EOS creator Block One has announced plans to participate in EOS voting as an “active minority voting member.” The organization will use its stash of 10% of the initial supply of EOS tokens to vote for specific block producers.
The announcement was posted on the Block.one website earlier today.
“As a recipient of 10% of the initial EOS token allocation, Block.one recognizes its responsibility to participate as an active minority voting member,” explains the organization in the blog post. “As such, our approach has been carefully considered, and Block.one will soon begin allocating votes to block producers that share the core values necessary to maximize the integrity and potential of the EOS public blockchain network.”
Block One plans to choose block producers based on their honesty, integrity, and fairness, for example, as well as their transparency when dealing with the EOS community. Their ideal block producers will also have 24/7 timeliness in processing transactions and upgrading the network, and block producers will comply with the Ricardian contracts entered into when becoming a block producer.
EOS Will Be Able To Singlehandedly Select Block Producers
All of the above might sound good, but some members of the community have already spotted an enormous problem: EOS has enough voting power to handpick its desired block producers.
As Eric (@econoar) on Twitter pointed out, Block One “can now singlehandedly pick the BP [block producer] list for #EOS” because they have 90 million tokens. The current winning range of votes for block producers is between 29 to 49 million.
They have 90mn tokens. The current winning range of votes for BPs is 29-49mn.
— Eric (@econoar) June 28, 2018
EOS launched its mainnet in early June. The company’s latest blog post describes the launch as “swift and successful”, although there have been significant problems along the way. Some block producers have been accused of being complacent in upgrading their protocol. The community has criticized block producers for having too much power.
Many of EOS’s issues are related to centralization. Some members of the community feel like power in the EOS network is centralized in the hands of too few people. Theoretically, the network has checks and balances to prevent block producers from holding too much power. However, these checks and balances were rendered moot last week when BPs froze a series of EOS accounts without adequately consulting the community.
That’s why this latest announcement could be seen as controversial: it’s yet more centralized power entering the EOS network. Block One can singlehandedly choose a block producer.
Block One claims it will avoid casting its 90 million token-based votes for any single block producer. Instead, they plan to split their vote across 30 producers. In fact, Block.one wants to update the system to support approval of 50 producers per account compared to the 30 currently allowed.
“To facilitate maximum community choice, Block.one recommends that the system contract be updated to support approval of 50 producers per account compared to the 30 currently allowed. Block.one plans to identify and cast our approval for as many qualified producers as the code will allow.”
We have no reason to believe that Block One will act negligently with its 90 million votes. However, there’s no check in place to prevent them from exercising enormous voting power over the EOS network.
Is this yet another centralization-related problem for the EOS network? Or is this an overblown issue? We’ll see how the EOS community feels about Block One’s voting power over the coming weeks.