EOS.io aims to create the world’s most powerful infrastructure for decentralized applications.
Founded in 2017, EOS is a scalable blockchain built with the purpose of competing with Ethereum for market share in the decentralized applications (DApp) space. They plan to allow for the hosting of applications similar to the Ethereum chain, but with an architecture that allows for commercial level scaling.
This project uses Delegated Proof of Stake to increase transaction speeds to a place where they could be used on large scale applications. Instead of mining blocks a number of delegates instead confirm them.
A similar concept has been implemented by Steemit, which was also created by Dan Larimer, the founder of EOS. Bitfinex has partnered with EOS to build the first decentralized exchange on the platform.
Find out how it plans to do that today in our EOS.io review.
What is EOS.io?
EOS is a blockchain technology platform that revolves around the use of EOS tokens. EOS tokens were launched this past summer after a successful ICO. Today, the token has a market cap of over $500,000,000 USD, putting it in the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
EOS is similar to Ethereum. Like Ethereum, EOS is a smart contract hosting platform designed for open source projects and consumer-facing decentralized apps (DApps). The goal of EOS, at launch, was to take market share from Ethereum while promising a more scalable blockchain with better usability for large-scale businesses.
In short, EOS is a new take on Ethereum’s virtual machine. Unlike Ethereum’s virtual machine, which acts as a distributed global supercomputer, EOS is built around a distributed operating system-like construct where developers can build apps.
The platform was created by the Block.one team.
How Does EOS Work?
EOS is a platform where developers can build decentralized apps. EOS token holders can stake their coins to fund application development on the EOS network. Meanwhile, users can participate in EOS apps for “free” without needing to purchase EOS tokens.
Instead of charging users a fee to take action in the EOS network, EOS’s proof of stake system ensures that bandwidth, computation, and storage capacity are allocated in proportion to the amount of EOS staked within an application.
A key part of EOS is the delegated proof of stake (DPOS) consensus algorithm. This is designed to meet the performance requirements of decentralized apps on the blockchain – including the handling of millions of users.
The EOS blockchain produces blocks every 3 seconds. Exactly one producer is authorized to produce a block at any given point in time. If the block is not produced at the scheduled time, then the block is skipped. Blocks are produced in rounds of 21. 21 unique block producers are chosen at the start of each round. The top 20 by total approval are automatically chosen every round, and the last producer is chosen proportional to the number of votes relative to other producers. The selected producers are shuffled using a random number (pseudorandom derived from block time). This shuffling ensures that all producers maintain balanced connectivity to all other producers.
One of the unique advantages of the EOS blockchain is that it does not experience any forks. That’s because block producers cooperate to produce blocks rather than compete. In the event there is a fork, consensus automatically switches to the longest chain.
EOS also has another nifty feature called transaction as proof of stake, or TaPoS. EOS’s software requires every transaction to include the hash of a recent block header. This hash prevents a replay of a transaction on forks that do not include the referenced block. The hash also signals the network that a particular user and their stake are on a specific fork.
The EOS whitepaper goes into further technical details about TaPoS and EOS’s unique delegated proof of stake.
EOS emphasizes all of the following core features:
The main feature of EOS is the ability to scale blockchain applications. EOS is capable of supporting thousands of commercial scale decentralized apps. Parallel execution, asynchronous communication, and other features also boost the scalability of the platform. Plus, EOS can separate authentication from execution.
While this does not initially seem like a great accomplishment consider that Visa processes over 20,000 transactions per second. Ethereum is only able to process around 13 transactions per second. Likewise, a social network will quickly over power such a network. EOS utilizes a delegated proof of stake algorithm to combat this problem.
This is actually not the first application by founder Dan Larimer to use this idea. You can see Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) in action by visiting Steemit, the social network he created that operates on the same algorithm. In addition, EOS is capable of running operations in parallel to each other.
The Ethereum network can only run one chain. This quickly lead to disaster when micro transactions began to clog the network thanks to the popularity of the Crypto Kitties game. EOS has addressed this by using multiple chains so the network does not get clogged up and disrupt other apps. This feature will likely be a necessity in the future when giant corporations start utilizing the blockchain.
