Tron acquired Steem and Hive decided to secede.
While I'm certain this situation is incredibly stressful for everybody involved -- and I'm rooting for everybody to get a result that benefits the community -- it also raises so many really interesting questions about property and governance.
Perhaps once the drama settles down, this can serve as a case study for mergers/acquisition of blockchains. It's totally new territory.
In the real world, the original entity owns the property associated with the business. If Facebook buys Apple, there's no legal framework for Apple employees to take their computers home with them and start a new company.
And yet, with cryptocurrency, we all own our little piece of the blockchain -- our tokens, our content, and any products/services we built.
As such, this hard fork marks a different type of hard fork than, say, bitcoin to bitcoin cash. Those are just money. Steem is money and content and the fruits of whatever products we develop.
Can another entity ever "acquire" that? If so, why would he -- or anybody -- ever bother to take over another blockchain? Why not offer to swap tokens, e.g., 1,000 TRX for every steem, and simply buy out the users instead of purchasing from Steem Inc? Or buy the brand from Steem Inc? Fork his own blockchain outright?
I could go on for days about this. In my book, Consensusland, I show a similar situation. The book is about a country that runs on cryptocurrency. A group of dissidents has forked the government's currency to create their own, with its own code and ecosystem. Much of the book examines the interplay between these groups and what it signifies for government and governance when anybody can create a money system.
If you have a chance to read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can find it in all retailers.
Mark Helfman is editor of Crypto is Easy and a top writer on Medium for bitcoin and investing topics. His book, Consensusland, explores the social, cultural, and business challenges of a fictional country that runs on cryptocurrency. In a past life, he worked for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.