LONDON (Bywire News) - A couple of months ago, if you mentioned EOS, people’s eye would have rolled. After all the hype of B1 June in 2019, this lightning fast, third gen crypto was looking decidedly, sluggish. Its creator, Dan Larimer had left parent company Block.one; they were leaking talent, and activity was stalling. Commentators were already starting to talk about EOS in the past tense. Market cap? Well, it wasn’t going in the right direction, that is for sure.
Today, things couldn’t look and feel more different. The EOS Foundation has burst onto the scene, providing the injection of support and capital that the sector has been crying out for. So how did things turn around? And is this really the start of something special or just a cruel mirage to a thirsty community?
Back in 2018, EOS burst onto the scene with a splash. With the backing of Block.one and a $4bn token sale (ICO), it was billed as the Ethereum killer. Like Ethereum, EOSIO (the blockchain operating system that the cryptocurrency EOS runs on) would be a smart contracts platform which runs decentralised applications and intelligent technologies. Further, EOSIO offered enterprise level scaling while Ethereum struggled to meet rising demand, with gas fees often outrageous.
However, three years in and things hadn’t really moved, perhaps stagnation was retreat in denial. The hoped-for investment from Block.one never materialised. Excitement waned and projects floundered. The launch of Block.one’s answer to social media, Voice.com, seemed to epitomise what was wrong with EOS: a massively expensive development, lots of hype, huge amounts of potential, but none of it fulfilled.
Callum Dickson of DAO Bull who won this year’s Block.one/Google Cloud hackathon summed up the issues when he spoke to Bywire. “Ethereum is magnetic,” he said. It’s magnetic because you can get funding, but the EOS space, to be frank, it seems to lack leadership, it seems to lack any kind of communication to the community.”
There were problems with the regulators. They were bogged down in negotiations with the SEC and forced to pay $24million in a class action lawsuit over the sale of unregistered securities. Although, given the total amount raised in the token sale was over four billion dollars, Block.one certainly appeared satisfied with the outcome.
In January of this year, Dan Larimer left Block.one with the somewhat vague at the time statement: “I will continue on my mission to create free market, voluntary solutions for securing life, liberty, property, and justice for all. I do not know exactly what is next, but I am leaning toward building more censorship resistant technologies.”
The departure of Yves La Rose from EOS Nation seemed to be another blow to a network which was, undeniably now, in full retreat.
Certainly, both seemed to have their issues with Block.one’s handling of EOS.
“I’m shocked at what Block.one hasn’t done and what they could've done,” said Larimer in an interview with Bywire’s Michael O Sullivan. “They are very risk averse.”
However, far from signalling the death of EOS, both men still seemed to be keenly involved, if not, leading what suddenly became clear was not an implosion, to the contrary, it was a well-timed coup’d'etat. Vive la EOS Révolution.
Since leaving Block.one, Larimer has been active in supporting the community. His book ‘More Equal Animals’ details an innovative roadmap to a revolutionary form of fractal democracy. Where leaders are not chosen because of wealth, media, or other unfair or unmerited advantages. Instead, their selection is based upon democracies of democracies. Small groups of people, forming consensus, each choosing one person from their group to advance at each stage, until a leader is randomly chosen from a pool of worthy candidates.
The deployment of Eden on EOS provided the community with a much-needed success story and is a real-life demonstration of Larimer’s electoral theories. Its inaugural elections took place on October 9, with 200,000 EOS being distributed to elected members to develop new projects and expand the EOS community. 182 of the total 308 registered Eden members took part in the election which would determine how to allocate Eden’s approx. 263,000 EOS. The outcome was that Aaron Cox, the co-founder of Greymass, creator of Anchor Wallet, being elected Eden head chief. Other chief delegates included Chris Barnes who had won the first Eden mock election, and John Williamson, founder of Violet Garden.
Yves La Rose, meanwhile, revealed in August what he’d been working on since departing EOS Nation. A very special project. And this project turned out to be pretty big indeed. The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) was everything EOS had been begging for, and finally, through self-determination, it has been received. The ENF has clearly succeed where Block.one failed. The ENF kept the promises broken by Block.one and rekindled the very soul and spirit, at heart of the EOS community.
The Foundation is, will, and has, injected new life into the starving EOS ecosystem, with millions of dollars in funding. It includes at least 34 Recognition Grants of $100,000 each, to some of the most successful and loyal projects on EOS.
The ENF kicked off with a collection of grants to projects involved in the media, NFTs and community projects. Bywire was one of those projects we are pleased to confirm. The funding will help us continue to promote independent media, free from corporate control. We’ve also been working with EOS on our ongoing efforts to combat disinformation and fake news. Bywire will of course remain independent with no impact on editorial output, our grant was awarded stringless.
There are several more grants to be announced, so make sure to follow the ENF here.
But wait, there is still more to come, with an open-source crowdfunding platform in the shape of Pomelo. Launching very soon, and inspired and improved upon from Gitcoin, which facilitates decentralised development and bounties on Ethereum, this new take on crowdfunding will provide more resources to a wider set of EOS projects in a shorter amount of time. Pomelo’s website describes it as “inspired by Gitcoin, contributions are matched from a pool of funds initially provided by Block.one and other matching partners. With the magic of quadratic funding, more matching funds go to the projects with more unique donors. Every small contribution goes a long way!”
In a short space of time, therefore, EOS has seen their fortunes transform. It might be early days, but it seems that ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’. There was a refreshing honesty in Yves La Rose’s assessment of where EOS stands today. It had been, he said, a “failure of monumental proportions on various levels.”
That, in itself, should be the most encouraging sign. There is no attempt to pretend things have been going well. Instead, there’s an honest appraisal of where things have gone wrong as well as a genuine determination and actualisation to put things right. The EOS Foundation, Eden, and many other projects are the proof the pudding so craves.
The developments seen over the past couple of months provide what every critic of EOS has been calling for from the outset – funding, leadership, and direction. The capital on offer from the EOS Network Foundation is exactly what developers have needed. Pomelo’s crowdfunding approach is innovative and provides another way for the community to step up to the plate.
Even so, there is still a lot of work to do. EOS is playing catch up – big time. The history bestowed upon EOS by Block.one weighs heavily upon community. Some will understandably be reluctant to come back. At the time of writing, EOS is ranked 43rd by market cap.
Equally, and finally, the ENF should avoid the temptation to simply throw money at projects which can’t offer a sustainable business model. Funding creates hype, and creates positive headlines, but it can’t solve all the problems EOS has faced so far. It does, however, represent a great start. Perhaps – just perhaps – EOS is about to finally deliver on all that potential, and finally reach that coveted moon.
(Writing by Michael O’Sullivan and Tom Cropper, editing by Michael O’Sullivan)