Who Should Control A Blockchain?

in #eos3 years ago

Recently the topic of voting and control has been discussed by multiple blockchain projects.

EOS, Ethereum, Bitcoin, and others all agree that blockchains must be controlled by voting, but who should do the voting?

Token Holders

This model adopted by EOS is straight forward and creates 100% alignment and accountability for the voters and voting outcomes respectively; this is the most successful and widely used voting model throughout the world today, in and out of technology.

By combining a Constitution with Token Holder Voting, EOS defines the scope of the miners to a degree that manages everyone’s expectations equally and restores control of the network to those affected by the decision making.

Not the Token Holders

If you don’t allow token holders to vote, it means someone else is voting for them.
This model splits the beneficiaries and the decision makers and results in outcomes that may not be in the best interest of the token holders. This structure is analogous to U.K. citizens voting on behalf of US citizens for government; a connection can be argued, but they are not the direct beneficiaries of the outcome. This is how both Bitcoin and Ethereum are structured today.

Proof of work voting has shown to quickly centralize; both hardware and electricity are cheaper in bulk which results in controlling mining pools; this creates an oligarchy that has little to no accountability for their actions and are not directly affected by their decisions.

The following examples have taught us the dangers of having others vote on our behalf:

Bitcoin Scaling — From 2015–2017 block producers refused to increase the block size limited while the network was at capacity, so that higher transaction fees could be charged.

Ethereum and The DAO  — Dominant mining pools isolated the information and decision making to a few. The lack of transparency or public framework for making such decisions gave inequitable trading opportunities to decision makers with little to no exposure to ramifications of their decisions; this taught us that code was not law, but the pool operators/voters were.

Taxation without Representation — in the 1750’s the British government began taxing American colonies without allowing them to vote in parliament. This ultimately led to the American revolution and the creation of the U.S.A.

Voting Cartels

All Blockchains are susceptible to large influencers, regardless of the voting model. Token Holder voting models however are far more resilient than Miner/Non Token Holder Voting Models.

Token Holder Voting subjects the Cartels to the outcome of the vote. Their tokens are also affected by the perceived healthiness of the network due to the size of their stake.

In models where voting power is given to other parties, Cartels become unable to be impeded and quickly consume the decision making of the network in such a way that does not hold them accountable for, or affect them by their decisions; Bitcoin and Ethereum have shown this unintended outcome.

Healthy Debate

We encourage an open healthy debate on this issue and will continue to leverage good ideas from the ecosystem no matter where they come from.

- Brendan Blumer


The vast majority of users (the most important part of any system!) will not care 'at all' about the block producers in EOS, they will care about them as much as the average STEEMIT user cares about the top 19 witnesses. But not caring does not mean they have forfeited their right to have their interests be of paramount concern to this very important, too-highly centralized group - that is why these 'witnesses' should be listening more and talking less .. they should look and see what the users concerns are, what they wish to see added and what they wish to change .. simply put: REPRESENT those who have voted for you, do not dictate to them, because you mistakenly think your understanding of the technology somehow has magically endowed you with the wisdom of how it should be best used!


A user base that is not respected in such a way will eventually go away - because trust is a two-way street .. you can't say, 'this is the design' .. trust it or blow! You have to actively explain, justify and solicit suggestions for change. If a handful of people says 'Hey! This is a problem!' .. they represent a far greater number who feel the same way .. but who sadly belong to the mostly silent majority.


Makes sense to me .. but given your recent kick-ban from the EOS Channel on Telegraph, it seems he/they don't give a shit at all about what you're saying.

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Make sure to keep silencing critics on the EOS ICO channel .. maintain/retain the faithful .. the only cost is your own values! :-)

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"Democracy is the worst form of government ... except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

  • Winston Churchill

I think the same goes for blockchain as well. People who hold tokens should be able to vote. Not everybody who holds token will want to vote. But they will have a few they trust and they can serve as proxies for them. I think this is the best approach until we find one that is better ;)

Democracy is fake and is currently enforced by those with power. Elections are fake, electronic voting systems are corruptable by design. If you propose a decentralized, publicy auditable, immutable, tampering proof voting system like those on blockchain it will be immediately veted ! If you propose to ban politics, and any other third party to vote on your behalf and turn the congress as crowded they will call you terrorist trying to take over power from YOU!!

