliations beginning in February.
Notably, Steemit claims that the Hive blockchain took $16.6 million worth of HIVE tokens away from Steem supporters and deposited those funds into its own DAO account. Hive’s blockchain ledger shows that those transactions did indeed occur.
Hive defenders frame this differently, arguing that those users were not entitled to the tokens, which were given away for free during an airdrop.
Though the amount of control both parties exert is concerning, it does not appear that these decisions will affect most users. Together, the two blockchains have roughly 30,000 users, and the vast majority will not be affected by the changes.
Nevertheless, the influence TRON and Justin Sun can exert over the supposedly decentralized Steem blockchain is cause for worry among token holders.
Crypto Twitter Reacts
Steemit claims the accounts up for seizure are those belonging to individuals who were publicly attacking users and collecting personal information.
However, many in the Steem community refute those claims, and see them as part of a whitewashing PR effort by Justin Sun and friends.
A Hive supporter named Pharesim2 tweeted:
“They accuse all of us of criminal activity, without presenting any proof. My stake is currently worth >80,000€. I bought 500,000 last year.”
Targeted users are asking the crypto community to forward a letter to crypto exchanges urging them not to implement Steem’s proposed hard fork, threatening civil liability should they support the fork.
“Shouldn’t every #Ethereum user just be moving to #TRON at this point?”
In the past, Steemit and TRON have reached out to top exchanges such as Binance and Huobi to seek their support in resisting a possible attack. Still, it is unlikely those exchanges will go along with this latest fork, given the threat of civil liability from the crypto community.