1. What new developments can we expect to see for EOS this
Thomas Cox: The big and obvious ones are the San
Francisco Hackathon and the release into beta of the Referendum contract that
will eventually allow for on-chain elections and voting on policy. The
Referendum, once it passes out of beta testing, will be the cornerstone for a
majority of EOS’s governance activities.
Myles Snider: There are two major improvements to EOS
in progress. One is the resource exchange (REX), which is a protocol-level
liquidity pool for token holders to trustlessly rent out their bandwidth to
other users who need it. This will lower costs for both users and developers
and also allow token holders to earn a return by leasing out their unused
capacity. Participation in the REX also requires that users vote, so it should
increase voter participation, as well. It’s a major improvement to EOS all
The other improvement being worked on is inter-blockchain communication
(IBC). This is software that allows different blockchains built on the EOSIO
software to communicate and interoperate with one another. This will allow for
the creation of EOS sidechains and interoperable EOS code forks.
2. Do you see
EOS and Ethereum working together, as interoperability protocols are now being
developed for this?
Cox: Yes, very much so. Ethereum is amazing technology and has a
robust community of brilliant contributors. EOS brings in speed and
flexibility. The use cases and design envelopes of Ethereum and EOS are
complementary. With the release recently of BancorX and other initiatives that
allow for bidirectional integration, the EOS Alliance expects to see an
explosion of interesting new use cases. We look forward to increasing
collaboration across the two ecosystems.
Snider: I hope so! Recently we’ve seen the development of the EOS21
protocol by shEOS, and BancorX by
Bancor/LiquidEOS, and both of those are huge steps toward cross-chain
interoperability. I think we’ll see many more teams that have issued tokens on
one platform or the other offer users the ability to port between platforms. I’m
really excited to see strong projects from Ethereum that could also be used on
EOS. It would be really exciting if Maker, for example, allowed users to use
Dai stablecoins on EOS.
3. What’s your response to the claim that EOS is
not actually a blockchain but simply a distributed database?
Cox: I released this
official response on November 6. I’m pleased to report that the CTO of
Whiteblock is in ongoing dialogue with many top EOS BPs (block producers) and
core developers to better understand the gap between what Whiteblock found and
what we know to be true about our technology. I expect that dialogue to be a
prelude to a collaboration that supports Whiteblock’s already announced public
live-streaming of its EOS findings set for later in November. All parties in
that discussion are being highly professional and respectful, and are focused
on increasing mutual understanding.
One early result is a tentative plan to devise a shared,
standard lexicon for blockchain phenomena and behaviors, ideally under the
auspices of the IEEE Blockchain Initiative standards committee. I plan to
broach this at the November meeting.
4. How would you describe the delegated-proof-of-stake model of
governance of EOS to the average, nontechnical person?
Cox: You could think of DPoS as being a method whereby the
members of the EOS community pick out their most able, technical members and
temporarily give them the role of making blocks for the rest of us to validate.
By requiring BPs to compete for election every two minutes, and to collaborate
once elected, we get much faster block confirmation, a vast reduction in power
consumption and very high reliability.
Snider: DPoS is a consensus algorithm that uses token-holder voting
to decide on the set of network validators. DPoS comes in different variations,
but generally speaking, it is the most performant consensus algorithm in
In EOS DPoS, each token holder is allowed to cast votes for
up to 30 BPs. Each block producer the user votes for receives an equal number
of votes based on that person’s total stake. For example, if a token holder
owns 1,000 EOS, each of the 30 block producers they vote for receives 1,000
votes. Thus, any user’s voting power is proportional to their total ownership
stake in the network’s tokens.
The top 21 block producer candidates by total number of votes
received are then allowed to sign and produce blocks on the network. These 21
nodes form the core group of validators, and they are compensated by the
network in the form of block rewards. While the core 21 BPs earn the majority
share of rewards, the network also compensates a number of standby block
producers who are ready to step in should any of the core 21 BPs be voted out.
DPoS is a form of liquid, representative democracy using a
transparent on-chain voting system. Users can vote directly for block producers
or they can trustlessly proxy their voting power to another user to vote on
their behalf. DPoS is the first example of a global, 24/7, digital election.
Block producers must not only be voted in by token holders, but they must also maintain
token-holder approval, as they can be voted out at any time and replaced by a
standby block producer.
Finally, DPoS is an incentive system that motivates block
producer candidates to compete with one another to bring value to the EOS
community. In proof-of-work systems, any miner with enough computing power can
produce blocks on the network. With DPoS, block producer candidates not only
have to secure the network by reliably producing blocks, but they must also
earn the approval (and votes) of the community by offering additional value-add
services to the network and the community. Once voted in, however, block
producers work together to secure the network and produce blocks reliably and
with as little latency as possible.
5. Which use case for EOS are you most excited about?
Cox: My personal favorites include the IRYO approach to using the
EOS blockchain to protect access to medical records, decentralized credit
scoring, smart-contract-based insurance, self-sovereign identity and logistics
and supply chain.
Snider: I think that EOS stands to capture some of the most exciting
use cases of blockchain technology that have not yet been possible on other
platforms because of issues around throughput, latency and fees. EOS is
extremely high-throughput and low-latency, and it has zero individual
transaction fees. This opens up the design space for DApps substantially. I
think that the first major use case we’ll see take off on EOS is
blockchain-based games. Game users need to make many transactions and don’t want
to pay to do so, and EOS is the only blockchain that can provide that
experience. In the future, I think we’ll see blockchain-based social networks,
fully on-chain decentralized exchanges and tokenized securities on EOS, as