Except that the average holder of bitcoin for example should have no vote over technical issues such as scaling because they do not have an educated opinion on the technical aspects that should be left to the engineers/miners. Pure democracy probably is not a good answer... We will see more of this in action in tokens like Tezos in the future.

Except, much of the discussion over a community is a political or social question. And engineers/miners imagine that because only important things are technical and only technical things are important, then hard questions have to be technical and important...

An engineering elite is much the same as a benevolent dictator - fine when it works but it only works briefly before benevolence is replaced by survival.

@iang, Agree with part of your argument but then you make a generalization about engineers: believe only technically things are important - false --- and hard questions have to be technical and important -- also false. You've worded it in a classic false premise syllogism... However, I will agree that the decisions should not be solely made by engineers for the social, community, and political reasons you refer to. I agree there should be a level of democracy but technical decisions should not solely be made by democratic vote. Conversely community and social issues should not be controlled by technocrats and hence the need for voting by all stakeholders.

Using bitcoin as an example, letting the miners decide on scaling is akin to going to all the shoe stores in your city and letting them vote on if a new business license should be issued to a new shoe store wanting to start up. It's inherently against their best interest (sharing market cap with a new competitor) to allow more competition, so they will default to voting no.

Competition is good for customers, not sellers.

At the same time tho, your point is valid in that it shouldn't necessarily be decided just by the consumers because most would most likely not be up to speed on the nuts and bolts of the operation and their votes could in turn push the system to unprofitability. To the point of collapsing the system since it would ultimately cost businesses money to continue to provide the service, and we know that businesses exist to make money, not give it away

I said engineers/miners making the decision - I should have typed that engineers and miners- those working on the network and involved in the software of the blockchain are the engineers I'm referring to -- not just the miners. Agree with the gist of what your saying but as many any bitcoin buying it as a store of value in addition to its purchasing value I don't think we view ourselves as typical "consumers" where the network is supported by corporation - it is distributed and more democratic than the corporate - consumer relationship. The analogy has some value agreed.

And competition can be good for sellers too but that is a whole different discussion. Competition can cause a seller to introduce a better product that is even more beneficial than the first. Not everything from econ 101 applies in a black & white way in the real world. Supply / demand curves aren't straight lines, competition isn't always bad, consumers do not always seek and pay the lowest price - luxuries are bought, etc.

I think we already have the technology to do what's actually being done right here on this post... debating and hoping (or not) to find a better solution. The scalable distributed voting system ✅, the weighted consensus tested scenarios for distribution analysis and cartels avoidance ✅, the ability to execute immutable actions/decisions via blockchain code ✅, a sort of AI to help in the process of handling the above ✅ with some add-ins ♨️(being cooked).

I think you're right, but with the caveat that it is only 'getting by'. I don't know if a better solution could be found, but it's definitely easy to spot some glaring issues with influence through misinformation. Most consensus solutions only work as well as the subjects in the consensus are educated on what they are deciding for/against. The problem we have with crypto voting is the same problem we see in any modern day democracy. Many people simply will not take the time to educate themselves fully before making a decision on where they stand and throwing their voice into the crowd, whether that's through social media, or signaling through their hardware.

Yes I agree. We should have some sort of community selected materials that would serve as feeding materials to mandatory educate any voter. At least it would help a bit on the informative decision. I know it would solve the problem completely, but at least would help to create some awareness or motivate the need for additional investigation.

Still a hypotetical issue since the tokens are worthless. I don't even own them since I bought them outside the ico.

But then again, if all holders become shareholders and vote, will there be a any vote-power multiplier based on holders assets? If so, there still will be a centralization risk.

Thanks for sharing this article. I believe that the concept of blockchain technology is to empower common users with a safe , fast , cheap and ability to take decision for their transaction. Some are going against this due to greed. Thanks to Steem and EOS, things will be better.
How can I safely buy some EOS token? Also pls see my blog post how I exposed Dans top secret.
Exposed: @Dan Hidden Plan To Take Over The World

A blockchain must remain completely decentralized to avoid corruption and monopoly and this is my humble opinion. We have seen how bad centralization often turns out (governments and central banks)

Vitalik : It Begins
Dan:No Now it Ends

What about time of flight? The physically closest witness to you wins.

