Greenlight: EOS Community Votes to Launch Mainnet
The EOS community voted to proceed to a mainnet launch on June 9th, according to the EOS Mainnet Launch Group (EMLG), a coalition of block producer candidates. The decision means that the EOS network should be up and running within 24 hours, but also leaves open the possibility of rival EOS forks being created.
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EOS Community Decides to Move Ahead On Third Vote
A week after the close of a record-breaking year-long initial coin offering that raised $4 billion USD, it appears the EOS network launch is imminent. Block producer candidates from around the world voted during a meeting at 1:00 UTC on June 9th, to greenlight the launch of mainnet, which is now planned to happen on June 10th at 13:00 UTC. However, with as many as 200 groups vying to be block producers and only 21 slots available awarded once the network is operational, the possibility of a rival EOS fork be created by those left out remains a risk.
Starting on June 6th, there has been a standing meeting every 24 hours to hold a “go-no go” vote. Votes on June 6th and 7th were inconclusive. But early in the morning on the 9th, a video chat was held and votes were cast and counted. Well known blockchain vlogger Ivan on Tech covered the vote in a live stream. At around 1:12:35 of the video, the results came in, with participants saying it was a go and that the vote was unanimous. One participant said:
“We represent multitudes. We are just a small group here, we represent multitudes and this will be the first decentralized blockchain. True decentralization.”
Now that the vote is final, the plan is that several block producers will be appointed to launch the mainnet. As of press time, it’s unclear if this appointment has happened. After the network is up and running, another vote will be held among all EOS token holders to choose block producers. Only after 15 percent of tokens have been staked to votes will the network actually go live.
The company behind EOS, Block.one, has not been involved the launch of mainnet, having stepped aside around a week ago after the end of the initial coin offering. Block.one released the 1.0 version of EOSIO software on June 1st, and since then the community has been trying to follow a roadmap put in place. With no direction from Block.one, block producer candidates joined together to form the EMLG.
Democracy on the Blockchain
The mainnet launch is a high-stakes gamble, both on technical and political levels. Leading up to the launch, reports circulated that EOS had critical security vulnerabilities, but creator Dan Larimer said that they were overblown and had been resolved. Block.one’s decision to take itself out of the process was done for strategic reasons, because if the company is seen as running EOS, then it would no longer be able to credibly claim being decentralized.
There are also legal implications: the current debate on whether Ethereum’s ether tokens are securities or so-called “utility tokens” could have a huge effect on the success of the blockchain economy. Block.one is doing everything it can to avoid this problem, going so far as to say that EOS tokens have no uses or purposes. But this begs the question of why they were selling them in an ICO in the first place.
Further, the delegated-proof-of-stake system the project uses has its own set of challenges. It doesn’t rely on miners hashing through proof-of-work encryption puzzles or use a pure proof-of-stake system. Instead, holders of EOS tokens vote for block producers in online elections. While used in the Steemit blockchain, the system has never been tested in a network with ambitions as large as EOS’s. All the problems that affect real-world elections can also happen to online ones. Disinformation campaigns or other forms of “fake news” seem like a possible risk to future EOS votes.
Now that the community has decided to move ahead, the crucial phase of rolling out the EOS network has arrived. This is scheduled for June 10th at 13:00 UTC. And soon after that, another vote will be held to determine the first block producers. But there’s a cloud looming over the process: since EOS is open source, there is nothing stopping those block producer groups which lose out in the upcoming vote from launching a rival fork.
What’s your take? Where does this particular cryptocurrency community go from here? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, Dialogues