EOS Mainnet Goes Fully Live After Selection of Block Producers
The EOS mainnet has properly gone live. After the largest initial coin offering in history, reports of security flaws, and two separate rounds of voting over several weeks, block.one and the EOS community appear to have accomplished a major milestone. Now, the network has to prove it works in the wild, while also attracting developers and companies to the chain.
UPDATE: On June 16th, the EOS Mainnet went offline in order to fix a bug relating how deferred transactions were handled. See more details from EOS New York here.
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Full Network Activation After Voting Threshold for Block Producers Reached
On June 14th, the EOS mainnet was fully activated when 15 percent of the outstanding EOS tokens had registered their votes for block producer candidates, according to multiple sources including EOSIO and EOS New York. On the EOS network, block producers are the computer nodes that process transactions, similar to miners of bitcoin.
However, unlike proof-of-work blockchains, there are only 21 active EOS nodes, which are selected by the holders of EOS tokens in what equates to an ongoing online vote. The system, known as delegated-proof-of-stake, was created by Dan Larimer and funded by block.one. The status of the new network can be seen here or here.
Technically, the EOS mainnet was launched on June 10th after a previous series of votes. However, it wasn’t until the 15 percent voting threshold had been met that the network was considered fully operational. Now, in theory, decentralized apps can begin operating on it. In practical terms, however, it will likely be several weeks or months before users and developers begin using EOS in significant numbers.
One concern that some had about EOS prior to launch was what the geographical distribution of the block producers would be. If they were clustered too closely together, the decentralization of the network may have been compromised. This pitfall appears to have been avoided. At the time of launch, block producers appeared to be scattered around the world. Among the top 21, there were organizations located in Canada, the U.K., the U.S., Argentina, Korea, Brazil, Sweden, China, and elsewhere. The top vote-getter was EOS Canada, based in the province of Québec.
EOS Gets a Market Boost Amid Good News for Decentralized Tokens
The price of the EOS token has increased more than seven percent over the last 24 hours, per Coinmarketcap. This compares favorably with ether, which is up around five percent over the same time. Prices of both cryptocurrencies have likely benefited from comments made by an official at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who said yesterday that ether is likely not a security.
If taken as the official outlook by the powerful American financial regulator, decentralized networks and their associated tokens could be spared heavy regulation and taxes in the U.S. However, the SEC appears to be taking a case-by-case approach to cryptos. Despite its decentralized nature, it is unclear whether EOS would pass as a non-security token, given their lengthy and well-organized ICO. However, block.one has stepped aside since it released the final source code of the EOS blockchain on June 1st, allowing block producer candidates to actually create and run the network.
A New Competitor in the dApp World
With EOS up and running, Ethereum now has a serious competitor to its own dApp ecosystem. Most ICOs launched over the past few years had been planning to run on Ethereum. However, the original “World Computer” has had long-standing issues with scaling and security. Though Ethereum has multiple projects in place, including Casper, Plasma, and Sharding, they are not yet active on the mainnet.
EOS claims it will be able to handle one thousand transactions per second at launch, as compared to around 15 per second on the Ethereum network. There are no fees for EOS users, though new tokens will be created at a consistent rate and paid directly to the block producers. This means holders of EOS will pay indirectly through inflation. EOS also has a war chest from its $4 billion USD ICO that it can use to incentivize developers to work on the new network.
Some blockchain projects have already decided to place their bets on the fledging network. UNICO, a decentralized app that creates unique digital collectibles announced in May that it would be switching from Ethereum to EOS. In making the decision, the company said that scalability, fees, and security were the primary reasons for the move. Now that EOS is live, it seems likely that other dApp makers will also be considering their options.
But, as with so much in crypto, the EOS network has yet to face the rigors of real world operation and there are no guarantees that either the technical or economic aspects of the system will work out as planned.
What’s your take? Is the EOS mainnet going to be the genuine Ethereum killer many think it could be?
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