EOS Architect Proposes New Constitution Amidst Governance Controversy

Francisco Memoria
  • 28 Jun 2018
  • /
  • In #EOS
  • Block.one CTO Dan Larimer has recently proposed a new constitution for EOS, in an attempt to settle its governance's problems.
  • The new Constitution seemingly strips the ECAF off its powers, limiting it to specific smart contracts.

EOS architect Dan Larimer, who’s also the CTO of Block.one, the company behind the controversial cryptocurrency, has recently published a blog post titled “The ‘Intent of Code’ is Law,” in which he proposes a new constitution for the network, seemingly attempting to settle the controversy EOS has been embroiled in.

As CryptoGlobe covered, a body set up to resolve community disputes in the network, the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF), recently ordered its block producers (BPs) – equivalent to miners on Bitcoin’s blockchain – to freeze 27 accounts for reasons that would later on be revealed.

The move saw users questions EOS’ promised decentralization, to the point its token’s price dropped at the time. The controversy affected Larimer, which proposed scraping off the original Constitution, shortly before publishing the “The ‘Intent of Code’ is Law” blog post.

In it, Larimer addresses the controversy by stating that Block.one has learned from it, and notes that if people use “arbitrary power to resolve arbitrary disputes then everything becomes a dispute and decisions are made arbitrary.”

He noted that the platform’s Ricardian contracts – which combine “free-form” terms with code terms – are subject to debate as some users want specific terms to be in them. Per his blog post, there’s a need for objective boundaries as users need “some guarantees from the community in order to feel safe and secure.” He added:

If everything on the blockchain is subject to mob-rule, then no one is safe. If the community does not have strong, objective, organizing principles, then everything is subject to interpretation and becomes unpredictable and arbitrary.

Dan Larimer

As such, he revealed that Block.one believes “the elected block producers should be the jury,” when it comes to freezing accounts on the blockchain or to replacing broken contracts with contracts that “operate according to the original intent.” He likened this approach to that Ethereum had when it came to the DAO contract bug, except this one is formalized.

Smart Contract Arbitration

From now on, users are to opt-in to a smart contract if they’d like to see “the elected block producers and/or ECAF protect their interests.” Said smart contract would make these two bodies the arbitration system, the CTO noted.

The powers these parties would have should be clearly defined by the contract’s code. Presumably to prevent further centralization-related controversy, the powers these organizations will have will be limited to the smart contract.

Per Larimer, a proper Ricardian contract would be completely enforced by code, which means all disputes should be fixed through the code contained in the smart contracts. These proposals seemingly strip the ECAF of most of its powers, as social media users commented.

The Constitutional proposal further adds that “contract developers are not liable for damaged based by bugs in the code,” as all parties are responsible for auditing before using it.

Stolen Keys Won’t be Recovered

The blog post further details that the ECAF ordered the block producers – one of which is Genesis Mining - to freeze 27 accounts because these were scamming users through a website that was providing fake public and private keys, presumably when it was still unclear how to vote. It notes that Block.one has “objective proof of the original owners of the Ethereum addresses,” but that these individuals didn’t follow EOS.IO’s official instructions.

In order not to establish a precedent that the company believes would damage the ecosystem, it continues, it won’t be returning the funds to these users. Instead, of proposes charitable donations. Dan Larimer’s post reads:

At this point we would recommend that the EOS block producers campaign on making a charitable donation to the cause of helping these people out.

Dan Larimer