EOS Creator Daniel Larimer Proposes New Constitution “Intent of Code”

Daniel Larimer Proposes New Constitution for the EOS Community

The creator of EOS, Daniel Larimer, has proposed a new constitution for the EOS community. Earlier this week, Larimer proposed scrapping the original EOS constitution, and now he has released his proposal for a new constitution.

In a blog post explaining the proposal, Larimer outlined the “code is law” idea as it relates to arbitration bodies.

The EOS community has had a rough week. 21 block producers froze several EOS accounts a week after the launch of the EOS mainnet, raising fears that the block producer governance system introduced too much centralized power into the community. The goal of EOS is to remove centralized authority from the equation and create a true decentralized system. However, the network is already going through growing pains.

Larimer addressed the controversy in his blog post, saying EOS’s development team, Block.one, had learned from the launch of the mainnet.

“We have seen that if you give people arbitrary power to resolve arbitrary disputes then everything becomes a dispute and the decisions made are arbitrary,” explained Larimer in a blog post. “The more power the arbiter has, the more vicious and petty the disputes become and the less predictable the outcome.”

The goal of EOS is to combine the best aspects of cryptographically-secured contracts, human contracts, and human dispute resolution. EOS is the first “smart Ricardian contract blockchain,” explains Larimer.

What Did Larimer Learn From The Launch Of The EOS Mainnet?

Every network goes through growing pains. Larimer claims he learned a lot from the launch of the EOS mainnet. Some of the things mentioned in his latest blog post include:

The Promise of Code is Law:

Code is law theoretically removes any room for dispute. All contractual terms are laid out by the code, and the code is executed faithfully by the network. Unless there’s a bug in the code, code will always be law. “EOS set out recognizing that bugs happen and that the community needs a process to quickly establish the intent of the smart contracts and to resolve things accordingly,” explained Larimer in his blog post. “This is nothing more than the formalization and acceleration of the same kind of process Ethereum used to resolve the DAO hack or that bitcoin used to resolve the 0.7/0.8 fork.”

Free Form Contracts Are Chaotic:

Larimer also learned that free form contracts – the contracts we’ve used for thousands of years – are chaotic and unpredictable. From establishing the validity of signatures to defining words, everything can be debated with free form contracts.

Ricardian Contracts:

Ricardian contracts are built to combine free-form contracts with coded contracts. The EOS community is currently debating how to enforce free-form terms in coded contracts. “These terms include things like required disclosure of block producer ownership and certification of facts under penalty of perjury,” explains Larimer. “Others want new terms to regulate everything similar to how government regulators do.”

The Need for Objective Boundaries:

EOS users need some guarantees from the community in order to feel safe and secure. That’s why Larimer believes there’s a need for objective boundaries.

“Block One calls for an end to all arbitration orders other than to render non-binding opinions on the intent of the code.”

The end result is that block producers have the same power as Ethereum demonstrated when they handled the DAO contract bug, but that power is formalized and in the hands of token voters (instead of hashpower voters).


Larimer also discussed the need for better enforcement, including how to enforce arbitration orders in the event of key theft and how to enforce Ricardian (i.e. subjective) terms in smart contracts. Contracts on the EOS network can include terms that can’t be verified within the blockchain, but how can we enforce those terms.

The New EOS Constitution

Ultimately, Larimer takes everything he learned above and boils it down into 10 points. He’s calling these ten points his “Proposed EOS Constitution Referendum.” Here’s the basic idea behind the 10 points:

1. The intent of “code is law” where intent is documented by code, smart contracts, and actual use.

2. When disputes on the intent of code occur, intent shall be determined by a super majority vote of elected producers or an arbiter.

3. At no time shall elected block producers freeze or modify contracts that are operating as intended.

4. Contract developers are not liable for damages caused by bugs in the code. All parties are responsible for auditing the code and the Ricardian contract before use.

5. All service providers building tools for the EOS network shall present the full Ricardian Contract terms of the constitution and other referenced contracts.

6. No party shall have a fiduciary responsibility to support the value of the EOS token.

7. A Ricardian contract is deemed accepted when a transaction is incorporated into the blockchain.

8. Parties on EOS voluntary consent for all other parties to permanently and irrevocably retain a copy, analyze, and distribute all broadcast transactions and derivative information.

9. This constitution may be executed in any number of counterparts.

10. This constitution shall be amended by a vote of EOS token holders that attracts no less than 15% staked vote participation among tokens and no fewer than 10% more yes votes than no votes, sustained for 30 continuous days within a 120 day period.

Our Final Thoughts

What do you think about Daniel Larimer’s proposal for a new EOS constitution? The proposal seems to be receiving mostly positive feedback from the EOS community. It addresses core complaints within the community – like centralized block producer power – while also expanding on the usability of Ricardian contracts. Stay tuned to see what happens next in the EOS community.

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