EOS Digest – Dan Larimer’s Interview Vote Lobbysm Bots In Dapps And Facebook’s Libra
Happy birthday, EOS!
On June 9 of last year, the EOS Mainnet was launched and just a year later, EOS has over a million accounts on its mainnet and has confidently entrenched itself near the top of all blockchain charts – from coins to dapps. With great power comes great responsibility, and EOS has constantly been the target of controversies and misconceptions, staying under the utmost scrutiny by competitors and users alike.
In the crypto world, it is as important to keep up with new information as it is to understand the issues at hand in detail – and with such a flow of information, it is hard not to sacrifice one for the other. So we at Lumi wallet decided to start a periodic digest that highlights all the recent news regarding EOS and dives deep into selected topics, to give our readers deep insight into this unique blockchain.
We’ll start with a quick recollection of the recent news surrounding EOS:
-Block.one is proposing a novel scheme to pay for its new social media platform. They expect to recuperate their investment through a sort of “inflation tax” on the Voice token, selling each new issuance of coins on the open market. For now, it seems that money is not a big issue for them because they just spent $30 million on the Voice.com domain name.
-EOS New York posted the second part of its technical exploration into the mechanics of EOS called “The Missing Piece to the EOS Incentive Model”. It ponders the possibility of incentivizing token holders to secure the network and choose block producers, instead of giving away their votes or selling them and it continues to search for technical solutions for this issue.
-EOS Studio recently announced the EOS Studio Web, the cloud version of their EOSIO IDE, which allows users to simply open a browser and build dapps right away. It is set to be released on June 24th.
-NodeONE and EOS Mediterranean are relaunching the EOS Vote tracker, a tool for viewing and tracking voting trends ion the EOS mainnet, which was temporarily taken down due to the bear market.
– daniejjimenez wrote a noteworthy article comparing EOS and Fleta regarding options for the development of Dapps. This comparison is especially interesting for developers, but overall it provides a good insight into the capabilities of both blockchains.
-Switcheo launched cross-chain atomic swaps on EOS and NEO, making Switcheo the first decentralized exchange to allow cross-chain trades between these two blockchains.
And now, to the hottest recent topics!
Dan Larimer’s interview breakdown
The big interview with Dan Larimer came out June 9th on Ivan on Tech’s youtube channel. Ivan mentioned in the beginning that they had already had an interview one year ago, before EOS had officially been launched, and now they were sort of summarising the year’s results.
The first question addressed a recent article about bot activity on EOS-based dApps, Larimer’s response was that it is really easy to fake statistics for dapps, so block.one does its own testing, and Voice, for example, will be prone to bot activity due to its identity validation. He also mentioned that there are lots of different projects on the blockchain, but they don’t control them and are focused on the software, not the politics. They engage with the community, but as a user of the network, not as the operator.
Then they discussed Voice, which was revealed by Block.one at the #B1June event. Larimer stated that blockchain is all about freedom of speech, and people need an open forum for discussion and decentralized governance. He is concerned with the misconception of the announced identification policy: they will ask users for minimal necessary data to identify them as real people, but it won’t be a DNA sample sent via post or anything of this sort. But the validation is needed to at least solve the bot problem.
Voice’s system of post upvoting will work like an auction, authors and readers bid on posts to make them visible and earn Voice tokens through that, which can be later used to upvote other posts. Voice will support long form and short form text, photos and videos from different video platforms. It will be released first as a web application, then followed by IOS and Android apps. Block.one provides all RAM and CPU for this project and it will run on EOS v. 1.8.
The 1.8 version implements a change to the protocol rules and requires alignment by block producing nodes for the upgrade to be successfully deployed, so some people are calling it a “hard fork”.
The challenge for EOS is to make everybody, not just block producers, upgrade in order to stay in-sync, which is doable, although may take a couple of months.
Dan is excited about web authentication because it will make today’s passwords obsolete – and eos.io is already the first blockchain to store keys in a hardware wallet. The idea is that software keys can be copied, stored, and used without a physical device, and with hardware, we’ll have something closer to the physical keys that we have in real life. So, if you’ve got a secure enclave on your device, you’ve got a hardware wallet right in your browser, and combined with an authenticator app for all smart-contracts. it will be game-changing. Control of one’s data will finally be centralized in one’s own hands again.
Larimer also explained how he is going to achieve a multiple speed increase, announced for the latest version of the blockchain, by making the software which runs on WebAssembly more focused on the execution of transactions, reducing the attack surface and removing all things unnecessary to make memory more efficient.
In the end, Ivan wished for #B1June to become an annual event and Dan thanked the community for being so passionate and involved in the ecosystem.
