China’s Firewall Can Be Harmful for EOS’ Blockchain Governance Plans
China’s Firewall Can Be Harmful for EOS’ Governance Plans
Until June, there were two groups that were trying to launch the official EOS blockchain. Although there were some discussions, the EOS community launched a unified network during that month.
But there are other issues that EOS must now solve. There is a division between members from China and member from the United States and western countries. Similar to a Western-Eastern division. At the same time, there is a barrier between English speakers and Mandarin-speaking members.
Additionally, there is another problem: the ‘Great Firewal’ related to Chinese internet control. Those users in China have difficulties to discuss and converse with their counterparts in western countries. Users in the East use WeChat, while European and American developers and enthusiasts use Telegram.
This is a very difficult situation for EOS that is currently featuring two separated conversations. And indeed, it has made it difficult for the proectto build its democratic governance. This problem has also had an effect for EOS token holders that wanted to have access to dispute resolution.
Dispute resolution was a tool used by some western users allowing them to keep their compromised addresses from having their token stolen.
Scammers and attackers were targeting users from all over the world, but those in China were not able to reach the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF). None of the members there speak in Mandarin and the arbitration takes place on Telegram. That means that the language and infrastructure division was harming the whole community.
However, in the last months, there were some efforts in order to bridge both communities and find a solution to these problems and issues that arose in the community. the EOS Mandarin Arbitration Community (EMAC) was created and is trying to help Chinese speakers to access to dispute resolution.
An EMAC spokesperson commented on the matter:
“I do believe that the language barrier and cultural difference still exists. But with community collaboration I’m confident that they no longer pose as serious issue and we could eventually overcome them.”
The EMAC explained that the official language of EOS is English and that ‘there is no doubt’ about it. But the truth is that EOS users speak different languages. A spokesperson for the block producer candidate EOS Argentina said that at the beginning it was very difficult to find information in Spanish, and the same happened to communities from other countries such as Brazil.
According to CoinDesk, Korean is considered as the third major language used by the EOS community. But Orchid Kim, from the block producer candidate EOSYS, said that the Korean community needs to work in order to translate more content.
However, these block producers from Argentina, Brazil and South Korea had knowledge in English and were able to communicate with the rest of the community.
For those living in China has been very difficult to participate in the English-based community. It is not possible to access Telegram from China, and this is difficulting operations for users in the country.
Moti Tabulo, head of ECAF knows these issues and said that virtual private network (VPN) could be useful for Chinese individuals. At the same time, WeChat is the most important tool for Chinese individuals.
Stephen Zhang, an EMAC representative commented in August:
“WeChat is the tool in China. It’s not like Western social media network. They have Twitter, Facebook and different platforms to choose from, but in China, WeChat is the communication tool.”
If these issues and problems were not enough, some people in Telegram were asking to stop voting for China-based block producers. Chinese enthusiasts are aware of this situation and most of them do not accept it.
All these challenges show that it is not so easy to build a governed blockchain that experiences cultural, linguistic and social divisions. There is currently a debate on Telegram and in English about changing the rules or the EOS constitution But this is leaving outside several participants from China and other countries.
Nonetheless, there are some important things taking place in the space. For example, the EMAC is currently working with the Chinese-speaking community providing education and training on governance in EOS.
This discussion that EOS is experiencing with China and cryptocurrencies can be extrapolated to other areas and is not related to EOS. Other industries have the same issues. It will be important to search a solution and start working to make EOS a better network.