Dear Blurt community,
Time has gone by really fast, it wasn't long ago when Blurt was just an idea that only existed as code on a repository.
We made it two years, Blurt survived despite many setbacks and attacks, a testament to all those who supported and lived the dream.
Blurt was launched on the 4th of July 2020, by founders @jacobgadikian, @megadrive, and @baabeetaa to be an alternative to the negative environments existing on Graphene-based social media, where downvotes were used as subjugation tools. Blurt was meant to foster positive reinforcement and be the only Steem fork keeping community balances intact.
The founders created the SocialGraph Foundation, a crypto DAO represented by the flagship @socialgraph and @initblurt accounts holding an approximate 15% founders' stake allocation, not out of line with most startup genesis structures.
The foundation evolved over time, @rycharde and @saboin were both onboarded to the steering council, each at different intervals after @baabeetaa withdrew from the project in September 2020 to pursue other interests, losing us our Graphene versed C++ developer, that had to be supplemented with ad-hoc contractors on a best-effort basis.
Since Blurt was born in a time of war between Steem and Hive, the foundation coded in the @blurt.regent account which had no curation power, instead only consensus voting power of approx 50% of the network powered up stake, this was to help in preventing the consensus takeover while the chain was still vulnerable.
The Regent account was never initially used until recent global threats came into play, instead, the foundation accounts protected consensus and continue to do so now while crypto markets are depressed and more vulnerable to 51% attack, especially in the cases of POS and DPOS.
The origins of Blurt were not without trials and tribulations, almost immediately upon launch we found Blurt to be under attack by an account aptly named @social, at a crucial time when the Blurt price was ascending to circa 0.20 USD, this account sabotaged the launch by continually spamming the chain and blog with animated .gifs of swinging male appendages, this was labeled the Rooster Attack. The attack served to slow down adoption and tanked the price to pennies on the cent.
The attack however served to teach a lesson that "fee-free" blockchains always have a cost, being free to the end-user means making it expensive for the node operators, this isn't sustainable in depressed markets and could be the death of the chain if it becomes prohibitively expensive to operate. Fees were implemented as a witness parameter to ensure that the chain state footprint remains small.
This fell in line with @jacobgadikian's passion for embedded devices and the desire to have Blurt operate on Rasperry Pi's for the ultimate in edge-of-network computing. Just before we managed to roll out and announce this feature, the chain was under attack yet again, with what we dubbed "The Xmas Attack", whereby an attacker spun up 60+ nodes, each spamming the chain with multiple witness property transactions filling up blocks and bloating the chain, we believe this was done to prevent the RASPI rollout and it certainly did hamper any media spin or PR that could have been planned as the foundation was focussed on triage rather than launch and promotion of this achievement.
The remedy was to enshroud the blockchain in a Zero-Tier VPN, with clients installed on each witness and RPC node, this provided the ability to isolate malicious nodes and protect consensus nodes, by acting as a permissioned network. This was the only option we had at the time to prevent chain bloat while a patch and Hard Fork were being prepared.
Our then front-end and RPC node maintainer, who also operated blurt.buzz didn't like this solution (but didn't offer alternatives), and unfortunately decided to leave Blurt and down his infrastructure which led to Blurt front ends and RPC nodes becoming broken, luckily @saboin stepped up and worked with @megadrive to spin up our own infrastructure with less reliance on third-parties who could decide to quit at any time. This was a time-consuming process that took over six months.
Once the repairs were done we started adding improvements with the help of @tekraze who became a senior developer on the foundation team. Improvements included adding 3D avatars to Blurt which are interoperable with VR chat and various virtual environments, allowing bloggers to extend their profiles into the metaverse, this was a forward-thinking initiative taking Blurt into a world-first metablog status well before Facebook announced its intention to enter the space.
The foundation also has other members who perform support roles of user account onboarding, Instagram management, Twitter marketing, spreading of good vibes and community work, as well as other tooling such as api's for the Ecosynth rich list, RSS feeds and deployment of the Blurtkeychain apps.
The foundation also maintains good ties with Probit, Ionomy and Hive Engine, being able to intervene during outages. In addition to key diplomatic relations to liaison with the Whalevault developer and various contacts on Hive and Steem. @megadrive and @jacobgadikian continue to grow their networks into Cosmos (via Notional) and the EVM space (via Gamestate) and both made possible the Digchain.org airdrop on the Blurt community, the first time any Steem-based Graphene chain has ever received a major airdrop.
Although no longer frequently active on Blurt, @jacobgadikian retains OG co-founder status and remains on retainer to help rescue Blurt in the event of chain outages and attacks as well as potential future expansion into Cosmos if the opportunity becomes feasible.
The Blurt SocialGraph foundation remains dedicated to the success of the Blurt chain and community, we don't believe there are sufficient human technical resources outside of the foundation at this time that can navigate attacks and technical threats as seen in the past. We do hope this will change in future and that Blurt could become a thriving creator and technical community.
We don't believe Blurt is currently in a strong economic position to remove our stewardship and open up the community to takeover by other groups of centralised power, either known or unknown. The @blurt.regent account may be subject to renewal if the security of Blurt warrants it, in the meantime it will lose its efficacy on the 4th of July 2022, however the foundation and member stakes will continue to protect the chain and make informed decisions over time of when and how to uncouple our influence as we see the community mature in capability and intent.
Additionally, as a further protection measure, the Blurt chain is under license as defined in the LICENSE.md document with the requirement of 5% of the new chain supply and 5% of inflation being attributed to the @socialgraph account, when blockchains are derived from any part of the Blurt codebase.
Good Vibes Message:
The Blurt community has its own voice, and it has been a big part of the strength of this network, so it is important to recognize all the effort they put into creating original content every day, contributing to our ecosystem.
Blurt is where families meet, become friends, and grow together and it makes us happy to see how the members in our ecosystem strive to give of their best, sincerely thank you for your trust and support.
The Foundation Team