Distributed Operating System
The EOS framework allows for applications to be built using a consistent framework for an overall better experience for both developers and end users. I suppose you could think of this sort of like the vetting process in the app store. They want to be sure consumers don't experience problems with poorly made or untrustworthy apps.
This will do the same but on a distributed network. This consistency will eliminate many bugs, and the platform also allows for applications to be halted without disrupting the global system. This is a unique feature to EOS, and one that will be appealing for mass adoption by developers. There would be no need for the entire network to hard fork in this scenario if an issue occurs.
In the EOS consensus model of delegated proof-of-stake, a finite number of block producers are chosen to perform the role of miners by validating transactions and building new blocks.
There will be 121 block producer candidates, chosen by EOS, of which 21 Appointed Block Producers (ABP) will be elected through an ongoing election process with votes being tallied every two minutes. A new block is considered irreversible when it has been confirmed by ⅔ or more of the elected block producers, which is 15 out of 21 ABPs.
Each token holder can vote for 30 candidates, with their votes being weighted by stake. Although the votes can be changed any number of times, tokens once staked will be frozen for a period of 3 days after staking.
Tokens on the EOS platform automatically create “emission”. This is a secondary token used to pay for the functions of transactions on their native chain. You could potentially fund a project forever with this without the need to purchase additional tokens to run applications like you would for Ethereum where gas is required to make any transactions.
In addition, all transactions in applications will be free for the end user! This makes it much easier for people to start playing games or using applications built on EOS as they will not need any initial tokens to get started like they would on the Ethereum chain. This opens up DApps to not only crypto enthusiasts, but the general public as well.
The year-long EOS token distribution concluded in June 2018, when the public release of EOSIO 1.0 was launched. All future developments to the EOSIO will be left to the EOS community.
EOS offers generalized role-based permissions, the ability to freeze and fix broken applications, and a web assembly platform, making it a flexible option for decentralized app developers.
EOS has a web toolkit for interface development along with self-describing interfaces, self-describing database schemes, and a declarative permission scheme.
EOS tokens have no pre-determined price, and the price of the tokens is set by market demand. This is designed to mimic mining without giving unfair advantages to large purchasers. It’s more democratic.
The EOS token distribution is taking place over a 341 day period. This is designed to give the community ample time to familiarize with the project and participate in the distribution. As of November 2017, there’s a circulating supply of approximately 448 million EOS out of a total supply of 1 billion EOS. A countdown timer on EOS.io shows you each stage of the token sale. Right now, it’s on period 132/350, with 2 million EOS tokens being released during this period.
What Problems Does EOS Seek to Solve?
Why do we need EOS? Which unique problems does the blockchain platform seek to solve? Basically, the goal of EOS is to create a blockchain that’s usable for scalable commercial purposes. Today’s leading blockchains, including bitcoin, Ethereum, BitShares, and others, are known for their scalability and durability, but they also have big problems.
These blockchains can support tens of thousands of transactions per second (if not more). However, they’re burdened by large fees and limited computational capacity.
In order for blockchain technology to gain widespread use, EOS believes certain changes need to be made, including the ability to support millions of users:
“Disrupting businesses such as Ebay, Uber, AirBnB, and Facebook, require blockchain technology capable of handling tens of millions of active daily users. In certain cases, applications may not work unless a critical mass of users is reached and therefore a platform that can handle mass number of users is paramount.”
Other problems with today’s blockchains include the fact that users have to pay for services on certain platforms. Social network users are not accustomed to paying for services. Few people are willing to pay to access a platform online – whether they’re paying with fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies.
The EOS whitepaper also identifies problems like difficult upgrades, bug problems, high latency, and lack of parallel performance.
Who’s Behind EOS?
Development on the EOS project is led by the Block.one team, headed by Brendan Blumer as CEO. Daniel Larimer, best-known for creating BitShares, Steem, and delegated proof of stake consensus, is CTO.
EOS is a commercial-grade blockchain designed to support millions of users through a delegated proof of stake system. The EOS.io software introduces a new blockchain architecture that facilitates vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications. The end result is an operating system-like platform on which decentralized apps can be built.
Some of the key features of EOS include accounts, authentication, databases, asynchronous communication, and the scheduling of applications across hundreds of CPU cores or clusters.
To learn more about EOS, visit the official website at EOS.io today.