After weeks of chaos and embarrassing news for EOS, Dan Larimer, creator of EOS.io and chief technology officer of Block.one, calls for the creation of a new constitution that will reduce human meddling.
Last night, Dan Larimer caused a stir when he indicated in a Telegram conversation that he believed the EOS constitution should be scrapped and replaced. During the discussion, which occurred on the EOS Governance channel, he stated, “My opinion on disputes regarding stolen keys is that no action should be taken … bottom line, damage to community from ECAF is greater than funds we hope to restore to users,” apparently referring to the ongoing controversy over frozen accounts.
“I’ve got [a new constitution] to propose that I believe will have full support,” he added, though he offered no specifics at the time.
On June 27, Larimer (writing as Block.one and using the royal “we”) released his proposed constitutional changes in a Medium post. The post includes Larimer’s 10-point proposed constitutional referendum, preceded by nearly 1,500 words of opinionated explanatory prologue.
He reiterates his dissatisfaction with ECAF, writing in the prologue, “We have seen that if you give people arbitrary power to resolve arbitrary disputes, then everything becomes a dispute and the decisions made are arbitrary.”
Both the prologue and the specific proposals themselves evince a mistrust of human decision-making in general and explicitly state a desire to reduce the decision-making power of both ECAF and the block producers. The prologue states the role of arbitration should be assigned to the elected block producers and limited to situations in which the intent of a Ricardian contract is unclear or creates outcomes that contradict the intention of the contract. Arbitration is not appropriate when a Ricardian contract “cannot possibly” execute its intended function by way of the code alone. In other words, “a properly written Ricardian contract is entirely enforced by code.” The constitutional proposal itself removes all mention of arbitration.
Larimer suggests a system that would require a two-thirds-plus-one majority of the block producers’ votes for actions such as account freezes or contract changes. But such a vote can only occur in the case of a disagreement about the intent of code. The proposal states, “At no time shall elected block producers freeze or modify contracts that are operating as intended.”
For example, this month’s account freezes were a result of the theft of private keys and not a result of contracts failing to operate as intended. If a similar situation were to arise under Larimer’s proposed rules, block producers would have no authority to intervene. In the face of the possibility of millions of dollars’ worth of EOS being stolen, Larimer is saying the proper course of action, for both ECAF and the block producers, would have been to do nothing at all.
In case this sounds harsh, he does suggest block producers could make charitable donations to reimburse those who have had assets stolen. But he also indicates the losses were ultimately the fault of the account owners. He wrote, “These individuals fell prey to the scam site because they didn’t use the official eos.io website nor follow the official instructions.”
However, considering the big picture, Larimer concedes that to establish proof-of-ownership of private keys, “we cannot rely on signatures alone.”
“The solution to this problem should be technical in nature: implement multisig with biometric protection of hardware wallets with time delays. Each member of the community is responsible for their own security and permissions configuration.”
Perhaps a technical solution is the best course of action. Humans have proven unreliable. They fall for scams, ignore instructions, meddle when they shouldn’t, lose their keys, and have ulterior motives – if it weren’t for all that, EOS would be working just fine.
Tim Prentiss is a writer and editor for ETHNews. He has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno. He lives in Reno with his daughter. In his spare time he writes songs and disassembles perfectly good electronic devices.
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