Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one, the tech company producing the EOS.IO software, started 2019 with some New Year’s resolution of improving the governance of EOS mainnet because his Twitter and Telegram storms have never been so intense. His proposal for introducing “voter rebates” has sparked huge debate and woke up an otherwise apathetic community. Brendan revealed that Block.one is having governance meetings in Virginia adding that “Block.one will publish what it believes is the best way forward but will not force anything through, it will be up the community”.
The discussion started when Blumer reached out to the EOS community to address key inconsistencies within the network like vote buying. He suggested that EOS should modify its constitution to allow the block producers to pay dividends to users who give in to their stakes.
Article IV of the EOS constitution clearly prohibits vote buying.
“No Member shall offer nor accept anything of value in exchange for a vote of any type, nor shall any Member unduly influence the vote of another.”
This article has been breached when a leaked Excel spreadsheet showed that Huobi was trading votes with several other BPs. Although nothing has been proved the informations provided may be sufficient that the vote buying occurred which led also to cartel creation.
Lack of any significant reaction of BPs and the larger community led to further constitutional and BP agreement abuses and to stagnancy of the governance.
Brendan Blumer’s engagement has revived the community although the opinions on the “voter rebates” are divided. He shed some light on the mechanism of these rebates added that: “the solution is simplifying network engagement, incentivizing it, and rewarding participation.
Changes proposed by Brendan Blumer
“1 token 1 vote to eliminate vote swapping and lower the barrier to vote (people can’t assess 30 BP’s), increasing BP inflation, and enabling rebates that go equally to all voters so BP’s can compete on a cost basis is where my mind is at currently.”
“It will align block production with token demographics. Right now a BP votes for themself, and have 29 more votes that are “unused” so they trade them. This cements an unbreakable ring. Shifting to 1 token 1 vote means their is a cost to voting for more than one so the entire vote trading dynamic is gone.
This is the most important change wanted by the Block.one’s CEO. Voter rebates in “in addition to REX and other fees will create meaningful incentive to stake and vote” said Brendan but the votes would need to become fractional if the token holders vote for more than one BP which in his mind is “a more technically elegant solution to 1 token, 1 vote”. He stated also: “This will eliminate vote swapping and make voting 30 times easier” and he is convinced that “Vote trading goes away entirely with 1 token 1 vote”. Longer staking time has been also proposed.
Some community member opposed this approach as it would be deemed vote buying but Brendan answered: “It’s not vote buying, it’s offering to do the same service for less – vote buying would be paying a specific individual for their vote; this is not the right model.”
Vincent of EOS Nation expressed his doubts with the proposed model: “if i feel 1 token 1 vote will assure that top BPs will be whales that vote themselves in. Top BPs will be banks, Exchanges and most succesfull DApps. Parreto principle will assure that the richest stay at the top… Plz elaborate on how this is good.”
“People will always vote for themselves, but that’s not a bad thing; it aligns interests.
The system right now is effectively 1 token = 30 votes. Which means a few bps can get together (and have) and vote for each other; this ultimately creates highly organized cartels of BP’s with no ability for anyone else to break in, because the BP’s are all so coordinated and vote for each other, whereas the average voters are less coordinated and their totals can’t compete with a 30 man vote-trading ring.
Once this dynamic is gone through 1 token = 1 vote, BP’s will still vote for themselves, but the ability for a new BP to break in one at a time becomes possible, opposed to a new cartel having to overtake an incumbent one with a coordinated vote-trading scheme.”
“No blockchain is cartel proof, but this will make EOS far more resistant than it is today, and will allow for a slow change of BP’s over time opposed to a 2 party system of cartels”
“We are proposing nothing that makes the rich richer, we will propose something that makes staked voters prosper more than transient holders than don’t stake” replied Blumer.
Also Ryan Bethem of EOS42 stated his concern with the proposal: “I see where you going with this, but given current conditions (550 accounts own 81% of the token supply, not including B1) wouldnt these top 550 accounts be able to run rings regardless?”
“Yes they would, but the ability for a block producer to break in one at a time will now be possible, allowing the network to evolve without having to break up a cartel” said Block.one’s CEO.
The proposed changes will not be forced onto the community but Block.one will simply post their recommendations and it will be entirely up the voters and network on how to proceed. The CEO added also: “We won’t be voting until voter turnouts is way higher, and we will not vote to enforce these changes”.
Rob Finch from Cypherglass asked if the rebates could not be paid directly from the inflation.
“Yes, but rebating to voters incentivizes that type of engagement and pushes the cost of the network to the transient holders that just move in and out; right now voting has a cost that isn’t rewarded so it makes no sense to vote unless your a BP voting for yourself.
Furthering the problem, excess votes are just traded to create unbreakable cartels – the good news is that this is all very easy to fix ” replied Brendan.
Steve Floyd of Bitgate and Fractal said: “I think everyone is really tired of this Kabuki theater with Block One. It’s sucked the life out of the entire community.”
“I think it’s only sucking the life out of the incumbent cartel and those unfairly benefiting by the fact that token holders aren’t being represented as well as they could. I will continue to prioritize EOS token holders in everything I suggest. That’s the whole premise of EOS, a network run by the token holders and for the token holders” answered Blumer.
Brendan voiced all of these opinions in a Telegram group dedicated to the discussion around Block.one’s proposed constitution, the so-called v2 or “Intent of code is law” although he said that he can’t comment on EOS V2 and that his team is “looking at everything now”. Apart from voter rebates, the community was eager to know his view on the Universal Resource Inheritance (URI) proposal made by Daniel Larimer as well as on the ECAF and the Worker Proposal System (WPS).
The ECAF has been the subject of a debate since from the EOS mainnet launch, but this is the first time that the community heard Brendan mentioning it.
“Worker proposals should not be base later. Yes on UBI, but not base layer. ECAF absolutely needs to go.”
“I stopped worker proposals before launch because I never wanted them base layer, anything experimental or irrelevant to some should not be part of the core protocol.”
“Because the success of an autonomous new-age DAO that offers resources in a way that can be gamed by large token holders, no accountability for progress, or enforceability for fraud should not be affecting the base layer.”
“These types of DAOs should be security tokens that bring communities into the investment selection committee and has a certain degree of centralized enforcement or you will most certainly give away more value than you’ll ever receive”
“If the WPS system was implemented in its current form the eos token price would fall as the sell pressure from inflation went up 5 times without any clear way to measure returns and drive value back to those same holders that funded the project”
“UBI will become the #1 customer acquisition strategy in the world and every new business should be looking at it”
One of the most anticipated products promised by Block.one is the multi-chain wallet. Brendan Blumer revealed that “it’s being polished and is with marketing and legal” and that “this quarter is a possibility” but he “can’t commit to an exact timeline”.
“Our main product focus is something far independent of the wallet, we’re trying to solve some of the biggest problems in society today so part of our focus is transforming our organization into an entity that is able to deal with a much larger customer base.”
“We release products when they’re ready like most large organizations; so you have Apple’s roadmap you can share?”
“It’s in polish mode now”
“It’s more than a wallet”
Kevin Rose of EOS New York commented on REX: “I think the thought process went like this “how do we solve scarcity of resources? REX! What else could this do? Ok voter apathy reduction… cool!” Brendan Blumer addressed this by saying:
“Rex was born by the fact that several token holders didn’t need the resources their tokens had rights to. By creating REX it allows them to rent them to developers which don’t yet have a consistent need for resources or want to launch a project cheaply without buying tokens”
“Renting resources to developers should not be contingent on voting for a more block producers than you can research”
Brendan shared his positive feeling for how the things will unfold: “We’ve been watching carefully over the last 6 months and I’m confident that with relatively simple changes, we can help EOS further outpace all other protocols.” He also seemed very pleased with the community feedback: “I’m off to bed everyone, I’ve enjoyed talking with the community these last few days and will continue to do so; it’s been important to me to hear everyone’s feedback as it definitely informs my opinion. Gn ❤️”