I got this idea when Apple impressed me with their unlocking tech, if you have an Apple watch you can unlock your computer more easily. The do this by measuring the time the signals take to arrive. From what I see of the EU and other global governance, that what is far away might as well be disconnected. You'd want your merchant and bank to be local. Mutual benefits create friendships.

I think it is crucial to have a fair distribution of power but also we can see that it is not easy to find the right incentives which do that.

Excellent post.

I like the idea but again wan't be 100% fair. Rich guys with lot of tokens will decide everything...

It is logical. All holders of crypto-currency become shareholders, they control everything.

Great points on the Dao and Bitcoin scaling. Your argument is convincing.

Muy bueno excelente me gusta ;)

I replied on Medium, but didn't realize it was here on Steemit also. :)

Medium won't pay me in STEEM, huh? Shoot.

I agree that token holders should have voting rights, akin to property rights. Token holders have skin in the game.

To me "users" should be able to decide the future of a blockchain, or if it's just a currency than those invested in the currency should have a say. I think nodes (like dash) and witnesses (like steemit) have worked the best in crypto up to this point.

Great article. A couple of the criticisms of dpos include poor voter turnout and poor voter knowledge.

To counter poor voter turnout could some incentive/reward be offered to participate? Compulsory voting could be an option too.

To counter the poor decision making of voters with different understandings of what they are voting on could a reputation system be added to weight votes? Hopefully the reputation would pertain to the particular issue being voted on. E.g stake * reputation.

I guess those suggestions are pretty obvious! But if dpos evolves to incorporate such ideas I think it will make an invaluable contribution to governance generally. Pow and pos don't seem to be able to offer as much in that regard. What I'm trying to say is if dpos incentivised participation and education, imagine that!

Amazing initiative, will people receive token by voting ? like a proof of voting system ? By Voting and by creating polls for vote ?

Of course the token holders should vote, but their vote shouldn´t be leveraged by the amount of tokens they own. Instead 1 user with an amount of x tokens should get 1 Vote in my opinion. Of course this isn´t applicable to the blockchain world since everyone can create multiple wallets, send tokens to them and then vote multiple times. But I would say it is possible to create a big network of trust where every user is confirmed by other users so you would eliminate multiple accounts. You need to figure out some problems (like how to still make it anonymous) but I would say it´s possible.

Awesome to learn this and see a civil discussion on it! Thank You!

I've always thought that the whole idea behind mining undermined (sorry!) the decentralisation goals.

Thank you for writing this in an easy to understand way!

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I believe the voting of a blockchain project should be directly dependent on the value it provides to the larger economy. For example if EOS creates a X project that has adaptation then the supporters of that project should get the voting power for future projects. There needs to be a measurable substance of voting instead of depending on sheer democratic means. There needs to be form of prediction game much like in every other market.

I would like to see the Wingz system within EOS voting. Then we are talking about a completely new game in town.

Good points. Hey how come you are not following me? LOL

So which is why some form of punishment is needed when it comes to voting cartels. I think Vitalik's Capser DPoS makes sense. You can incentivise token holders to hold more token by making them participate in the blockchain, but if you find that they are part of a double spending attach (for eg), then you burn their house down (or take away all their tokens..)

if you don't punish the wrongdoers, they won't have a reason to stop.

Eosio - I want to apologize to you. I'm new here and a few days ago I "un-voted" you. I do not know if this is the same thing as a downvote (gawd I hope not). I was in the midst of learning about voting power and noticed that my vote was worth zero cents (cuz I came in like an eight-armed voting octopus) and attempted to unvote in hopes of recapturing my voting power that I spent on my $0.00 vote.

Again, I apologize and hope I did not cause any harm. I've since been trying to educate myself PRIOR to actions. Steem on!

I have been wondering about this for a while. Whales are going to be the ones that grab all the coins and then they will have the control. Holding coins and voicing how things should go is the only way that this works.

but whales tied up cash is only as valuable as the demand for it. So if a few control and make a bad decision they have to live with the loss of value. This is where steam gets it right. whales tie up large amounts for a long time. If they screw with the system they run the risk of it being worthless by the time they can extract their funds.

Any vote on any block should be scaled by the holding the person has

Your comment is not related to this post, please keep your attitude do not send garbage in posting people, @cheetah how do you think?

Oh, I'm so sorry my friend, okay friend, I'm new in steemian, please guidance and direction.

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