Major Steem stakeholder Dan Hensley has made serious allegations against TRON founder and CEO Justin Sun. According to Hensley’s article on April 8, Sun “bought” his way to the top of the Steem hierarchy with “money, power, and users.”
Steem was the subject of what many supporters considered a hostile takeover by Justin Sun. Hensley’s latest allegations shed new light on how TRON’s founder allegedly influenced prominent Steemians when making his bids. A TRON representative declined to comment on this story.
In a conversation with Hensley, Sun described the intention to circumvent the established voting rules of the community. Hensley says:
Justin lost mid-way through the voting war and started offering $ 2,500 to people every month to run a witness hub on Steem. I own a dApp called 3speak that was on Steem, it offered us money, power and users. ”
The “war” in question was the voting procedure used to select 20 delegated witnesses to supervise the Steem blockchain. In Steem’s delegated proof-of-stake model, coin holders make their voices heard by striking money with the witness that they feel they best represent their interests.
According to Hensley, Justin Sun tried to cut Steem’s decentralized voice model by paying users to vote for witnesses he set up himself. Hensley accused Sun of bribery:
“He said we just had to stop people voting for the witnesses of the community and voting for his witnesses. We refused. He also bribed users in Discord and said everything they wanted to hear for voices. ‘
Neither side has shared public screenshots of these conversations to date to confirm their veracity. Still, the allegations are important because Hensley makes them under his own name, details his experience in detail, and publishes it online.
According to Hensley, Steem’s legitimacy as a decentralized blockchain has been decimated by the Sun acquisition. He even suggested that Sun’s dominance in the Steem blockchain has made STEEM cryptocurrency a centralized security:
‘He [Sun] STEEM turned into a centralized security, all witnesses are supported by him. He calls them “community witnesses,” but he votes secret reports from them that I can prove to be his.
The lineup of Steem witnesses has changed dramatically since the Justin Sun saga began. Former Steem witnesses claim they can link the new lineup directly to Justin Sun himself, although no hard evidence has been provided to date.
The drama started in March, when Binance, Huobi and Poloniex used their customers’ bet money to vote for Justin Sun’s new Steem witnesses. This caused a stir in the Steem community, after which Binance withdrew its money from the voting pool. However, Hensley argues that it was too late to make a difference:
“We were almost back to recapturing the chain, and once the first round of powerdown hit Binance, guess who got it? “Justin was a VIP and withdrew for someone else, cementing his position and helping Justin keep Steem in power.”
Some who refused to get into debt to Justin Sun claim that their Steemit accounts have been censored. A former top 20 Steem Witness from before the takeover, “TheMarkyMark”, had his account with over three years of user history deleted and his ability to publish on Steemit.com removed. He told us:
Justin Sun has also suppressed many users by completely removing access to all their posts and comments, effectively censoring the user to use the platform in a meaningful way. In my case, about 10,000 posts and comments from the past three years have been removed. “
In response to Sun’s apparent takeover of the Steem blockchain, Hensley and others supported a hard fork of the project. That new initiative, Hive, is almost an exact copy of the original Steem blockchain. However, the main qualification of the project is that it is free from the influence of Justin Sun.
But according to the former witness, any mention of “Hive” on Steemit faces account deletion and censorship:
“There are about 20 users who are completely censored and removed from the front-end interfaces, even the ones not owned by Steemit Inc and the last time I checked a few weeks ago, hundreds of messages were removed just for the word Hive to mention. “
If users wish to withdraw their money from Steemit, there is a “powering down” period for the coins. Some who want to leave Steem in favor of Hive are being held back for the staggered way in which their STEEM coins are released.
This made many reluctant to speak out against Justin Sun for fear that their money would be withheld.
Others, including Hensley, say they are holding back incriminating evidence that could allow them to influence Justin Sun as their coins are released slowly.
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