DISCLAIMER: The following represents current thinking of the BEOS team and is subject to change without notice. Nothing should be interpreted as a statement of fact or promise to do anything. It is released here for community discussion purposes only.
BEOS is a unique opportunity for BitShares holders to partake in and benefit from the advanced technology that EOS provides, particularly with regard to smart contracts. The primary ways BEOS will differ from the EOS main chain will be token distribution, governance, and an entirely new approach to censorship resistance.
BEOS tokens will only be available to a Targeted Demographic consisting of BitShares and Brownie.PTS holders that stake their tokens to earn BEOS during the “rainfall” period and a BEOS Endowment Fund which serves in place of the BitShares Reserve fund to support growth and defense of the BEOS ecosystem. In this way, BEOS can be seen as a way to bring the benefits of a smart contract platform to BitShares without needing to buy EOS tokens or give up their BTS.
BitShares EOS tokens will be known as BEOS and work almost exactly like EOS tokens. They will be allocated to members of the Targeted Demographic that stake their tokens according to the process outlined here. 100% of these tokens will be distributed to members of the Targeted Demographic who wish to claim them over a previously prophesied period of Seven Weeks, Forty Days and Forty Fortnights (i.e. 89 days for BEOS and 80 weeks for RAM).
BEOS will have an unapologetic blend of public/private, centralized/decentralized, compliant/iconoclast, and open/closed features. We have not let ideological purity get in the way of seizing new territory others have neglected in the name of traditional blockchain dogma. BEOS will break from blockchain tradition, embrace new thinking about censorship resistance, and pursue a radically new approach to achieve mainstream adoption.
Image Credit: Daveth
BEOS Development Team
BEOS is being developed by Dan Notestein of blocktrades.us fame under contract to Terradacs, Limited, a privately-funded development company based in Malta. Dan has been a contractor from the beginning of BitShares, working for Invictus Innovations, Cryptonomex, and a multitude of other graphene projects. Terradacs is directed by CEO Paul Martello . Funding to put BEOS into space is being provided by Sovereign Sky, a joint venture between Terradacs and Ruon led by Tim Burke. Satellite technology is being provided by SpaceQuest.
Evolution: From Bitcoin to BEOS
Blockchain and distributed ledger technology is truly revolutionary and has the potential to change our economic system, the way humans interact with each other, and the Internet itself. Indeed, we are witnessing something massive beginning to take its rightful place in the world and in our lives.
Bitcoin was the revolution that changed everything. It is excellent for highly secure and highly censorship resistant transfer of value. It was the first technology that enabled two individuals to exchange funds without the need for a trusted third-party. While revolutionary and the best at what it does, its functionality is limited. On-chain transactions are slow, and sophisticated smart contracts simply are not possible on the Bitcoin network.
BitShares was the beginning of the evolution. It showed that complex unmanned companies could be hosted on the blockchain with highly-optimized embedded smart contracts used to implement smart coins and other services.
Ethereum followed a year later, demonstrating how complex decentralized applications could be deployed and run on a blockchain. It demonstrated that a blockchain could do far more than simply process transactions. Developers flocked to develop on the Ethereum network and thousands of projects launched tokens of their own. Like many things, Ethereum became the victim of its own success. The world wants to use a platform for decentralized applications, but Ethereum could not handle the load. One successful project on Ethereum can and has brought the network to its knees. The blockchain has become so bloated that a normal user would have a difficult time running a full node.
Graphene (the tech behind BitShares 2.0 and a year later Steemit) was the next major evolution of blockchain technology. They were the first demonstrations of at least two extremely important leaps that made mainstream adoption viable. First, they showed the world that using a blockchain could make a user feel like they are using intuitive software and not something complicated only for the technically savvy. Second, these projects demonstrated that decentralized applications could scale far beyond what anybody thought was possible. The importance of graphene technology cannot be overstated in the world of blockchain. Today, BitShares and Steemit remain vibrant communities that taken together, comprise a commanding majority of all transactions across all blockchains.
The most recent important evolution in blockchain was EOS. The creator of graphene technology (BitShares and Steem), built upon the underlying technologies in BitShares and Steem to create a platform where anybody could develop and deploy scalable decentralized applications. EOS is still in its infancy, but is already handling more transactions than any other blockchain.. EOS is the first real blockchain contender that is capable of supporting user-defined decentralized applications that can scale.
Unfortunately, cryptocurrency enthusiasts that supported the first implementation of graphene technology (which led to EOS), BitShares, have been provided no way to participate in the new EOS ecosystem apart from buying tokens. BEOS will bring the BitShares and EOS worlds together to ensure that they benefit one another. Perhaps of equal importance, BEOS seeks to evolve the entire concept of censorship resistance so that companies can operate on the blockchain with total regulatory certainty.
We consider all graphene technology to be part of the same family and BEOS will provide the link between EOS and BitShares. It will connect these distinct ecosystems so that the products and services can flow freely between them. BEOS can be viewed as an optional free upgrade to both BitShares and EOS. Those who do not want to benefit from these improvements are free to ignore the upgrade and both universes will remain unchanged to them.
EOS is the Baseline
BEOS will utilize the EOS software as developed by Block.one as its default with some key differences that are outlined in this document. An important design consideration is to keep BEOS as compatible as possible with EOS so that it can enjoy the never-ending flow of new technology from the EOS developers as soon as it is released as open source. Meanwhile, BitShares will continue to offer its unique advantages to the EOS ecosystem, unconstrained by some of the philosophical design decisions made by that community. This means that BitShares and EOS holders can enjoy the best of both worlds and continue to evolve together. In this way, there is no real advantage to building an alternative to BitShares on top of EOS, though no doubt some will still seek to do so.
