Reflecting on the dispute between the Steem community and Sun Yuchen, should DPoS be the one to blame?

The recent struggle between the Steem community and the TRON founder Justin Sun has caused a great earthquake in the cryptocurrency community. Many people also point their finger at DPoS or even PoS algorithms, and then assume that if it is PoW, it will not appear Such a thing, is that really the case?

This article attempts to explain that even if Steem uses the PoW algorithm, it may not be able to solve this problem. This incident exposes a problem that most cryptocurrencies currently face.

Before explaining, let's briefly review what happened:

  1. Steemit Inc initially pre-mined a large number of tokens when it launched the Steem public chain. According to James Reidy, a member of the Steem community, the company controlled approximately 68 million Steem tokens (currently worth $ 12.92 million), accounting for about 20 %about;
  2. The Steem community is dissatisfied with this pre-mining behavior. Some members have discussed the removal of Steemit's shares through a hard fork, but this behavior is full of controversy and has not been implemented;
  3. In February of this year, Sun Yuchen announced the acquisition of steemit company and took over this part of the pre-mined Steem coin (rumored to cost $ 10 million), so some people speculated that he would migrate Steem to the tron ​​network;
  4. After Sun Yuchen took over these tokens, the Steem community fryers, and then a group of Steem blockchain witnesses (super nodes) decided to deploy a very controversial 0.22.2 soft fork in order to prevent Steem from being migrated to the tron ​​network. Of course, this will also lead to the freezing of all Steem coins purchased by Sun Yuchen;
  5. Sun Yuchen exploded after learning the news, and then used the relationship. With the support of Huobi, Binance, Poloniex and other exchanges, he unilaterally achieved a hard fork, thereby regaining the Steem tokens he purchased. And publicly stated that the soft fork of the Steem community was "hacking";
  6. This incident detonated public opinion, and celebrities in the circle such as Vitalik questioned and directed the DPoS algorithm adopted by Steem;

反思Steem社区与孙宇晨的纠纷,DPoS该不该背锅? (Picture from:

Who is right?

After eating the above melon, we couldn't help wondering who should be blamed for this incident?

If there is no pre-mining by the steemit company, this event will not happen at all, but pre-mining is a common phenomenon in the circle, and Ethereum is no exception.

If Sun Yuchen didn't buy the steele company, and the steele company didn't promise to sell the tokens to Sun Yuchen, it wouldn't be like this. However, these are actually normal business behaviors, and there seems to be no criticism.

It's strange that the Steem community should not launch such a controversial soft fork? It seems to make some sense that without the consent of others, infringing on someone else's assets is indeed a very immoral behavior, and from the perspective of the Steem community, Sun Yuchen's intervention did indeed make them feel threatened.

The major exchanges have stepped in, one is based on the irrational behavior of the Steem community, and the other is because of their relationship with Sun Yuchen.

There seems to be a reasonable explanation for the above actions, so it seems that it is inappropriate for whom to target.

As a result, everyone pushed the problem to the DPoS mechanism, thinking that this mechanism is extremely unreasonable, and then using the PoW algorithm can prevent this incident.

I will explain below why this statement is questionable.

Currently most cryptocurrencies are centralized, there is no need to dump the pot to DPoS

The reason for this is that many people directly consider Bitcoin as the incarnation of PoW, but ignore the issue of Steem's own weight.

As early as June 2016, when the market value of Ethereum reached 1 billion US dollars, because the Ethereum value of nearly 60 million US dollars in The DAO smart contract was hacked, and forced to adopt a hard fork to roll back the blockchain, You see, a PoW project with a market value several times that of Steem 10 also took this extreme measure because some people suffered losses.

You might argue that the two are not the same thing at all.

Well, let's assume that Steem uses PoW instead of DPoS. What happens?

Since almost all PoW currencies (including bitcoin) are currently combined mining through the mining pool, miners will actually delegate their voting rights to the mining pool operator.

In this sense, the PoW currency actually uses a Delegated Proof of Work (DPoW). Therefore, as long as it can convince the operators of several large mining pools, such operations can be rolled back. From a quantitative perspective, the mining pool operator may be easily persuaded by Sun Yuchen to retrieve his assets and then pass a reason such as "protecting the sacred and inviolability of personal property".

The reason for the attack can be understood as an academic word-miner extractable value (MEV). This value may be the economic return promised by the persuasor or the value of the relationship, as long as this value is greater than the value of the attack. The loss is worth it.

You see, changing to PoW can't solve this problem either. The elephant in the room always exists, but everyone chose to ignore it.

Of course, the degree of decentralization of PoW and DPoS is, of course, the former higher than the latter, because the mining pool cannot force the retention of miners, and the exchange can completely limit the holders' withdrawal.

However, in this incident, neither can play a decisive role.

Is there any way to prevent such things?

It is true that the voting rights of the mining pool will be returned to the miners. The existence of mining protocols such as Stratum V2 can be realized, or wait for the maturity of DEX, and then PoS and DPoS currencies can achieve a higher degree of decentralization Into.

Before implementing them, most of the current cryptocurrencies are still very centralized.