We had previously dug into the interesting world of EOS not too long ago. Along with the fact that its creators sought to provide a decentralized solution that would offer the 'best of both worlds' for developers. Just what that solution entailed was the combination of fast transaction speeds, improved scalability and ready access to create and deploy smart contracts.
While it remains one of the outsiders to the 'Big 5' cryptocurrencies, EOS hosts more than 500 dApps on its ecosystem and is a serious contender for public chain solutions like Ethereum in this field. Contender, it may be. But one of the fundamental problems that skulk just behind the whole EOS concept is just how it functions, and the pervasive question of whether it's decentralized at all.
This isn't exactly a new question to emerge from the community, however. Just weeks after the launch of the EOS mainnet, people expressed a healthy degree of skepticism in spite of Dan Larimer's (the founder) attempts to profess the contrary.
This same skepticism is pretty understandable when considering the kind of technical nightmare that the EOS mainnet launch was for supporters of the project.
For the same reason that EOS exploded onto the scene is because of its Initial Coin Offering. Having hosted one that lasted over a year, Block.One - the company behind the blockchain - managed to cultivate a war chest of over 4 billion dollars.
To this day, it's still one of the largest recorded ICOs next to Telegram. But while Telegram put itself forward with an interesting product idea and a real-world application for its tokens, is EOS the same?
According to CNBC, which reported on its success, not so much. In a report on May 2018, it cited the distinct lack of any plan or detail for why Block.One needed the money, and how exactly they intended to use it. Even political commentators and comedians like John Oliver poked at the illusory nature of EOS among other ICOs
“It can be incredibly hard to tell which companies are for real,” Oliver said during an episode of 'Last Week Tonight.' “If you want a good example of this, look at Block.one, which has raised $1.5 billion... It hasn’t launched yet."
This existential crisis that onlookers are having over companies like EOS aren't helped by the fact that its mainnet launch was delayed on account of critical bugs in the system, according to the Chinese cybersecurity firm Qihoo 360.
This discovery brought with it some terse criticisms of the product and the collective competence of the Block.One team, thanks to their decision not to consult with consensus protocol experts before launching.
To the consolation of its development team, since 2018, EOS has successfully managed to draw in a pretty impressive number of developers. It remains a relative outsider, however, due to the kind of top-performing dApps on the platform; which range from token drops to games and high-risk gambling.
Having published it on Github shortly after the planned launch of its mainnet in June 2018, the EOS constitution was effectively a series of 'rules' set out by the development team for anyone making use of the blockchain.
"This Constitution is a multi-party contract entered into by the Members by virtue of their use of this blockchain."
Sounds good so far: having guidelines for conduct to make sure that EOS users maintain a good standard of behavior. Well for the more sharp-eyed developers and users like Nick Szabo, the red flags were just being added in a more brazen way.
Szabo has a very valid point in referring to it as a 'socially unscalable security hole.' What makes it the former is the fact that Larimer and the team likes to refer to the project as a decentralized solution.
But surely the fact that the founding company behind the solution had the power and authority to draft and enforce a constitution would resolutely defy that notion of decentralization?
Szabo's own comments were also related to some pretty impressive, and quick-acting hypocrisy on the part of the EOS team. Specifically, it refers back to the decision made by the 21 elected block producers to freeze the accounts of users that were allegedly involved in a phishing scam.
While it does sound like a reasonable step to take, if it didn't just demonstrate a pretty quick violation of the EOS constitution, while raising further concerns about just how much power these block producers have over the platform.
Think about it this way - if block producers can just break rules set out in the constitution without any kind of consequences, what's to stop them from turning these elected positions into more permanent ones?
"Article IV - No Vote Buying -No Member shall offer nor accept anything of value in exchange for a vote of any type, nor shall any Member unduly influence the vote of another."
There are some prevailing concerns over the kind of power that these producers wield, and just how decentralized EOS truly is.