There’s more trouble for EOS today as the community was rattled when Block Producers (BPs) froze several accounts without going through the appropriate “arbitration” process.
The BPs froze the accounts under suspicion that they were stolen.
The issue is that the Block Producers – the 21 BPs governing the EOS network – were able to freeze an account without consulting the community or any other parties. The accounts were frozen with agreement from the other Block Producers before the ECAF, EOS’s Core Arbitration Forum, had issued a decision.
The community was outraged: like a bank, EOS has centralized groups with the authority to freeze an account without community input.
EOS New York, a Block Producer in the EOS network, published a blog post explaining the “emergency actions” they took to secure the network.
EOS New York claims this wasn’t a small set of Block Producers issuing the decision. Instead, all 21 BPs in the EOS network reached a unanimous agreement.
Here’s how EOS New York explained the issue:
“On 17 June 2018, the top 21 Block Producers unanimously agreed to protect property that may have been compromised through phishing attacks or other scams where member’s private keys were compromised. By now, you are likely aware of EOS911, the noble initiative designed to help community members with compromised private keys. This initiative was the catalyst for this post.”
The EOS911 initiative, meanwhile, is designed to prevent victims of private key theft from losing their EOS tokens. Victims of private key theft could lose their tokens after the 72 hour unstaking period ended following the EOS mainnet launch. At this point, the thieves would have been able to transfer tokens wherever they liked.
EOS New York claims to have foreseen this issue. That’s why they, on a call with BPs and BPCs,
“requested an expedited review of the merits of the case from ECAF (EOS Core Arbitration Forum) who was also on the call.”
EOS New York claims the ECAF approved the plan, so they went ahead with the decision to freeze the accounts:
“We initially received a preliminary notice from ECAF that they were likely to issue an emergency order to freeze certain accounts affected by the scams. But this didn’t happen. Despite ECAF’s initial notice that they would opine on the matter, they instead responded to our request with the stance that they did not have the authority to act during this gray period wherein only an interim Constitution existed.”
After learning that the ECAF would not change its position, EOS New York found themselves “thrust into a position of acting as both executive and judiciary.” At this point, EOS New York decided to, in partnership with other BPs,
“to review the evidence ourselves, and came to a difficult decision of executing based upon the evidence brought forth.”
In any case, EOS New York acknowledges in their blog post that this isn’t the job of a Block Producer. However, they insist that they enacted the freeze because they believed they were “following the spirit of the governance system we as a community seek to create” – despite the absence of the EAF from the governance system.
The community didn’t seem to appreciate EOS New York’s response. Some called it an authoritarian decision by a BP seeking greater control of the network. Most took issue that, like a bank, BPs could freeze the assets of those on the network. It’s a centralized authority making a decision without input from the community.
Ultimately, it’s difficult to determine what really happened here. Some EOS community members claim the ECAF made a decision and EOS New York didn’t like that decision, so they proceeded with the account freezing. Others claim EOS New York acted appropriately by freezing the accounts and protecting the network. In any case, stay tuned for more drama from the EOS community as this issue unfolds.