EOS is a decentralized blockchain-based operating system that was introduced in the year 2017. Its developers, Block.one, headed up by CEO Brendan Blumer and chief technical officer Dan Larimer, unveiled EOS at Consensus 2017. A year later, the project raised a record-breaking $4Bn.
The EOS operating system promises to allow developers to build decentralized applications - like Ethereum - that can be commercially scalable. The software includes “accounts, authentication, databases, asynchronous communication, and the scheduling of applications across many CPU cores or clusters,” according to the white paper.
The EOS token sale started in June 2017 as an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token - but as of June 2, 2018, EOS token holders that had registered for the mandatory token swap would see those ERC-20 tokens converted to EOS tokens on the EOS.IO platform. Holders of these native EOS tokens will be responsible for the management of the ecosystem, by voting for block producers that mine blocks and maintain the network.
Meanwhile users of EOS-based decentralized applications will have access to a certain amount of resources directly proportional to the amount of EOS tokens staked in an application. EOS.IO is maintained by a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) system, originally created by Larimer and still used by Steemit - the blogging platform he created in 2016. Larimer explains the finer details of DPoS in what he dubbed ‘his missing whitepaper’ on the platform.
In layman's terms, a DPoS system looks to answer some shortcomings of both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake consensus mechanisms.
The EOS DPoS system allows users to vote for block producers - who are rewarded tokens for validating transactions and maintaining the blockchain. These block producers are constantly evaluated by the community and will be ‘fired’ if they underperform - i.e. fail to validate transactions and create blocks.
According to the Ledger Intel Dossier on EOS, Steemit’s DPoS currently handles thousands of transactions per second - which does well for EOS.IO.
Therefore, the launch of the EOS.IO is a turning point - the cryptocurrency community finally has a chance to use a platform where it can handle potentially millions of transactions per second.
Now that the ICO is over, and EOS.IO has been launched, there are many things to consider in the coming weeks and months.
Token swap: If the ERC-20 were not swapped for EOS.IO before 2nd June, that would have left the token useless
From beta to launch: Like many blockchain projects, the whitepaper promises a great deal, but what matters is the real outcome. According to EOSindex, which tracks that number of blockchain decentralized applications based on EOS, there are over 140 projects being actively developed. One of the most well-known is Everipedia - an online encyclopaedia based on the EOS blockchain that will reward content creators with native tokens.
Ethereum’s new rival?
Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, suggested that the voting system is open to manipulation. Larimer has come back with the argument that ETH’s PoS (Casper) is more of a “confusion and collusion” rather than “competition”.
Nevertheless, with an enormous amount of capital raised, Block.one should be able to ensure the continuous improvement of EOS.IO in the coming years. If it becomes a rival to Ethereum – we will know it in the future.