There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
DISCLAIMER - This is NOT a white paper although it is laid out to slightly resemble one for story telling purposes. It is a mere literary device, a prop, created to support reader and viewer interaction with the works of science fiction presented in the Sovereign Sky series of existing or potential writings, speeches, movies and other derivative works and spin-off products. It is itself a draft work of Science Fiction, subject to frequent change, and designed to communicate insights and satirical comments about the real or imagined world in which we live. It is possible that real software developers may derive ideas they wish to implement from this document but no one is under any obligation to do so. Since this document necessarily precedes any such derivative works or products, the author takes no responsibility for what could or might be implemented using the ideas set forth herein. This document applies to many perhaps fictional parallel universes very similar to our own and therefore may contain many familiar elements to the reader. However, any similarities to the places, people, and events of that world are either a coincidence or a deliberate attempt to ridicule specific elements of that or similar worlds that ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Doc's Fictional Guide to the Brown EOS (BEOS)
This document is FICTION and has been released to provide the interested reader with a deeper understanding of the fictional concepts behind and references by the Sovereign Sky SciFi series. It contains ideas and concepts that would be too cumbersome to explain in the fast-paced story line of a movie script dialogue. While not essential to enjoying such a fictional story, such details may enrich that experience for its target demographic audience. Its primary use, however, is to serve as a reference to keep all writers synchronized on an internally consistent story.
Revolution and Evolution
Blockchain is the classic story of revolution and then evolution. The technology is undoubtedly revolutionary. Today, blockchain is defined by a series of different projects experimenting through evolution of the original technology, Bitcoin. Just as evolution in the real world, the best “mutations” will survive and the rest will wither and die. At this important juncture, it is not known what blockchain mutations will thrive and which will die. The BROWN EOS (BEOS) is an evolution of the best technology in the blockchain space, BitShares and EOS. This Guide proposes important changes for how EOS and blockchain can evolve. If these alterations succeed and survive, they may become part of the global blockchain fabric. In fact, we mean for them to do so.
BEOS is a unique opportunity for BitShares holders to partake in and benefit from the advanced technology that EOS provides. 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 the BitShares Reserve Fund which will be staked in place to accumulate BEOS tokens for a comparable BEOS Endowment Fund. In this way, BEOS can be seen as an optional migration to EOS for BitShares holders. This will allow BitShares to utilize the increased speed and power of the EOS software without needing to buy EOS tokens or give up their BTS.
BROWN EOS tokens will be known as BEOS and work exactly like EOS tokens. They will be allocated to members of the Targeted Demographic that stake their tokens according to the process outlined in this Guide. 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 and Forty Days (i.e. 89 days).
BEOS will have an unapologetic blend of public/private, centralized/decentralized, compliant/iconoclast, 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.
Evolution: From BitShares 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), Dan Larimer, 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 except for its older siblings, BitShares and Steem. 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. So 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 sidechain functionality, but it is not necessary for BEOS to function.
Block Production: The Evolution of Censorship Resistance
Bitcoin, BitShares, Steem, EOS, and most blockchains are designed to be inter-jurisdictional, spread out over many jurisdictions, under the theory that if some shameful rogue 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 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 that 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.
A good example of this problem is US federal government which is famous for abusing the Interstate Commerce Clause of the American Constitution to intrude into every area of human activity possible. All they have to do is find a tiny part of any transaction that takes place across state lines and they have all they need to intrude into a transaction or action. 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.
This is a radically 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 but could open the floodgates for businesses that will never never participate in the current blockchain environment due to regulatory uncertainty or state sponsored terrorism.
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.
