After a tumultuous week in which Steem’s hardfork scheduled for September 25, 2018, began early and with problems, Steem announced on Tuesday that the hardfork and blockchain upgrade had been successful. Some “steemians” are still reporting issues, but Steem is working to reassure users that these problems will resolve organically within five days.
Steem’s planned mainnet software upgrade, Hardfork 20, moves the Steem blockchain to a new system based on Resource Credits (RCs). The upgrade will allow Steem DApps to create free accounts by using RCs in an effort to make Steem the blockchain with the “lowest barriers-to-entry.” Using RCs is an alternative to paying STEEM or delegating Steem Power.
Andrew Levine, content director for Steemit Inc explains:
“We are confident that the new RC system will make it (Steem) the most advanced freemium blockchain in the world without compromising the existing features that make Steem such a powerful platform for building DApps.”
The Hardfork 20 update, says Steem, gives the blockchain the ability to “accurately price resource consumption” to determine the allocation of RCs. Users will be able to use their RCs to perform free transactions such as posting, voting, or token transfers. RCs regenerate, so users with a sufficient stake in Steem will be able to continually transact for free. The update will also enable unlimited post editing on steemit.com and improve the platform’s voting system.
Hardfork 20 also lays the groundwork for Steem’s long-awaited Smart Media Tokens (SMTs).
“Hardfork 20 is critical for preparing the blockchain for Smart Media Tokens, a token-launching protocol that will enable any entrepreneur or developer to launch their own STEEM-like token with three-second fee-less transfers and Proof-of-Brain distributions customized to their business logic and community,” confirms the press release from Steem.
Problems and Resolutions
On September 18, 2018, the Steem blockchain hit problems and downtime, reportedly due to the Hardfork 20 upgrade beginning prematurely. In an email to Cryptovest, a spokesperson for Steemit explained the issue:
“The chain’s safeguards activated after an unexpected collision in v0.1.19 in non-consensus code and as a result, the chain was paused until a fix was patched in. Steemit’s light nodes are now in sync with the Steem blockchain and as such, Steemit.com is back online.”
Tuesday’s blog post by Steem confirmed the hardfork had completed successfully:
“The Steem ecosystem is now being governed by the distribution of Resource Credits which will ensure a more sustainable and scalable future for Steem,” says the post.
It also outlined some issues that users were experiencing, but pointed to the “dramatic change” in systems causing “certain unforeseeable consequences.”
It appears a voting issue remains within the platform, which Steem details in its latest blog post. The Steem team reassures platform users that:
“We have diagnosed the cause for this and confirmed that the issue will resolve within 5 days and does not require a hardfork.”
Steem apologized to users for an oversight in the implementation of the RC system which has caused the issue with voting rewards and use on the platform:
“This was an oversight on our part and for this we apologize. Again, this behavior is a one time issue that will resolve itself over the next 5 days.”
Though some in the Steem and Steemit community are critical, many are also supportive of such a major upgrade which they hope will bring user benefits, increased use of the Steem platform, and positively impact the price of the STEEM token.
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