Justin Sun, the founder of TRON, has announced he was going to acquire Steemit earlier this month, and shortly after those currently running the Steem blockchain executed a soft fork to limit his voting influence.
In a blog post describing the move, Steem’s witnesses [similar to bitcoin miners or EOS block producers] detailed that while it’s exciting to see a well-resourced entity get involved with Steemit, the witnesses are now moving to ensure the security of the Steem blockchain. The blog post reads:
To this end, we have updated to a temporary protective protocol to maintain the status quo currently established in regards to Steemit Inc's stake and its intended usage.
Steem is a delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) blockchain, similar to EOS, in which a small number of entities – the witnesses – work to protect the blockchain and represent the community. The soft fork was deemed necessary because Steemit owns a large amount of STEEM tokens that could be used to take over the blockchain.
Given Justin Sun’s move to acquire Steemit, it’s believed he now owns those tokens and could use them to move Steemit in a specific direction. The soft fork blocks STEEM held by specific accounts from voting on who governs the network and from participating in ways that could see it seize control.
While the tokens have always been there, when co-founder Ned Scott ran the platform the community was comfortable with his approach to governance. Justin Sun has responded to the soft fork with an open letter to the Steemit community, in which he explains some of his potential plans for the Steemit platform itself.
The post reads:
We have so much to work to do to make Steemit.com the power that it really can be. And there are many ways we can get it there, from bridging TRX, TRC10’s and TRC20’s into Communities to marketing and growing Steemit.com. From invitations and referrals to simpler and instant signups.
Sun added his plans would also include listing STEEM on other major cryptocurrency exchanges and attracting large influencers to the platform, which is a mix of Reddit and Medium. He added he is organizing a summit called STEEMit 2.0 Town Hall, where he’s inviting the top 50 witnesses to participate.
It’s worth noting the Steem blockchain has several decentralized applications built on top of it, with Steemit being the most influential one.