Binance CEO Changpeng CZ Zhao has tweeted that Binance has withdrawn its staking vote in the alleged “hostile takeover” of Steem orchestrated by Tron and a few exchanges on Monday.
In a tweet posted March 3, the Binance chief stated:
“Done, unvoted. 1. Oversight on my part. Miscommunication/upgrade rubber stamp. 2 [Binance] have no interest in chain governance. We stay neutral.”
He, however, added that the crypto exchange and trading platform “will continue to support regular upgrades/hard forks.”
CZ’s comments follow the uproar that greeted Monday’s hard fork by Steemit and which Binance and two other major exchanges supported. The hard fork reversed the soft fork Steem initiated a week ago to trim TRON’s powers in the governance of the Steem blockchain.
First, TRON partnered Steemit
TRON and Steemit partnered in February, but their “strategic partnership” caused concern amongst community members. It was felt that Justin Sun and TRON may wield too much power and sway governance issues on the Steem blockchain.
On February 24, the Steem community implemented a soft fork 22.2. It removed several TRON-owned tokens from the list of block producers called community witnesses. How did TRON and Steemit accomplish this?
A hard fork implemented Monday, March 2 incorporated the power of three top exchanges to reverse the soft fork. Exchanges that allegedly contributed to the takeover were Huobi, Binance, and Poloniex. Together they pulled in 42 million STEEM Power (SP) of voting power using tokens held by users on the exchanges. The reversal replaced all the top 20 Steem witnesses with those of Steemit and TRON.
An open letter the Steemit team posted via a blog post justified the hard fork, stating that the earlier soft fork was “maliciously structured” and likely “criminal and illegal.”
Binance CEO reacts to Steem community uproar
The response of the community was one of uproar. In a tweeted acknowledgment of the events, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the exchange would withdraw its “supportive” vote “based on [the community] feedback.”
Several people, including some crypto bigwigs, slammed the Steemit hard fork and accused exchanges of colluding with TRON and Steemit. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin weighed in on the matter, noting that Steem “got taken over” in what appeared “like the first big instance of a ‘de facto bribe attack‘.”
But Zhao clarified that Binance “didn’t take a penny,” and that he “thought it was a regular upgraded/hard fork.”
TRON CEO Justin Sun said just as much. In a series of tweets, he noted that comments about a hostile take over were “misleading” and “false.”
“Misleading comments re us collaborating w/ exchanges on a hostile takeover is false. Our intention was never to take over the network & all parties’ votes will be withdrawn. We wanted to protect the sanctity of private property & the interests of all from malicious hackers.”
Regardless, the crypto community is already stirred. For many, TRON’s move to use its power to interfere with Steem governance shouldn’t be taken so lightly.
STEEM is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency used as a reward for publishers on the decentralized blogging platform Steemit.
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