Token Distribution "Raindrop"
In order to obtain BEOS tokens, BitShares or BROWNie.PTS tokens must be transferred from the BitShares chain to the BEOS chain using the cross-chain transfer gateway described above. While their tokens reside in an account there, that account will receive a steady "rainfall" of BEOS for the duration of the raindrop. BEOS rainfall will last for at least 89 days during which BEOS tokens will be continuously distributed at a preprogrammed rate. There will be a total of 2.5 billion BEOS tokens distributed, with at least half of them falling in the first 89 days. The remainder of undistributed BEOS tokens will continue to rain down at a gradually slowing rate for perhaps another forty fortnights (80 weeks) or more at the discretion of the elected block signers. The Targeted Demographic will be able to begin participating at any point during the rainfall period. However, the longer tokens are staked, the more BEOS tokens can be accumulated. During the first 89 days of rainfall, all accumulated BEOS tokens will remain locked from spending or trading. This will ensure that no BEOS tokens are traded until all tokens for that period are distributed. The benefit of this method is to ensure that no tax liability is created (in relevant jurisdictions) for new BEOS token holders because the tokens will have no market value until they are unstaked and then tradable. After the 89 day locking period ends, the BEOS tokens may freely trade and thus take on a free market value that may become taxable as income in some jurisdictions.
Participating tokens from the Targeted Demographic transferred to the gateway accounts will be held until a user withdraws them, presumably at the end of the extended rainfall period. Therefore, it will not “cost” anything to obtain BEOS beyond the effort to move them between the two chains and the delegation of proxy voting power to the gateway operator entrusted to vote for BitShares policies and worker proposals favorable to deeper BEOS integration. Participation may be for any amount of time with distributions taking place at maintenance interval rates.
Note that the Targeted Demographic for BEOS token distribution does not include EOS holders according to EOS conventions in the same way that the distribution of EOS tokens or STM tokens does not include BTS holders. This is to keep these communities isolated from any regulatory entanglements they may individually encounter associated with token distribution. Instead, the precedence has been established by Steemit and EOS developers that all members of the graphene family will honor each other by freely using and sharing each other's publicly licensed open source code.
Block.one has no role in BEOS and we do not foresee any circumstances in which they will get involved. Therefore, we do not foresee them utilizing their own funds to help develop the BEOS ecosystem. BEOS will still benefit from upgrades and improvements Block.one develops and releases as freely-licensed open source software because the two chains will essentially be the same and it will be trivial to port any EOS upgrades to BEOS.
BEOS will need fund certain important endeavors to protect and stimulate growth of the network. A BEOS reserve fund endowment will be created for this purpose but it will not be managed on the blockchain like the existing BitShares Reserve Fund. Instead, it will be managed by a traditional legal trust fund, the Blockchain Community Defense Trust (BCDT). This is for pragmatic reasons. A conventional board of trustees is able to make contracts, act quickly, and maintain commitment to a plan longer than a purely democratic process can achieve. This is why stakeholders in conventional companies elect a board for an extended term that in turn hires officers to run operations for an even longer term. This is another way where BEOS may be thought of as a hybrid chain built to be efficient and pragmatic, not ideologically pure.
Initially, the Trustees of the fund will be selected by the founding BEOS team. After launch, trustees will be elected on a staggered basis much the way that Commissioners in the American SEC serve their terms. One trustee will rotate out and be replaced each year with another who will then serve a five-year term. This is intended to maintain some stability for the fund so that a long-term vision can be developed and executed while control transfers from those appointed by the developers to those elected by the community.
Elections will be conducted by the Trustees, perhaps using special tokens that are issued for the specific purpose of electing Trustees. Election tokens may be issued by the Trustees in direct proportion to the amount of BEOS held in each account over a period of time. In order to vote for a specific trustee candidate, the BEOS holder must simply send their election tokens to that candidate. At the end of the election period, the candidate with the most election tokens wins and will become a Trustee. This offers a fully transparent and simple method for token holders to participate in trustee elections. This process is subject to change by unanimous decision of the Trustees and may turn out different in your particular universe.
The responsibilities of the fund will include rapid legal response to defend the network and its participants, marketing, and development roadmap. It will be funded with 1 billion BEOS tokens to ensure that there are sufficient resources. The Trustees will hold the right to vote for block producers and participate in governance related votes. This results in a bicameral form of government, initially with 2/7ths (1B BEOS) of the voting power residing with the Trustees and 5/7ths (2.5B BEOS) residing with the holders of the circulating supply. If the Trustees gradually spend their fund into circulation their voting power will decrease, although the fund is envisioned to function like an endowment to be borrowed against or used to generate income for the Trust, ideally without touching the initial principle.
