EOS launch continually stalls under voting anarchy | finder.com.au
The main problem is that voting is risky, difficult and just not worth it.
Democracy doesn't work. At least not in the case of EOS to date. More than a week after its supposed mainnet launch, there has still been little progress other than last minute bug fixes and a lot of politicking.
This is down to the democratic nature of its blockchain. In an effort to overcome the blockchain "scaling trilemma" and produce a high speed network, EOS has adopted a vote-based system that revolves around just 21 elected nodes. Anyone can use EOS tokens to lodge votes, but only 21 entities can produce blocks and earn the rewards for doing so.
To actually go live, at least 15% of EOS tokens need to be put towards voting. At the time of writing, about 9% of votes are in, with various producers dropping in and out of the race, imposters raking in votes and backdoor deals within backdoor deals coming out of the woodwork.
Despite all the speed bumps, the 15% mark is creeping closer. It's thought that the remaining amount could disappear almost immediately as soon as a critical mass of colluding nodes reach consensus. The vast majority of tokens are held by a very small handful of whales, so they'll be getting the final say on voting. One popular opinion is that these whales are holding back their tokens until they've worked out how many block producers they can reliably elect at once, and agreed on who they should be. At this point they can dump all their tokens into voting to instantly push it past the 15% mark, reshuffle the voting landscape as desired and launch the mainnet with the nodes of their choice.
This is made easier by the general public being largely locked out of voting.
There's no reason to vote
Voting power is determined by EOS holdings so the non-whales have insignificant voting power. The voting landscape will be deliberately reshuffled in the near future anyway, so there's no real reason to go through the fairly incredible risks and challenges of voting, just to cast a worthless ballot.
And voting on EOS truly is difficult and risky. It means using a third party service and potentially putting one's private keys at risk. Some voting tools are legitimate, some are scams and it's extremely difficult to tell them apart. There's no real coherent information, different communication channels will give people different instructions and recommendations and most of the available voting tools are being produced by parties that are angling for a role as a block producer.
At the same time, hundreds of different entities are dubbing themselves future block producers in an effort to gain credibility, all while being impersonated by scammers. So far, several outright scammers and impersonators have rotated in and out of the top 21 list. In at least one case, an impersonator managed to pick up more votes than the real one. Assuming the party that reported the impersonator is actually the real one, rather than this being a case of an impersonator reporting the real one.
With all the scams, confusion, technical barriers and risks, and the near-worthlessness of a mainstreet holder's vote, it's unsurprising that the vast majority of individuals are keeping their distance.
Even in a clear and healthy democracy only a small percentage of people will actually vote if they don't have to, and EOS is certainly not a healthy democracy.
Backrooms within backrooms
The real progress is happening in the backrooms. But even inside those backrooms, the cabals are having difficulty agreeing on anything except that they want to use their power to print more EOS tokens.
The mainnet probably won't launch until the backroom whales and colluding block producers manage to reach an agreement. This could happen at any time, and might look like a sudden roll-in of votes.
Once it does there may be a second wave of confusion as disappointed non-appointed block producers may accuse the new appointees of vote manipulation, and the newly-appointed producers defend the integrity of the voting process. This might be followed by a new forking spree shortly after the 15% mark is reached and the network goes live.
They say participating in a democracy is its own reward. In EOS' case it has to be, because there's no other reason to lodge a vote.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, XRB