The EOS node's renewed conflict centralizes the characteristics of the public chain, highlighting the responsibility of Block.one?

Source: Caijing.com

Author: Changfeng

Today's EOS cannot implement a beautiful separation of powers. It lacks the clear division of legislative power, executive power, and even the core constitution that is extremely unstable. Citizens of the community have become non-participant spectators, and the consensus belongs only to those who can vote. The election of supernodes has actually run counter to the decentralized idea and has become a game between various forces.

On November 21, ColinTalksCrypto, EOS's largest voting agent, mentioned on his Twitter that EOShenzhen, which is currently ranked 52nd in the EOS node, was accused of creating multiple EOS accounts and violating relevant rules. EOS New York, a node of EOS, also noticed this problem, and issued a message on the 28th that it had initiated a proposal to revoke the eligibility of the six nodes.

"Same website design. Fonts with the same title. Information that also does not exist. They are the same BP (block producer)." ColinTalksCrypto analyzed.

EOS New York mentioned on Twitter that the accounts created by Eoshenzhen include eosunioniobp, stargalaxybp, eosathenabp1, eosrainbow, eoszeusiobp, and Validatoreos (all of which are registered with eoshenzhen@gmail.com).

"At the moment these nodes have not attracted enough votes to become the top 21 or" active "block producers. They have little power to influence EOS development, but they are collecting financial rewards-up to $ 300 per account per day EOS, "said ColinTalksCrypto.

Some insiders have analyzed that, in fact, the EOS charter and the block producer agreement do not explicitly prohibit block producers from creating multiple accounts, but doing so will destroy the relevant rules and the fairness of EOS itself. In the future, EOS may initiate a vote to disqualify its nodes.

Vulnerability in voting mechanism

Some EOS users advocate permanently changing the voting system of EOS: the "one-by-one-vote" policy will ensure that voting on a single block producer has a greater weight than voting on multiple block producers. In theory, this will effectively prevent collusion between nodes and other forms of illegal behavior.

According to EOS Authority data, as of November 29, a total of 72,600 accounts have voted, and about 420 million EOS have been invested, accounting for 42% of the total EOS circulation. Another group of data that is worth noting is that in the EOS voting account, about 30,000 voters use voting agents, and the total number of EOS voting by agents reached 323 million, accounting for 76.9% of its total votes.

When it comes to voting, I have to mention the voting mechanism of EOS. EOS mentioned in its white paper that it uses the BFT-DPoS consensus mechanism. The mechanism elects 21 super nodes and 79 candidate nodes through community voting to maintain the EOS network, and provides computing power, bandwidth, and storage support for the EOS network. After the EOS mainnet was launched in June 2018, users voted in their wallets and voted for their approved super nodes.

As mentioned in its voting rules, one EOS token represents one vote, and one vote can vote for a maximum of 30 candidate nodes at the same time, and each candidate node receives a maximum of one vote. The user can modify the voted candidate node at any time, and can also redeem it at any time. EOS back to mortgage, it takes about 3 days to apply for EOS redemption before returning the account.

In order to allow those users who hold votes but do n’t know how to vote to participate, in the EOS ecosystem, in addition to the regular user independent voting, a voting method called a voting agent has been created. That is, the EOS holder can choose a trusted agent to delegate the voting right of EOS to the voting agent and let it replace the voting.

"The huge number of proxy votes and a 30-vote voting mechanism have added a lot of operating space between nodes, allowing many large exchanges in the industry to quickly become supernodes." Industry watcher Wang Mingming told Chain Finance That said.

According to on-chain financial statistics, there are currently multiple exchange nodes in the super node, including many well-known exchanges in the industry such as Huobi, OK, ZB and Bitfinex.

Take the eosuobipool, the number one super node currently, as an example. In September 2018, EOSONE published an article named "Huobi mining pool node account data 20180911". The content mentions that Huobi supports 7 standby nodes, including strongmonkey, greencapital, cochainworld, eoschaintech, eossixparkbp, eosorangeeos, and voldemorteos, with a monthly income of at least 1.7 million yuan.

In addition, the article also mentioned that in addition to Huobi's own five nodes, eosuobipool, cryptokylini, eosiosg11111, cochainworld, and eospaceioeos, Huobi will vote for the remaining 20 nodes. Of these 20 nodes, 16 nodes exchanged with Huobi, and the remaining 4 nodes, eosgenblockp, eosbeijingbp, eoseouldotio, eospacificbp, and eoslaomaocom, did not return to vote.

This news reveals the fundamental drawbacks of confirming more than one vote. In the eyes of many people, multiple votes for one vote has become a source of evil in collusion and collusion between large exchanges and capitalists.

