LONDON (Bywire News) - It’s a little more than a month since Bull Dao scooped first prize at Block.one’s hackathon. However, already it looks as if the relationship may be on the rocks. Like many other developers, their belief in the concept of EOS is tempered by frustration at how it is being run. Now they could be walking away altogether.
“We have all been around in the EOS community since the beginning,” explains their head of UX Callum Dickson. “It’s fair to say I’ve been. I’ve been disappointed with what the decisions seem to have been over the past few years. There’s been a lack of investment in the space and a lack of investment in upcoming start-ups. If you look at competitors like Ethereum, it’s like night and day.”
Back in April Dao Bull won first prize at Block.one’s hackathon ‘Beyond the Blockchain’. It’s a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) which enables users to set up their own network within minutes.
A DAO is built on an open source blockchain protocol which functions without a management structure or the need for intermediaries. The most famous example is, of course, Bitcoin.
DAO Bull will empower users to set up their own online communities. It caters to a post Covid-19 world in which people and businesses are having to adjust to a new world in which they need to work exclusively digitally. The growth of online communities has, they say, created demand for a system which helps entrepreneurs, developers, and hobbyists to easily create their own online presences.
Callum explains more. “With a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation, we have a whole new set of features which are brought about because of the blockchain”, he said. “These would include being able to raise capital, being able to effectively govern and allocate that capital which is a very new things for online communities”.
The hackathon presented an exciting opportunity to use EOS technologies and the Google Cloud to work on projects which spark real world change. For them this was a fantastic opportunity they didn’t want to miss.
“We’ve all known each other for years. We’ve come on and off projects over the years and done a few hackathons together”, adds Callum. “We were all EOS maximalists back in the day. To get the opportunity work on an EOS hackathon was something I’d been really eying up because I went to the London Science Museum one back in 2018. It was hands down the best hackathon I’ve ever been to. We’d always eyed up working on the next one. So we got the team back together to work on this and to win is amazing.”
Thanks to Covid-19, this year’s event was slightly different. Rather than an intense operation taking place in a single location over a weekend, this was spread out over the course of a month. While not quite the same exciting experience as a regular hackathon, this did give them the opportunity to build something more sophisticated.
“The main difference is that one was held over a weekend at the Science Museum which pretty limits the scope of what you can build. This was run over the course of a month. The nature of software development means we can get a lot more done”, he said. “In a way If you have the resources and a team which is up for doing it, going over a month is better because you can get more done. However, as an experience the event at the science museum was amazing”.
The solution they came up with is still in development. All you can see at the moment is a holding page, but the foundation is there.
Taking us on a quick tour he shows us a remarkably simple user journey. You land on the homepage and can search through their growing list of communities. If you want to create your own, you can simply create a wallet, give it a name, and choose a governance model. In the version they have at the moment, they are restricted to just the one – a simple one token one vote model. However, once live, they hope you’ll be able to choose from multiple forms of tokenomics.
It essentially takes a basic user created page such as one you might see in Reddit and adds more tools, such as the ability to raise capital. You could also use it to manage a community project such as a garden using member voting to make decisions, or to allocate shares for a company. As it evolves, he says, its use could be ‘limitless’.
“We’re keen to make sure the user experience feels closer to the centralised user experience that people are used to,” he adds. “User experience is a problem for the blockchain in general. It might be easy for us but for the average user it’s really hard to break through with a lot of these decentralised applications. So, we are trying to see how we make it more user friendly.”
Its potential is enormous, and it’s easy to see why it won first prize. However, this brings us back to the ongoing concerns surrounding the future of EOS and where this platform will sit. One of the provisions of the hackathon was that they would have the chance to speak to Block.one.
That, they say, has not happened yet and although they remain keen to work with Block.one, they stress they are not going to hang around forever.
“A month is a long time for us”, says Dickson. “We don’t want to wait; we are not going to wait”.
They say they have other offers from other chains and have investment on the table. The prospect of a solution build by EOS enthusiasts through a Block.one hackathon switching to another chain would be worrying.
“EOS space seems to lack leadership or any communication from Block.one to the community. When you talk about decentralised projects the community is a little salty because they know that you’ve made so much money and they want to see where the money has gone”.
They are not alone. Murmurs of discontent have been growing within the EOS community for some time. As data from last year shows, EOS is seeing an exodus of developers with a drop of 85 percent compared to a year previously. Meanwhile Cardano, Polkadot and Cosmos are all making ground. In the race to be the next generation blockchain they seem to be winning on technology but losing everywhere else.
“Ethereum is magnetic because you can get funding and you can do things”, Dickson adds. “The EOS space lacks leadership or any communication from Block.one”.
Even so they remain believers in the technology. “I think EOS is the only technology which is ready for prime time right now today”, he says. “I think that seems to be getting forgotten by the community. There is a huge gap between the technology and the perception of that technology in the community. EOS seems to have a massive branding problem”.
Time will tell if EOS can make the changes its community want to see. For their part, they remain fans of the technology, albeit with a few reservations.
“I’m still on the EOS hill even though I’m looking around and most people seem to have gone”, he smiles.
For the meantime, though, the future is unwritten. “Yes, we want to work with Block.one, but we have questions which need to be answered and I think the community needs to have them answered”.