LONDON (Bywire News) - It was the morning after the deadline before. Those waking up to see if B1 and the ENF had pulled out a deal at the last moment would hardly have been encouraged by the number of EOS community members who had tweeted clips from Les Misérables. Yes, the masses were rising. The so-called nuclear option which nobody thought would happen, happened. The EOS block producers had voted to stop the vesting of tokens to B1.
This was a surprise for many, but when you think back, all the signs did in fact point to this exact outcome. Perhaps it was over optimism that falsely blinded many, the author included, because frankly the ENF were clear all along: ‘No IP, no deal’. And that is exactly what transpired.
The BPs freezing B1’s vesting EOS tokens was the option everybody thought would never happen. Even in the run up, the mood music wasn’t too bad. Rumours of a deal floated through the internet. B1’s move to grant 32 million EOS to be vested over the next seven years to the ENF, Helios and Pomelo, seemed to be the step in the right direction everyone needed.
Very quickly though, it emerged that B1 may not have been negotiating in good faith. The sticking point was the refusal of B1 to surrender the EOS IP to the community. Without this – or at least a statement of intent – as La Rose tweeted, there could be no deal.
It very quickly became clear that B1 could not – or would not – agree. Their hands, they said, were tied as the IP lay with Bullish and, it would take more time to transfer this IP from Bullish back to B1. A few encouraging tweets regarding the issue from Brendan Blumer were, according to La Rose, not enough.
“Through a super majority consensus, the EOS network has taken its future into its own hands,” he tweeted. “This begins a new era for #EOS and highlights the power of the blockchain to enable a community to stand up against corporate interests that don’t align with theirs.”
The reaction from many in the community was mixed to say the least.
“This was not done by the community,” tweeted @HermanArber
Others were more positive. @EmanuellePiston5 Tweeted: “Finally no more fraudulent @B1 and @BrendanBlumer.”
What is interesting, however, is that according to Aaron Cox from Greymass, B1 were clearly negotiating as if they had the EOS IP asset at their disposal. It was only later at the eleventh hour that the need to transfer the IP from Bullish to B1 came to light. This does seem like it could have been easily overcome by B1 or Brendan making a statement that they agree to these terms, but it would take a few weeks to implement. This, we have on good faith, would have been accepted by the BPs and the deal concluded. Therefore, why did B1 not make this simple declaration?
The big question now though is what happens next?
To understand that, and the strength of feeling, we really have to look at how we got here. Back in 2018 EOS launched with a blaze of expectation on the back of a gargantuan ICO worth more than $4 billion. That money was supposed to be put towards the development of the network and community projects.
21 leading block producers who would be voted in by token holders would run the network – subject to any votes to remove them from power.
In return for supporting the network B1 was supposed to receive a total of approx. 100 million EOS to be gradually released over the next ten years. As things stand, around 65 million EOS was scheduled to be vested to B1 over approx. the next seven years.
Expectations were high but the three years since then have been disappointing. B1 has been notable by its absence. While other tokens surged, EOS was stuck in the doldrums. B1 appeared to be focusing its attention on profitable projects attracting bankers and hedge fund managers such as Bullish than the community which they were supposed to support. Anger grew and calls to move away from B1 have grown from a rumbling to a deafening. Things really got bad when B1 released a new version of EOSIO that was critical for Bullish but would have damaged the EOS public blockchain. This was clearly a direct contradiction of B1’s duties and commitments. And this is without us mentioning the hundreds of millions of dollars seemly squandered on Voice.com.
In this context then the vote is an Independence Day moment for the network. It’s an opportunity for the EOS community to flick a V sign to B1 and strike out on its own, finally. If nothing else, then, it teaches B1 a salient lesson about what happens when you neglect the good of your own network and prioritise your own continued wealth and existence over those who delivered you this vast wealth.
Against this backdrop, the decision to stop the vesting appears understandable – perhaps even inevitable. Those tokens were granted to B1 in return for supporting the network and nobody can really suggest they delivered on those expectations. When La Rose described B1 as fraudulent, there were plenty of people in the community shouting ‘amen’.
Ultimately though, almost everyone hoped for and expected a deal to happen. The demands were relatively small, and the will seemed like it was there. All the community and BPs wanted was for B1 to make a comparatively small contribution – especially given the $4billion they had already raised – and to give up the EOS IP and unvested tokens. Both of which they don’t need. This would allow the community to break away from B1 and gain the independence it needed. That B1 was not able or willing to make such a move will surprise many and may even reinforce existing discontent.
Without a deal the future is up in the air. The fear from some is that the community has just cut its nose off to spite its face.
Brock Pierce, who arguably stands to lose the most from this turn of events, is understandably incensed. He has described the move as “mutiny”, undermining the integrity of the network, warned of a mass unstaking event to come and directly compared these events to the capital riot insurrection on January the 6th in Washington D.C.
Clearly, if peace has failed as Pierce claims, he is preparing for war.
Against that this move does at least send a clear message to the wider market – EOS is no longer B1. That at least is worth something. The potential of the EOS technology is beyond doubt. It is faster and more sustainable than anything out there. Moreover, with the ENF, Eden, Pomelo and hopefully still Helios, it is now getting the community led initiative most people hoped it would have from the beginning.
The future for EOS is promising and initial reactions from the market appears to agree. At the time of writing EOS is up 14% on the day [Wednesday].
There are massive caveats about that. Even if this does represent market sentiment, it is just an initial reaction. The real connotations of this move will unravel over the next few weeks.
All bets, therefore, are off. One thing is for sure. EOS is a community struggling with conflicting emotions of excitement and trepidation.
(Writing by Tom Cropper and Michael O’Sullivan, editing by Michael O’Sullivan)