From its turbulent mainnet launch, the EOS network faced community backlash for freezing several user accounts. On June 26, 2018, EOS CTO Dan Larimer took to Telegram to propose a complete rehaul of the network’s constitution.
Controversy With Current EOS Governance Model
On June 26, CTO of EOS and an original drafter of its constitution, Dan Larimer joined the EOS community on Telegram to propose a revised network governance model.
Without permission from the majority of token holders, the EOS network’s 21 block producers froze seven accounts on June 17 – using the EOS911 Initiative to justify their executive decision and breach the blockchain’s immutability.
Stating that the current state of the constitution is too centralized in its allocation of power to arbitrators, Larimer wrote:
“I am merely saying that the current constitution is not wise… I don’t think unlimited power to arbs is [a] good idea. This governance process is [a] slippery slope and must maintain highest standards to keep community trust. Checks and balances and consent [are] required.”
The three groups that comprise the EOS community are the arbitrators (EOS Core Arbitration Forum), 21 Block Producers (BPs), and token-holders.
Larimer expressed that EOS arbitrator’s authority should extend only into disputes regarding the intent of code, not the overseeing of users’ assets.
Given Larimer’s shared opinions, it was evident that the EOS CTO effectively suggested the complete rehaul of the network’s constitution to re-balance community autonomy with block producers’ and arbitrators’ governing powers.
— Jackson Palmer (@ummjackson) June 27, 2018
New Constitution Drafted
On June 27, Dan Larimer’s blog post outlined the framework for his newly revised EOS constitution – stating boundaries limiting the authority of arbitrators and block producers on the network.
“If there is a dispute on intent of code, then intent shall be determined by a super majority vote of elected producers or an arbiter mutually agreed to by the parties to the dispute and enacted by producers… At no time shall elected block producers freeze or modify contracts that are operating as intended.”
Addressing the need to safeguard users from being robbed of their private keys and cases involving such circumstances, Larimer suggested an optional arbitration smart contract:
“Those who want the elected block producers and/or ECAF to protect their interests can opt-in to a new smart contract where ECAF/producers are the arbitration system… The scope of arbitrator power would be limited to that contract alone.”
The new EOS constitution attempts to balance the issues surrounding account freezes and arbitrator authority with greater user autonomy, using Ricardian contracts – combining both free-form terms and code terms – to better meet the community’s demands and prevent future controversy.
The revised governance model outlines the role of block producers and arbitrators, a consensus for amendment, and terms of liability and immutability on the blockchain. It is still unknown whether the amended constitution will be approved by the community and implemented on the network.
Cover Photo by Rick Meyers on Unsplash
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