An unknown developer has deployed a smart contract called “Tinenanmen_Square” (mis-spelling Tiananmen Square), a censored topic in China, on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), with the implied intention of testing just how decentralized the chain really is.
The smart contract is a game where users can mint TANK tokens starting at 1,000 TANKs, and going down linearly at every mint to a cap of 1M TANKs.
Players can then send TANKs to other accounts, or “to the Tiennanmen Square.” There is a 50:50 chance that the send will be successful or that the sender will lose half their TANKs “to the pro democracy movement lead by the great CZ.” Lost TANKS accumulate and once in every 20 transfers, TANKs are randomly sent to one sender, “so with every send you are playing a 1/20 dice to get a TANK load of TANKs.”
The authors of the contract are presumably pressuring Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ), to either take down the smart contract, thus demonstrating Binance’s centralized control of the blockchain, or risk retaliation from Chinese authorities.
CZ’s connections to China remain murky.After his father had been exiled from China for being a “pro-bourgeois intellect” according to Wikipedia, CZ spent his teenage and college years in Canada.
Binance too has only tenuous connections to China.The company is registered in the Cayman Islands and is not hiring for any positions in mainland China. Further, Binance’s account on Weibo, a Chinese social network similar to Twitter with over 400M active users, is banned. According to Wikipedia, the company also relocated its headquarters from Shanghai to Japan in 2017 based on rumors of a China crypto crackdown.
Hit and Hide
Dovey Wan, founding partner of Primitive Ventures, chipped in about the Tanks of Tiananmen stunt on Twitter, saying, “If u think tanks on chain can get CZ censor it you guys literally have ZERO idea on the sophisticated hit and hide game he and Binance team has played with CCP.”
She went on to add that two of the top Ethereum mining pools, Spark and F2, are also based in mainland China, meaning that even businesses supporting decentralized chains like Ethereum, a network presumably a threat to the CCP, can survive there.
Perhaps “Tanks of Tienanmen” is small potatoes to the CCP.
The contract’s posting comes amid rising popularity of yield farming applications built on BSC, prompting Ethereum enthusiasts to highlight that applications built on a centralized chain aren’t actually DeFi.
According to Twitter user cyber_hokie, “Binance controls the majority of the supply of Binance Coin (BNB), and BSC is beholden to Binance Chain governance.”
He goes on to say, referring to the validators of BSC, the “set is static.” If BSC were truly decentralized, validators could permissionlessly become part of the consensus process and this is not the case despite Binance
The debate is exemplified in CZ tweeting things like “Decentralized Rocks #BNB #BSC,” while also restricting who can respond to such posts to people he follows or mentions.
Still, while the creators of “Tanks of Tienanmen,” may have hoped to put CZ in a difficult position, the contract is live and TANKS continue being deployed.
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