And if there is one subject in the EOS community that always starts heated debates, and it’s the Voting system. Largely because it was invented for this exact purpose EOS is designed to be community driven, therefore, every change has to be approved by democratic vote. But there are a couple of issues that are constantly emerging in discussions surrounding the procedures of the decision-making body, and all of these have been addressed this week.
Vote buying is one of the biggest issues at hand because it is something like lobbying in the real world: basically, it is when block producers pay wealthy voters or different block producers to vote in their favor.
Brendan Blumer, in January, had the idea that vote buying should be embraced in the blockchain. This idea is based on the fact that all malicious collusion happens off-chain, and if you can’t enforce something, you should embrace it. It would allow everyone to participate in vote buying, making it an implemented procedure and just one of the resources on-chain, not some shady off-chain practice.
Then a referendum has been started to implement a “1 token = 1 vote” solution, focused on gradually decreasing the vote value of entities separating their votes between BPs. It was massively supported by the community and is still ongoing.
Another idea is to make BPs obliged to vote for at least 21 Block Producers evenly, making it harder for them to collude as they’ll have to diversify their votes evenly.
And recently, Dan Larimer proposed in a telegram discussion that, in fact, vote buying can be solved by paying voters to not vote, and by making it so they’ll have to decide between control and profit.
There are a lot of ideas on how to improve the relatively young voting system, and while it is working and representing all EOS community participants, a solution could be found. What has been noticed is that the danger of cartel collusion and possible centralization is still real for EOS.
Response to the AnChain.ai Research
AnChain.ai published an analysis of the top 10 gambling dApps on EOS and came to the conclusion that 75% of transactions are the result of bot activity. This resulted in a shockwave of articles with headlines like “There are no people on EOS – just bots!”. Leaving that to the conscience of the authors, let us try to understand – is it actually as bad as it sounds?
EOS New York published an answer to AnChain.ai, asking the authors of the article to understand the difference between the application layer and the protocol layer (i.e. specific product vs. agnostic product protocol). They stated:
“We are not interested in debating whether or not these transactions are driven by bots or humans. Nor do we wish to debate the intent behind the transactions at all because, frankly, EOS does not care about intent when processing transactions. Transaction intent of a subset of dApps is not important when evaluating the fitness of the EOS blockchain.”
EOS is designed in such a way that it allows automatic transactions and it does not really care about its origin or destination. And the intent of transaction does not change the properties of the blockchain, so it’s hard to understand, in which way EOS is delegitimized by this? Yes, it is undoubtedly harder to measure real user activity and, with this model, it is more difficult to operate and regulate dapps.
It has to be noted that recent articles, questioning the legitimacy of EOS as a blockchain in general, were made by entities somehow tied to or interested in Ethereum, the main EOS competitor. EOS New York addresses this at the end with a sour look:
“We thought we would find a similar report for Ethereum activity published by AnChain, but we could not. We look forward to when AnChain publishes such a report with the same level of academic rigor as they did for 10 EOS dApps so that they can substantiate claims like the one they tweeted below, which touts “active addresses” as one the metrics contributing to Ethereum’s “victory” over EOS & TRON. Source”
It’s impossible not to mention one of the biggest news of June, even if this is not about EOS directly. Facebook announced its cryptocurrency, Libra, and it looks like they are dead serious about this. Plans for expansion are grandiose and they claim to be building a “more inclusive global financial system”, making access to the said market easier for people who are now unbanked because of financial or social reasons.
Although every altcoin has a pitch like that, Facebook actually has the background and resources to support their claims. The governing head of future crypto-ecosystem Libra Association will consist of members who paid a minimum fee of $10 million to gain a vote on the council and share dividends. Soon-to-be founding members include Mastercard, Paypal, eBay, and many others.
But what is in this news for EOS? The thing is, Libra positions itself not only as a stablecoin, but also as a smart contract platform and this is a domain of EOS. Although EOS is often criticized for not being censorship-resistant due to its consensus protocol, Libra also claims to be able to censor dApps and transactions. And it looks like their consensus protocol is almost similar to EOS.
But EOS has something to present in response: it is permissionless, while Libra isn’t planning to make it that way until at least 2024. Libra, in early testing, showed 1000 TPS, which is criminally slow given the expected centralization of the platform: the 28 validators vs. the 100 BPs (with 21 active) in EOS, not to mention in EOS, a BP can be voted out while Facebook sells these positions directly.
That being said, Libra might be a game changer, as any currency backed by big corporations might be, but for now, it is too early to cast any predictions. The launch is scheduled for 2020, and US government already stated that Libra will be subjected to strict oversight.
See you next time!
As you can see, every day in EOS brings new food for thought and discussions, so you won’t have to wait long for the next Lumi Digest on EOS.
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