As June approaches I, like many others, am finding my anticipation around the launch of the Eos main chain reaching fever pitch. For some reason I increasingly see the mainnet launch, due shortly after the last distribution period closes, as the birth date of the decentralized revolution proper. After gestating for ten years in the womb of the open source and ancap communities this new paradigm is ready to be born. June 1. Eos will be a Gemini born under a Chestahedron.
Maybe this fever pitch of anticipation was the very intention of the year long token distribution with its built-in entelechy. If so what a clever design. We have been watching the project develop through the ultrasounds of Dan’s development updates and the astounding amount of work being comitted to the github repository. Features keep being added, features that were not even envisaged at the project’s announcement. Something magical, something like destiny, is at work here. And the excitement is contagious. A rapidly growing community is organising around projects and block producer candidacies. Telegram chat rooms are burgeoning with new found devotees. There are midwives everywhere. Other projects FUD jealously sensing the danger to their own hitherto manifest destinies. Just jump on board already! It’s the same revolution! Wish us luck!
A few recent events prompted me to write this post.
On reading Vitalik's remarks I felt tempted to write my own defence of DPoS. I would have argued that to my mind Ethereum's POS proposal suffers from similar potential abuses differentiated only by the fact that the gaming happens outside the governance architecture. And I would have pointed out that the Eos constitution will forbid vote buying. And I might have said that the block producer function is largely deterministic. And I, like Dan, would have reaffirmed my belief in human nature - what's the point otherwise? And, and...
But it’s hard to predict how a consensus algorithm will play out in he wild. The law of unforeseen consequences. Best to be cautious. Best to be circumspect. And I didn't want to embarrass myself. There was that too.
So I mulled it over but a strange unease stayed with me. The issue stayed with me. I slept on it but that didn't help. What to do. Then I heard something in Thomas Cox’s third Q&A with Eosgo. This was the answer that I was looking for. Listen here. The answer is so obvious now.
Thomas contends that the social norms around which we form are the main determinant of our gaming strategies. More important than the rules of the game is the spirit in which the game is played. That is what is most important. The spirit of it. Of course it is. Moreover the spirit will tend to reinforce itself. So we want to start with the right spirit. How this begins is very important. We want a healthy birth with spirited block producers.
Maybe Vitalik doesn't play enough sport. I don't. But all sports people know this to be true.
So this then is my humble attempt to help with the spirit of launch day. Here are my favourite block producer picks. We all have to all get out to vote!
My Top Six Picks
I am a bit of a lurker in the telegram channels so while I might sound like I'm on familiar terms with these candidates they don’t know me too well!
Eric doesn't do much politicking, that’s not his style. But he ranks number 1 on my list. Reading recently in the block producers channel he confessed that he had neither the time nor the inclination to campaign that much so I thought that I better do a bit for him!
Eric is a highly valued member of the block producer community. He is always organizing, testing the system, benchmarking. He is tech savvy and has a fantastic sheriffs hat with silver badge (if you've met him on telegram you'll know what I mean). Has some great dapp ideas too. You can read about his no fuss candidacy here. Especially the part about his moral compass. Vote 1 Eric.
Go EOSSW Eden!
When I started following the telegram channels, early days, Khosi of Eos Africa and Eric were the first I read about organising their own testnet. I decided Khosi had my vote there and then. Plus he has made me laugh quite a few times reading his comments.
These guys were publishing Eos tutorials from the get go and are all class. Been in it since the early DPoS days, pre BitShares. Not many can boast that pedigree. See here for their recent interview with Kev and Bluejays. They hail from Poland. I love Poland. Check out their website design. Classy isn't it?
A must vote. Eos Canada has been doing amazing work to ensure boot up success on launch day. Vote for them! They deserve it. Alexandre Bourget is fantastic. Watch this video and get excited.
Yes to Eos Canada!
Again first class organisers and thinkers. I had a short political conversation with Roman Skaskiw in the gov chatroom and realised in short order that I was out of my depth. Some of his thinking around worker proposals is inspired.
