[Feature Image by serhanni]
When you look into the decentralised crystal ball what do you see? What does the future look like? Could this technology enable our next iteration of utopia? If so, is there a one world currency circulating? And is it already in existence?
It exciting to peer into the future at what the world might be. Maybe one of fairness, transparency and, innovation. Hopefully free from non-hierarchical structures and where the citizens are giving ‘Big Brother’ a big FU.
Decentralisation for many is, in fact, the next step in the journey to a utopian world, but we have to remember this does not happen overnight. At at the current state of the technology we are far from anything that resembles utopia, in fact, we may be taking a step backwards. You only have to look at the news to see the continual flow of market manipulation, hacks or scams to realise this looks more like a dystopian world than anything else. However, sometimes, it is actually necessary to take a step backwards before moving forward.
EOS has caused and is still causing much polarisation among many crypto enthusiasts, so we thought it would be imperative to drill further into what has been behind the longest and largest ICO to date. What we found and what makes EOS so unique is that it is much more than a technology platform, it is in all seriousness a ‘New World Order’ that is aiming to take us one step closer to a decentralised utopia.
So what is EOS?
EOS, more commonly known as the Ethereum Killer or Ethereum On Steroids, is a smart contract platform explicitly designed for decentralised apps. Although this sound exactly how one would describe Ethereum, EOS has several substantial fundamental differences that makes it “bespoke” for Dapps and a future digital world.
It is essential to think about what we as users need from Dapps and what developers need from a decentralised platform.
- Seamless UI and UX
- Development-friendly (cost effective to build)
- Competitive pricing (free)
- Fast transactions (high throughput)
- People actually using them (network effects)
If you were to read the EOS whitepaper, would see how they plan to attack the above needs and much of this comes down to their governance and consensus model. Oh and they also have 4 billion dollars in funding to make the above a reality, and the experience of Dan Larimer who has created two of the most used platforms to date, namely bitshares and Steem.
But this is not just about the technology, this is about how we create the right governance model that moves us to a world that many of us originally believed that bitcoin was taking us to. The idea that code is law fails to understand that humans design code and in all designs, an achilles heel will reveal itself most likely when masses amount of money are on the line.
EOS works via a consensus mechanism known as Delegated Proof of Stake, which simply is a voting mechanism where entities known as ‘Block Producers’ are voted in by the crowd to ‘produce blocks’ (reach consensus). Think is this like voting in a senator in ancient Rome — or any other government for that matter — and if they do not uphold to their campaign promises, yes, we vote them out!
There are significant rewards for being a Block producer; however, they are also under careful watch by the network. There are 121 total nodes (block producers), and the top 21 are actively involved in block production. The other 100 are on standby in case one of the top 21 can no longer perform their block producing duties. Much like our Senators, Block Producers are elected based on whatever criteria you as a token holder find valuable. With ongoing voting, should a Block Producer not perform their duty to the highest standard, they can be voted out by the network. What this leads to is an ultra-competitive system that enforces the Block Producers to not only function at a high standard but also support and grow the network. In essence, this could highly efficient government, which will utilise it’s revenue stream to improve the platform…hopefully!
An argument for Delegated Proof of Stake (DPos) and against bitcoins ‘1CPU =1 vote’ (ability to reach consensus) is that ‘1CPU = 1 vote’ creates power structures emerge such as mining monopolies and people essentially vote who they will donate their CPU power too. This gives them a chance to share in the reward as they cannot compete alone against sophisticated mining equipment.
Is this not a less transparent version of DPoS? Not sure…
Interesting EOS Block Producers have the ability to include a transaction in a block but also to exclude a transaction. They can also forge transactions that affect any wallet on the network. This can be done only if 15/21 of the Block Producers agree on the course of action and publicly indicate their intention on the network. This means that Block Producers have the ability to reverse hacks or exclude transactions on a subjective basis as well as restore accounts to those that have lost their seeds.
What good is a monetary system like Bitcoin if you forget your private key, lose your hardware wallet or more likely hacked and all your wealth is gone forever? Many will argue that ‘you have to look after your funds… you are the bank… blah blah blah’. But is this a reality or is this a justification of a poor design framework? In a world filled with fraud, key theft, and scams, it is exciting to see that this is a blockchain that can provide safety and security to the participants rather than the bitcoin and ethereum philosophy of “too bad”.
The EOS.IO is about creating a governance structure that meets the needs of its users. Not happy with the governance, leave, sell the coins. The incentive mechanism of the EOS tokens, however, ensures that it is in the best interest of the token holders to have a robust governance model that works for all and that Block Producers work together to build a blockchain that functions highly effectively.
To compare to the King of the North, Ethereum is the decentralised computer of the world but lacks efficiency, whereas EOS sacrifices some decentralisation for higher throughput. For many, they see this is as a significant downfall in its design but decentralisation is a continuum, and these bottom layer protocols, in which only a few will ultimately exist will range on that continuum. EOS is not the decentralised network that many first envisioned, but it does offer many of the benefits of blockchains with the added comfort of safety and security, it may not be perfect, but with 4 billion dollars in the bank, it’s going to be around for a long time.
People in this space can become quite tribalistic and unfortunately for some, it is easy to forget that we are all fighting on the same side. Not to despair though as competition leads to progress and innovation. Just remember our quest for decentralisation — our next iteration of utopia — should never be halted because if we give up on the quest, we have lost the battle. As a quote from Oscar Wilde reads
“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”