Governance is one of the big unresolved issues of crypto and the failure to date of the EOS blockchain to open for business provides a case study, that hopefully won’t go down in history as how not to govern.
Arguably the entire crypto game is about the value differential over bitcoin – how to do it better. But there is what aspect of that struggle for differential value that gets overlooked by many, which is that bitcoin exists and works as advertised and has never stopped working and has never been hacked or otherwise attacked in any way. This doesn’t mean that the “shitcoin” thesis is correct – that only bitcoin is worthy of worship. But what it does underline though is that there is value in real world longevity.
There is a also an inverse truth: new and untested blockchains with necessarily no track record are risky. The risk assessment doesn’t stop there;?theres the risks that stem from the doing things differently part.
In EOS’s case that means delegated proof of stake, which brings us to the heart of the matter. Decentralisation is the essence of blockchain but what happens when that decentralisation lacks a mechanism for successful self-organisation. As we are discovering with EOS, the further we move away from the brute force “waste” of Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism the higher the risk that the alternative – especially in the case of a stake system that delegates power to an elected minority.
No one can predict how this plutocracy will work out or indeed if it is a plutocracy at all. Why so? Because we are dealing with human beings. The more entry points there are for human be msg theoretically difficult efficient governance can be, potentially. Those points of entry for EOS are in its voting system and in particular the alliances entered into before the voting takes place. Added to that of course is the weighted aspect of the voting white ch gives more power to those with the most tokens.
No one except the members of the groups themselves knows who stands behind each EOS group, although it is a safe bet that many of them are either exchanges or mining pools.
What we definitely don’t know is what the relationships are between those groups. According to a CoinDesk report two days ago peace has broken out, with all major groups agreeing there peace has broken out among the groups, with an agreement that there will be only one chain at launch.
A group called EOS Mainnet Launch Group (EMLG) has issued a statement saying as much, which is thought to represent the majority of those seeking to be elected as block producers – the gatekeepers who will verify the blocks of which there will be a total of 21. But EMLG has a competitor in the form of the “ghostbusters” who now go by the name EOS Core, a group of security-focused EOS token holders who now say that their chain should be the “official” launch chain. And yet another group, Bios Boot, disagrees with EOS Core and may push its implementation as the “official” one.
The post by eostribe on Steemit yesterday (6 June), on behalf of EMLG, read:
Committing to a firm launch date prior to running these tests would be irresponsible but we will release another statement on the current status of the launch within the next 48 hours.To track changes as they are being made, you can follow the launch-rc (Release Candidate) branch of the EOS Mainnet code repository here
All this means there are increasingly likely to be multiple chains being launched which was to be expected although a single unified one at the outset would have been better for token holders simply from the point of view of clarity. For more on the shennanigans, Brady Dale has written t up for CoinDesk.
So why hasn’t the blockchain gone live yet?
It leaves us with two possible conclusions: first, it is not all peace and light between the groups and there are technical issues still to be addressed and in the process of addressing them yet more issues arise, which would not be an unusual occurrence in the world of software development that up until this point for EOS has not been an open-source endeavour.
The up side to all this is that it could be that people are waiting for all possible glitches to be ironed out and that robust testing is ongoing to make sure that is the case, in which case the dealys are for reasons of due dilligence. Who knows?
There may be a lunch soon but it looks like it will be one of many.
Meanwhile, as the community waits for the switch to be flipped the token price is likely to fall.