When accessing BEOS via the forthcoming BEOS API, BitShares and EOS chains will ultimately appear as a single “braided” blockchain with a nearly seamless fusion of all features. This may become more seamless over time to the extent that BitShares holders vote to extend their software to support side chain functionality, but it is not necessary for BEOS to function.
Block Production: The Evolution of Censorship Resistance
Bitcoin, Ethereum, BitShares, Steem, EOS, and most blockchains are designed to be inter-jurisdictional, spread out over many jurisdictions, under the theory that if some government shuts down nodes in one jurisdiction, the network will simply heal itself with nodes in the remaining jurisdictions. This is much like the Internet itself which was designed to survive nuclear war by routing around smoking craters. However this jurisdictional unpredictability presents a major problem for companies that require regulatory certainty.
While inter-jurisdictional blockchains make it virtually impossible to stop a particular transaction, they provide no protection to the person or group conducting the transaction. When considered from this perspective, blockchain transactions can be easily censored after the fact. People can be arrested, property can be seized, and organizations can be fined or shut down. BEOS seeks to develop a new kind of censorship resistance by designing the blockchain to be "intra-jurisdictional" (confined to one jurisdiction) and ultimately "jurisdictionally agile" (able to control which operations take place in explicitly designated jurisdictions). To be clear, this is not an attempt to limit the kinds of transactions that can be conducted on BEOS. Instead, it is intended to provide certainty for individuals and groups that want the protection of blockchain-friendly jurisdictions. If a company has to wonder if their transaction or operation will take place in a jurisdiction where they are violating the law, censorship resistance has little practical value.
Beyond the desire to integrate BitShares into the well-funded and rapidly evolving EOS dominated ecosystem, a desire to implement a stronger capability to confine a class of transactions to the jurisdictions that permit them has guided the design of BEOS. The belief is that adoption by many industrial and institutional players will be encouraged if they can be assured of regulatory simplicity, clarity and compliance for their business processes.
Block producing equipment will be highly specialized and located in specific predetermined locations. Elected block producers will have control over the software running on this equipment but not necessarily control over the machines physically unless they happen to be in the same location. This will ensure that nodes are run in specific jurisdictions and that the best possible equipment is being used. For example, nodes may eventually run in the following locations: on a satellite in space, on a ship at sea, in Utah, and in Ireland. When elected to the role of block producer, that individual or organization will be issued control over a specific instance of node hosting hardware while remaining responsible for providing backup hardware of their own choice.
There are clear advantages to engineering a jurisdictionally-agile blockchain that can guarantee that specific actions and transactions take place completely inside permissive jurisdictions. More importantly, it removes all doubt about which laws may apply. This creates certainty for organizations of all types who find the current regulatory patchwork too risky and difficult to navigate. The legal viability of such a strategy is certainly untested, but the benefits of regulatory certainty are clear and very much needed. BEOS will blaze the trail on this area by guaranteeing to organizations that their transactions are taking place in a jurisdiction where they know themselves to be compliant. Being able to guarantee that there are no such vulnerabilities may be a highly sought feature by those capable of bringing a large volume transactions to the BEOS platform. This would be a unique benefit and feature that no other blockchain has ever been able to offer its developers.
BEOS will be launched by an appointed group of block producers that are selected by a founding team. Once the network is launched and determined to be stable, BEOS holders will be able to elect the block producers according to the standard voting mechanism in the EOS software. The difference will be that block producers will run on specialized private equipment in particular jurisdictions. Simply put, BEOS separates equipment providers from elected node operators.
Preliminary equipment providers and their jurisdictions
This is a different way of thinking about censorship resistance than conventional blockchain thinking would normally support. It may also be the major factor holding entire industries back from participating in the cryptocurrency space. It will be controversial among those trained in Bitcoin conventions, but could open the floodgates for businesses that will never never participate in the current blockchain environment due to regulatory uncertainty.
Platform Independent Tokens
One of the key BEOS design objectives is to make all tokens on the BitShares network portable -- able to move freely from the BitShares blockchain onto the BEOS chain and from there out into the multi-chain universe of the EOS main chain and its side chains. In fact, the pairing of BitShares and BEOS will make BitShares appear to the rest of that EOS universe as just another EOS chain.
Ultimately, this vision will be accomplished with whatever atomic side chain communication mechanisms are developed by the greater EOS community. However, BEOS need not wait for those breakthroughs, and permission to implement it from BitShares voters, to begin operations. Instead, one or more service providers can provide gateway functions that will lock up a token on its home chain and reissue a surrogate token on one or more side chains. Users will simply send tokens to a gateway addressed to an account on another chain and the token will appear to vanish here and reappear there. Those familiar with blocktrades.us will find this very natural.
Posts in the Sovereign Sky Series
All My Free Speech is Fiction
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 1 - A Proliferation of Parallels
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 2 - Specialization is for Insects
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 3 - The Fall of Empire
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 4 - Doc's Darwin Awards
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 5 - Dystopian Universes
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 6 - Jailbait Jeopardy
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 7 - A New Hope
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 8 - Brown v Howey
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 9 - Temporal Engineering
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 10 - Truth or Consequences
Other Related Content
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stan Larimer is sci-fi author, evangelist and iconoclast specializing on Christian, Jeffersonian and BitShares topics. Check out all his posts at: