In the second half of June 2018 the representatives of EOS, the scalable blockchain technology project by BlockOne, joined a panel at the BlockchainBeach event.
A video footage of a Q&A with the audience has been available from YouTube but only got less than a thousand views so far, which makes it worth sharing.
At 33:50 we have Richard Burton of @Balance_io, a crypto wallet for dapps & tokens, inquiring about how is EOS going to utilize the four billion dollars they had raised in the public crowdsale earlier in June 2018. Ben Sigman of EOS and shEOS, an EOS block producer, responds.
Below a few interesting bits of the conversation.
Richard Burton: The metric by which I judge all projects is how much capital they raised and how much successful code they ship.
Given the billions that you’ve raised, how much have you actually shipped? How come you don’t have a wallet, UI that works or a voting interface or anything that actually functions?
Ben Sigman: Man, you know what? I totally agree with you. But I think the important thing to worry about is who raised that money. Billions of dollars went to a company with basically no employees and all contractors, named block.one.
Block.one raised this money and released this software that is not complete yet. What will they do with that money? I’m not sure yet. But they released this software that is totally a gift to the world, even though it is not done yet.
Obviously there’s some imbalance now. Where are we gonna spend that money? We’re not sure yet. We can’t really judge because it’s so early.
Taylor Monahan, CEO of MyCrypto, chimes in: I agree we should not judge people too quickly. But maybe as a community we should pressure block.one a little bit to up their transparency?
Ben Sigman: I’m not sure how much power we have over block.one.
Block.one raised about four billion dollars but I don’t think they set out to raise four billion dollars. That’s just what people gave them for the EOS tokens.
It’s not like they set out on a mission to suck all this money out of the world. They just came out with an idea.
Richard Burton: You’ve just had a year long ICO, you could have stopped that at hundred million. Once you have a certain sufficient amount of funding, all that matters is the culture of the project.
Ben Sigman strongly disagrees but fails to provide a good justification for his position.
Another panelist attempts to compare the EOS ICO to the total cumulated buying volume of BTC or ETH on the free market which is a higher USD figure than what the EOS crowdsale generated. He argues Ethereum likewise is not useful for anything either with the exception of decentralized gaming, at which the panelists laugh.
Taylor Monahan bravely goes on to explain the difference between the free market and a crowdsale supporting a single company. Richard Burton adds that EOS and Ethereum are in a completely “different fucking ballpark”: Ethereum is highly priced like EOS but has some value which is limited but growing, while EOS does not have a working product.
The panel participants close Richard’s question by agreeing the general public needs to become smarter and ICOs should probably get regulated because they are “raising offensive amount of money and nobody knows what they’re doing with it”.
Now that everyone including EOS representatives agrees that the EOS project was over-funded (but is keeping all the money nontheless), let’s look at what was actually done throughout the summer of 2018.
EOS Token Storage
EOS wallet is now available through the Ledger Nano devices for both the EOS tokens and the dApp tokens living on the EOS blockchain.
A guide on how to enable EOS storage is available from ledgerwallet.com directly.
While it is not something done by block.one team itself, it still provides the bottom line which is a token storage.
Again, not something done by the team, but EOS-based dApps are needed for EOS to stay relevant until that elusive killer app arrives (or doesn’t).
Several new dApps emerged during the summer and got featured on the EOS blog in their “dApp Spotlight” segment.
The featured projects so far do not appear to particularly need EOS specifically:
- A Wikipedia on the blockchain (Everipedia) into which however block.one itself invested along with Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Investment LP.
- A musical ecosystem on the blockchain.
- A dApp that incentivizes registered cyber security experts to help solve vulnerabilities (Uncloak).
- An off-chain technology that offloads data from blockchain to a traditional database (Demux).
- Finally, EOSFinex, the closest to a real-world application of EOS so far.
EOSFinex is meant to be an EOS-based trading platform developed by the Bitfinex/Ethfinex people which was however announced in February 2018 already and arguably helped fuel the EOS ICO. In the EOS blog, Kasper Rasmussen explains Bitfinex was an early supporter of EOS and the trading platform is being developed mainly because Bitfinex likes to identify novel projects that have the potential of changing the landscape of finance.
EOSFinex will not be ready for public release before mid-2019 but beta version release is scheduled for September 26th 2018.
The EOSIO Development Team
Throughout the summer, there was development work done on the platform itself with weekly releases. The work was mostly focused on bugfixing, see releases on Github.
There was also some activity in toolkits for contract building and communication with the API, although it did start picking up only at the start of September.
This is good work necessary to facilitate dApp development on EOS.
The block.one Management
The structure of the project is that block.one, a Cayman Islands company led by CEO Brendan Blumer and CTO Daniel Larimer, develops the EOSIO software. The software was originally proposed by Blumer and Larimer but developed by independent contractors.
The official channel for EOS announcements mostly mirrors the Github releases with few exceptions related to the EOS Hackaton series the team organizes. They awarded winners with prizes of 1.5 MM USD in total, some of which was in cash.
At the first event in June 2018 the first prize went to IDPASS, a platform for personal identity on the blockchain - an application that has been done many times over on BTC and ETH blockchains.
On Twitter, EOS posted news about strategic partnerships related to future blokchain events and publicity. There aren’t any partnerships with established businesses to be found, it is therefore unlikely the promised throughput and scalability will be tested in the real world any time soon.
All in all from the information available it does seem the management took most of all a nice summer off until finally, by the end of August 2018 block.one updated their careers page to add new vacancies for full-time positions in Hong Kong and Blacksburg, VA.
Right now block.one is looking to fill so many roles ranging form accountants to full-time devops that one could guess it is a company that just barely came to existence.
There is a chance block.one is taking things from the right end though:
Developer Relations Advocate: You will be a bridge between community and Block.one developers, representing Block.one products outwardly to the community and the community inwardly to the internal Block.one developers.
If there is prodigious talent in communications found and coupled with equally prodigious talent on the technical side, the EOS community could finally see good code shipped, tested and documented, all being announced regularly and transparently on community channels and hopefully with more knowledge and less California on future blockchain events as well.
The problem of EOS lies in the four billion dollars of funding that block.one raised: When everyone knows how much monetary value went into the EOSIO software it is hard not to expect a miracle. Trying to hold up a project to this kind of expectation is not something I would personally wish to my worst enemy.
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