At the time the chain is first launched, a general-purpose worker proposal system will not yet exist and must be developed. Because of this, the chain will begin its life with a hard-coded Genesis Worker Account (GWA) to guarantee that the chain will have adequate initial funding for future needs. Block signers will be paid from a small amount of inflation, not to exceed the max rate already established for EOS.
The GWA will be considered as automatically voted in as a side-effect of depositing funds to the rainfall gateway. In other words, BEOS users are implicitly voting that GWA and endowment will be spent on the maintenance and future development of the chain by claiming their tokens. This ensures that there will be a sufficient pool of BEOS to maintain and enhance the chain and that the costs of bug fixes and improvements are shared equally by all the participants in the network.
The GWA will stop accumulating funds after two years but unused funds accumulated in the account will still be available to fund support of the blockchain until the account’s balance is exhausted. If and when the blockchain has implemented a general-purpose worker proposal system, worker proposals can be created by any BEOS holder who wants to propose specific tasks they would like to see funded that they believe will be beneficial for the community.
Gateways Managed by Block Producers
As the bridge between BitShares and EOS, BEOS will enable any token running on the BitShares network to be easily moved to the BEOS blockchain and eventually to other EOS side chains. This will be accomplished in one of two ways, depending on how the BitShares community chooses to proceed. If the BitShares community votes to enable inter-blockchain capabilities, this will take place entirely on-chain, which would be ideal. Otherwise, this will be accomplished through gateways initially operated by the developers but ultimately operated by the block producers.
BEOS elected block producers will eventually have the duty of managing multi-signature escrow accounts on the BitShares network that enable sequestering any token on the BitShares chain that is to be moved to the BEOS chain. “Proxy” tokens representing the BitShares tokens will be issued to the owner on the BEOS chain. This will be similar to existing gateways on the BitShares network but accomplished in a far more democratic and secure manner.
RAM and how it's distributed has been a major point of contention on the EOS main net. RAM speculation has led to hoarding which has driven the costs of deploying software far higher than it should be. RAM should be allowed to trade on the open market but the Bancor algorithm is not the open market. It can be easily gamed and has been to the detriment of developers and token holders. Decoupling EOS token ownership from ownership of RAM has had negative consequences for the entire EOS network and arguably, the price of EOS tokens. It has created a massive disparity between the cost of RAM and all other network resources.
Telos is proposing an alternative RAM distribution scheme where the Telos Foundation will attempt to control RAM prices through controlling supply. Both the EOS and Telos models have merit but neither is ideal. They have effectively removed the most valuable part of the network from token owners forcing them to spend their tokens simply to utilize the network. Network resources should be allocated to the token owners in proportion to their token ownership.
The BEOS network will distribute RAM to the Targeted Demographic in the same way BEOS tokens will be distributed except that the rainfall period will occur over a longer period of time. It will start when the BEOS rainfall begins and last for at least 40 fortnights (80 weeks). This will serve as a strong incentive for BTS holders to keep their tokens locked up, thus removing them from the general supply. This could have the added benefit of increasing the value of BTS tokens.
Summary of Distribution
2.5 billion BEOS tokens will be distributed to members of the Targeted Demographic that store their tokens on the BEOS platform over an 89 day or longer period.
RAM will be distributed in a similar manner over a period of 80 weeks or longer.
1 billion BEOS tokens will be raindropped to the BCDT Trust.
The Code is the Law
Regardless of what may be stated in Doc's Fictional Guide to the Brown EOS, the only source of official information is contained in the source code that may or may not be an attempt to imperfectly implement its ideas in a universe near you. No one should rely on anything said herein for taking any actions whatsoever in the real world in which they believe they are living.
The BROWN EOS (BEOS) blockchain is fictional and places no restrictions or obligations on other systems of the same or similar names that may be developed by real companies or individuals in your particular universe. In particular, it has nothing at all to do with the products and services of Block.One, Cryptonomex, TerraDACs, Sovereign Sky, Steemit or in fact any other "real world" company - whatever that may mean in your particular universe.
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
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Special thanks to Asher Corson who provided much of the draft text.