The Steem network went through a soft fork on May 22nd to prevent further spending of stolen funds that was already sent out to various Bittrex exchange accounts. The exchange has started to investigate further on the case according to co-founder Richie Lai.
Steem soft forks to prevent spending of stolen funds
The Steem network has been undergoing a soft fork in order to prevent a total of 65 different accounts from making transfers on the network. A total of 23.6 million Steemit tokens were reported stolen and sent to an account named “community321”, the account was frozen after the funds were sent to an address associated with cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. Data on the Steem blockchain shows that the mysterious user wants Bittrex to return the funds to the rightfully owners before the fork. The message that was included goes as following:
“These are funds stolen by the Steem witnesses using HF23 May 20th 2020 – please return them to their original owners prior to the fork :)”
The exchange is now facing a difficult situation regarding the stolen funds. The funds will remain in the exchange wallets until a “user can prove ownership”, according to Bittrex co-founder Richie Lai, who also indicated that the exchange has started to investigate further on the case. The identity of the user that sent the funds still remains unknown.
On May 21st, Steem ran a hard fork in order to freeze a total of 23.6 STEEM tokens from addresses that were linked with supporters of the Hive hard fork that occurred on March 20. The hard fork occurred short time after Justin Sun’s acquisition of the Steemit platform.
Tron’s takeover adventure
February this year, Tron-founder and BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun acquired Steemit Inc along with all STEEM tokens that was previously held by the original founders of the social network. The Hive community decided to freeze 20% of the funds that he had received from the original founders, preventing him from claiming the majority of the votes in the block producer election on the Hive blockchain.
Justin Sun has been known to be an extraordinary investor in the blockchain industry, having after the start of Tron, launched DeFi project JUST and acquired ventures such as BitTorrent, Poloniex – and now Steemit. The latest one being the most controversial, mainly because of the exposure of delegated-proof-of-stake centralization, even though Steemit always have claimed to be a decentralized application.
Although the following event has been seen as controversial by the public, it has not affected the STEEM price negatively, having surged over 35% in the crypto markets at the time of writing. Steem was initially founded by Dan Larimer, who is also behind projects such as BitShares and EOS. However, he left Steem in 2017 and was the CTO of the platform until March, 2017. Later that year, he started block.one together with Brendan Blumer and initially raised $4 billion for their EOS venture.
The future of Steem
There are no doubts that Justin Sun has plans regarding his latest acquisition. In an AMA together with Steemit co-founder Ned Scott, he said that Steemit will be working closely with Tron in the future, and that they will find a way to bridge their new acquisition with the Tron blockchain. The downside is the other half of the community that has now moved on to work on the other part of the hard fork, Hive. However, it will be very easy for any application to integrate both blockchain, due to its similarities.
Steem & Steemit had its initial release date on March 24th 2016. Dan Larimer founded and built the project together with Ned Scott, who sold the project to Justin Sun this year in February. The project built recognition from early on in the space and has always been a topic to discuss from time to time. According to their GitHub account, development on the platform have been going on continuously since the launch back in 2016 and after the hard fork.
According to DappRadar, the most used application on Steem is Spliterlands, a collectible trading multiplayer card game with 4500 users the last 24 hours. On Hive, the most used application is Hive Blog with 1500 users. The market cap for Steem is currently on $78 million, while Hive currently holds a market cap of $83,8 million. It would be safe to say that there will great competition between these similar protocols in the upcoming years.