It is also based on the above issues that Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer mentioned in the telegram group that one vote and one vote can increase the number of voters and promote a healthier voting environment. In October 2019, EOS founder BM (Daniel Larimer) also stated that the voting mechanism can be changed to one vote and one vote. One EOS can only vote for one node, of course, each EOS account can vote for multiple nodes.

In fact, there are also differences within EOS regarding the reform of the voting mechanism. Sun Yushi, co-founder of EOS Beijing, once said that from a general perspective, voting and election is a systematic project, and it is also caused by a variety of reasons. Now, relying on a single point of transformation, the number of voting rights is changed to solve the systemic problem. The problem is not real

"Even if one vote and one vote can reduce the situation of large households controlling a large number of nodes, one vote and one vote also increases the voting power of large households and the difficulty of users' selective voting." Sun Yushi added.

As of now, the reform proposal on the voting mechanism is still inconclusive.

In fact, this dispute is only a microcosm of the contradiction between the East and West nodes of EOS.

Node conflicts intensify

In August 2019, Larry Sanger, chief information officer of Everipedia, a decentralized version of Wikipedia, tweeted that if EOS is controlled by the Chinese consortium, it will abandon the development of DAPP. The EOS mainnet was launched at 1:50 a.m. on June 15, 2018. Everipedia was the first DAPP project launched on the network. Due to the EOS-specific DPoS mechanism design, its control is controlled in 21 super nodes, and 17 of these 21 super nodes were once controlled by Chinese teams or consortia, accounting for up to 80%.

In foreign communities, Everipedia's remarks resonated with many people. Some reddit netizens said that the existence of interest and ticket exchanges among Chinese nodes is the biggest threat that EOS currently faces.

The head of the foreign node EOS Amsterdam community has also publicly stated that compared with the exchange-controlled super nodes, the strength of Chinese nodes makes them more worried.

"If EOS requires a network that is active, more secure, and faster, the nodes must be distributed globally." Brian said.

In response to Everipedia's remarks, Li Xiaolai once publicly responded, "How can I have EOS without me? Invested in BM five years ago and invested four times in a row, Bethune? Now it is said that centralization is in the Chinese consortium, as if they (Everipedia ) It can be built anywhere. "

The storm also attracted the attention of Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer (BB) and BM. Soon after, BB tweeted that EOS is a community of democratic governance for users worldwide. The original intention of EOS is to continue to evolve and advance with the user community, regardless of race, nationality and region. BM also responded to the “EOS Super Node Centralization” claiming that Chinese nodes are not a single person, nor a single entity. Let's say all encryption is centralized because they are controlled by humans.

This seemingly impartial statement, however, is difficult to resolve the contradiction between the two sides.

"The game between interests, the newly rising Chinese nodes have indeed affected the interests of Western nodes." Wang Ziming analyzed.

According to on-chain financial statistics, according to eospark statistics, 9 Chinese nodes out of the 21 super nodes as of November 29 are the world's largest EOS.

China's threat theory rages

"Block.one is essentially a Western company, and it is difficult to not be affected by Western media and public opinion. They actually have the idea of ​​standing in line." Wang Xu, a person in charge of an EOS node, told Chain Finance.

On November 13th, EOSIO software developer Block.one published "Block.one will start voting for EOS public blockchain upgrade" on the official blog. Block.one will participate in a vote to support the EOS public blockchain upgrade. At the same time, it will openly participate in the community dialogue and share and comment on ideas and suggestions that the agency believes can actively improve the governance, performance and overall competitiveness of the EOS network.

In addition, Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer also highlighted that since June 2017, Block.one has observed the network operations and governance of many public blockchains around the world, understanding and learning how to maximize performance, alignment and reliability. Now, we are ready to begin to play its due role, focusing on continuing to support the healthy upgrade of the EOS network to achieve iterative improvements in these goals, while the goal emphasized by global regulators is to maximize decentralization.

According to on-chain financial statistics, Block.one currently has 96.7 million EOS tokens, with a market value of about 257 million, accounting for 9.31% of the total, and is still the largest holder of EOS positions.

According to Coindesk reports, the BP (block producer) with the highest support rate on the network currently receives less than 3% of the circulation of EOS votes. This means that Block.one controls a large number of tokens, which will cause the BP candidates to quickly shrink to less than 30 when they start voting.

In addition, there are long-term industry observers saying that EOS may become Ripple 2.0 in the future.

Coindesk also mentioned that a reddit netizen analyzed the balance of each wallet in the founding block, and the results showed that 99% of EOS holders controlled 14% of the tokens. The top 1,000 wallets holding 85% of the coins are controlled. Therefore, this network is still controlled by the richest users.

"A lot of people think that Block.one's end is to balance the strength of the East and West. Block.one's own token holdings and its influence are decisive. In many cases, even certain decisions can be changed, and This is often fatal to the development of EOS community. "Wang Xu said.

