EOS Launches Without Getting Off The Ground


The EOS mainnet launched last week but the project is stalled. The EOS community has been unable to select the 21 block producers required for the project to move ahead.

EOS technically launched on Saturday, but the project’s future remains uncertain as the community seems unable to choose block producers. EOS defines a “block producer” as “the node that is currently taking its turn producing the ‘right now’ block for the blockchain. Or, a member of the group of nodes who have been elected to take such turns.”

Sometimes touted as an “Ethereum killer,” EOS (according to its white paper) aspires to solve the problem of blockchain scalability by offering exceptionally low latency. EOS also hopes to solve the problem of forking, “because, rather than compete, the block producers cooperate to produce blocks.”

However, for the project to go forward, 21 block producers must be voted in by EOS token holders. As of this morning, only 4 percent of holders have cast a vote, which is less than a third of the votes required.

The Wall Street Journal reported on a fractious conference call that occurred Friday, involving over 200 EOS developers. Over the course of the call, the launch schedule itself was called into question:

“Without resolving that debate [about the creation of new tokens], the group moved on to voting over whether or not to launch the software at all. At times, participants were confused about what topic they were voting on, and where. Some users were voting within a module inside Zoom, the videoconferencing service hosting the call, while others were casting votes on messaging site Telegram.”

Apparently, some participants on the call “threatened to break off and launch competing versions of the software.”

Following this contentious meeting, EOS tokens lost 20 percent of their value, roughly $4 billion.

The chaos of this meeting, however, is not surprising, and it highlights the difficulties of launching a project that is, by design, leaderless. The platform was initially created by Daniel Larimer’s company Block.one, but the software publisher is now taking a more hands-off approach. As stated by Block.one, “Block.one is neither launching nor operating any initial public blockchains based upon the EOSIO software.”

The leaderless environment has drawn the ridicule if critics. Conceptual inventor of EDCCs Nick Szabo, for one, took to Twitter, saying:

“EOS will depend on a labor-intensive, subjective, unpredictable, and biased bureaucracy. They’ve thrown out best parts of blockchain tech and replaced them with bad governance.”

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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