Three cheers for CryptoLions!
Craig from blocksmith was just the voice that I had been waiting for in the block producers chatroom. Craig argues that block producers, like arbitors, must be radically independent. I think he might put a few noses out of joint at times but I love what he says. If the majority of block producers are as independent as Blocksmith there will be no cartel. Period. And they are all over their tech too.
See their block producer pledge to understand what they mean by independence Anyone else who takes their pledge will likely receive my vote too.
Hurray for Blocksmith!
About Asia. I am finding it much harder to assess the Asian candidates since mostly my choices are derived from reading in the block producers chat room and language barriers remain an obstacle. I am determined to spread my vote both geographically and culturally so I will be voting for at least seven Asian block producers. I'll keep you posted.
About the big players. I am considering voting for Bitfinex even though Craig of Blocksmith would accuse me of a severe case of cognitive dissonance. Yes yes, I know. Give me a moment and I’ll tell you why. I want mainstream adoption. Quickly. It's not so much that I am impatient, which I am, but more that it is a race against time at this point. The powers that shouldn't be are getting out of hand. You see I think Bitfinex might accelerate mainstream adoption. It would be a strategic decision. They are building a DEX on Eos but their brand will also pull people in. I liked how Paolo from Bitfinex introduced himself on telegram too depsite a small avalanche criticisms. I might try. In a similar way I might vote for OK Coin with their promise to invest 100 million dollars in the platform. And maybe even Antpool. I heard that Antpool were declining fees on BCH mining. So maybe Antpool. I might allow myself three such strategic votes but I need to investigate further. I don't know enough about them and in truth the idea might be folly. I will see what they can offer on transparency. In the long term, as Eos matures and the world becomes decentralized these organisations will morph too. They must morph if this revolution is to succeed. Why not harness a little of their momentum as a catalyst, as some extra salt? Three wildcards. It is an idea that I am toying with… They may well get voted in anyway in which case I will switch to supporting standby candidates.
About eosDAC. Why not eosDAC you ask? Ok I’ll explain that too because it is the elephant in the room. But in italics below. As an aside. I don’t want to say anything negative. I really don’t. But watching the airdrop procede I was surprised by how strongly I agitated against it. I am certain that eosDAC has the best intentions and I hope to change my mind!
So that’s where I am at with choosing block producer candidates at the moment. I hope that there will be some more discussion amongst the token holders. Please comment with your choice picks! And your voting criteria too. I have quite a few more spots to fill and only a month to go. Can't wait. Hats off to Dan, Brendan Blumer and the BlockOne team. Go Eos!
Regarding block producers as DACs
Eos is already a DAC for the block producers. We vote them in and out. If all thirty block producers that I voted for were DACs and I had to worry about secondary governance layers for each of them, hiring and firing, distributing profits, man what a nightmare! But we DACs can also vote on doing extra stuff for the platform I hear you say. I would love block producers to engage in platform initiatives given their unique insights. Pease do. But worker proposals is the mechanism for that. Not bidding up the block rewards. Worker proposals provide known funding for such initiatives whereas block producer profit wont be so predictable. The main point is that Eos token holders should decide where the inflation goes. Yes to DACs, I love them, but not for block producers.
Regarding the eosDac ERC20 arirdrop
I saw the eosDAC airdrop as unhealthy at this delicate stage in the delivery room. It resulted in a lot of FOMO, the main telegram channel was inundated. There were scams and some lost their Eos. Given that the tokens have no utility until after launch why drop ERC20? What was the hurry? Was it campaigning? It felt perilously close to vote buying. Or was it so that they might be traded before the launch? Many don’t seem to realise that you aren’t going to make a huge profit from holding these tokens. Block producers aren’t going to be insanely profitable. It's volunteer work governing a block producer. But people are expecting returns. It may end up backfiring on eosDAC when people realise. When they start releasing tokens to the larger stake-holders we will see what happens to their token price and whether they can maintain their momentum.
Having said all that I am convinced that the eosDac team has the very best intentions and I wish them luck! And I truly may change my mind about it.