"Being a referee and a player, there are inherent hidden dangers. At the same time, it is not a good thing for Eastern nodes." Wang Ziming also mentioned a similar point. "As a community-based public chain, now that the rules of the game have been designed, it should be followed. Block.one doing this will definitely restart everyone's doubts about its centralized public chain."

Core rules are unstable

As the controller behind EOS, a well-known global public chain community, Block.one has been questioned at the level of community governance, repeatedly breaking the rules set by itself.

Some users even joked that EOS's biggest problem is to constantly adapt to new rules.

When it comes to EOS governance, the EOSAF (The EOSIO Core Arbitration Forum, Chinese arbitration mechanism) has to be mentioned. As EOS ’s original governance system that is different from his blockchain system, it is defined in the EOS Constitution with super authority An institution, it is understood that four articles in the interim constitution (a total of 17 articles) are related to arbitration. It can be seen that the arbitration mechanism at the time played an important role in the EOS system.

According to the EOS Constitution, ECAF refers to helping the two parties in the dispute reach an agreement, settle the dispute, and finally make a ruling, which is then executed by the 21 supernodes generated by the vote. The specific operation mode is not detailed, but can be simply understood as the "court" in reality.

ECAF consists of openly recruiting independent, impartial, and more professional people to the society. The appointment of each arbitrator requires the approval of the core powers of the three parties: the node, the community, and the Tribunal. It also guarantees its " Quality "reliability.

As for EOS, arbitration "rule by man" has guaranteed the greatest effect of the law, and trials perpetrators. Especially in the early stage of development, due to code defects and insufficient management experience, similar to the theft of EOS accounts and other violations of user rights, it played a deterrent role to perpetrators.

But it was such an arbitration institution that BM had high hopes that when it dealt with the first case, it became a fuse, and it was abolished in just eight months.

On June 19, 2018, the EOS Core Arbitration Forum arbitrated the first case in the history of the EOS Constitution: signing an arbitration document and freezing seven suspected stolen accounts. (Case code: ECAF_Arbitrator_Order_2018-06-19-AO-001).

According to public information disclosure, because the freeze was the first case, many voices of doubt appeared in the entire community.

On June 23, the incident was fermented again, and ECAF authorized BP to freeze 27 EOS accounts again. Caused greater controversy in the community consensus. They believe that ECAF has too much power to arbitrarily freeze users' accounts (even if they are stolen). It goes against the concepts of decentralization and "Code is law".

According to the ECAF procedure, the parties should propose arbitration-court hearings-issue an arbitration order, and the nodes execute the order.

In fact, this incident did not follow this process. ECAF also did not require the parties' accounts to be frozen after the parties submitted an application for arbitration. Even the nodes are questioning the progress of the matter.

Surprisingly, shortly thereafter, ECAF issued an announcement saying that the rules are incomplete and that ECAF cannot be governed as an arbitration role, so it will not issue an order.

The final result of the above case was that after internal communication between some nodes, it was decided not to go through ECAF first, and the account was directly frozen, forcing ECAF to issue an arbitration order, which solved the problem. The nodes frozen their accounts on June 18th, and the ECAF order came down on June 19th.

Although the incident seems to be resolved, EOS users and EOS nodes are full of doubts about the role and value of ECAF.

"At that time, EOS had been arguing about the selection rules of ECAF arbitrators, the implementation efficiency was low, and the processes were not sound. The incident developed to the end and some people mentioned that they wanted to abolish this institution." Wang Xu recalled .

At the same time, BM also showed its fickle attitude. He stated that his formal opinion on how the stolen keys could resolve the dispute was that no action should be taken.

In the definition of the role of ECAF, "ECAF is not authoritative for nodes, unless the nodes agree with their contract. ECAF will also be restricted by the contract, and voters should carefully choose those nodes that have contractual obligations." BM Means.

BM did not think about the relationship between ECAF and nodes. At the same time, the mechanism of ECAF itself is opaque and imperfect, so the result is doomed.

On January 11, 2019, a referendum proposal was submitted by freeos4decaf, the EOS Core Arbitration Forum ECAF was abolished, and then it was declared over by the super node.

In the end, the EOS governance mechanism has become a game between super nodes. The rule is that 15 of 21 BPs agree, and the resolution is passed. However, EOS has not yet adopted a constitution for governing agreements, so there is no official rule on how BP can resolve conflicts.

Today's EOS cannot implement a beautiful separation of powers. It lacks the clear division of legislative power, executive power, and even the core constitution that is extremely unstable. Citizens of the community have become non-participant spectators, and the consensus belongs only to those who can vote. The election of supernodes has actually run counter to the decentralized idea and has become a game between various forces.

For Block.one, the leader of EOS, the internals of EOS are actually not important. As a company, the increase in commercial profit or currency price is the most noteworthy.

Characters in the text are pseudonyms