Is Lokpal the missing piece of EOS Governance?

in eos •  6 months ago


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Just an idea to improve EOS governance :)

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Mahatma Gandhi

People who work on right principles are unrecognized and considered to be foolish in the modern society. Earlier, bribes were paid for getting wrong things done, but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time.

India has a long history of corruption and misuse of power. The vote buying, swaying the common people into voting, favouritism, casteism and geographical based politics is very much here.

The elected administrators, politicians and official use to misuse their much-gained power and proper grievance redressal was missing.

There was a long fight with the government to introduce Lokpal bill to keep a check on government officials.

What is Lokpal?

As per Wikipedia,

A Lokpal (Sanskrit: लोकपाल lokapāla, "caretaker of people") is an anti-corruption authority or ombudsman who represents the public interest. The concept of an ombudsman is borrowed from Sweden. The Lokpal has jurisdiction over all Members of Parliament and central government employees in cases of corruption.

i.e a parallel representative elected by the members of the community to keep a track on the proper functioning of government.

I won’t waste much time talking more about Lokpal, for more information please read here,

How could something like Lokpal help EOS Governance?

If someone follows EOSgov channel closely, you would have came across this question many times “How EOS would stop collusion of Whales and Block Producers, keeping it decentralised in like 30 years?”

We really do need a solution that preserves the rights of individuals in the EOS ecosystem. I cannot support steemit simply because the "whales" have way too much power. It's just another 1%ers world that they control. There is sufficient evidence to debunk the concept that those who are heavily invested will automatically align themselves with the greater good. Ego is a helluva drug and greed is a powerful force. I believe we should use a system that preserves a "1 person = 1 vote" foundation. We must find a way to reduce the incentive to act selfishly as best we can. To me, blockchain technology has always held the promise of providing the framework for a true social revolution that reduces economic inequality and therefore provides the foundation for real democracy. My hope is that as a community we strive for this ideal relentlessly.

Problems (I feel) we have in EOS Governance -

1.Stake Based voting gives power in hands of whales, they may in turn use network for fulfilling their greed and short-term benefits.
2.Changes in constitution needs 15/21 approval from the block producers, again cabal formation may lead to opposition to certain changes for greed.
3.Much like Steem, any changes (forks) could be declined by B.P.
4.Favouritism and geographical voting.
5.Vote Buying difficult to trace and the line between investor/partners or vote buying is very thin. (please help me define)

People share money using cash, google pay, Samsung pay, apple pay, wechat, bank accounts
It's too hard to track if the money is given in other currencies

6.The collision of B.P with Investors could affect the health of EOS ecology in long run.
7.Arbitrators could just instruct B.P producers to act a certain way, the final power rest with Block Producers, with time the whales may get more powerful(delegation and Pareto’s principle) and keep on voting the certain B.P ignoring the arbitrators ruling.
8.Declining voting power of B1 with time (10 years).
9.DACs like EOSDAC which incentivizes the voters are much like Vote Buying in hiding (my personal opinion, though they have even decentralized the decision making process and have a great team)
10.Bitfinex like block producers may use tokens of investors* to vote. (please read below)
11.Block Producers with right principal may get ignored cause of less networking and communication with high stake-holders.
12.No voting incentives for the regular investor (less voting turnout)
13.Block Producers rewards are set thinking global. $10 dollars in the USA could just buy a single meal, while the same $10 in India could buy 6 meals.
14.Regular investors won’t always keep track of happening on the blockchain.

Although certain steps are taken to curb the cabal formation and transparent voting like limiting incentives for B.Ps (1% inflation), vote decaying and B1 voting to keep bad actors away from being elected, they don’t solve many problems.

Introducing Lokpal in EOS

For keeping a track of proper/transparent functioning of Block Producers we need to place someone with the same power as of whales but act in accordance with even the smallest investor and long-term vision of EOS.

For long-term functioning, the arbitrators need to hold some kind of power as well were the stake based voting may not be overwhelming. The smallest investors who are willing have certain changes (which may do wonders for the blockchain) should have a say, and needs to be encouraged. Same with the unelected non-producers and dapplication on the top of EOS. Everyone is equally important on the blockchain and part of the ecosystem. They need to have a representative in the EOS ecology irrespective of the stake they have on the blockchain.

As we have seen on Steemit, the non-incentivized stake based voting makes the voice of many “STEEM well-wishers” go unheard. Moreover, it takes a lot many votes from minnow to cancel out a vote from a whale.

It’s not only about end users, we would have different groups of people on EOS namely investors, B1, B.Ps, Dapps, Side-chains and critics.

Five groups of people with vested interest in blockchain are-

1.Investors
2.Block One
3.Block Producers
4.Dapplication and Side-chains
5.Arbitrators

What if the same five group of people elects 10 representatives you could keep a witness on Block Producers functioning?

The 10 representatives may be given few powers to cancel out the voting of whale and keep a track on the vision of EOS.

Each representative could vote as a whale on the blockchain, if the representative doesn’t function according to the majority of arbitrators, dapp business, block.one or block producers s/he could always be un-elected and miss on the incentives.

Introduction of 6th Group

The suggestions and public grievances need to be addressed by the community. We may always have someone like Dan/Vitalik in our community with disruptive ideas and suggestion. With the experimentation of Blockchain, there will always be a discussion to improve the technology.

Imagine if Bitcoin miners/community have taken ideas of Vitalik into account, we wouldn’t have something like Ethereum, and Bitcoin still could have been the greatest thing, before EOS.

Unlike Steem, we need to have suggestion and debate over improving the ecosystem. As I said earlier, the community members need to feel that their efforts in improving the ecosystem are being heard and actions are taken in improving the platform.
We need something like “Planning and Suggestion Commision” as the fifth group on the blockchain.

Don’t repeat the past error

We have many problems on STEEM and there had been numerous discussion about those problems. Be it SBD peg, bot problems or bandwidth issues prior to the introduction of SMTs. The major problem I found on STEEM and the reason STEEM is bound to fail is “community voice goes unheard”. Major issues are raised by new users goes unaddressed. @ned and the team are nowhere to be found.

Much like STEEM, there will always be new users on EOS blockchain, who will find some difficulty and will have some ideas which could be debated and put into the system.
Such community members will be very important for the community as new ideas and thinking will keep ecosystem updated. They need to be supported and their voice should have some weight.

I know @dan Larimer and @thomoscox mostly takes all the suggestion of the community into account. What if they both left the B1 and leaves us with @ned like guy in power who won’t care about the community suggestions and problem.

We could promote such ecosystem by introducing “Planning, Suggestion and Debate Commision” into the system. The elected member may be the people like @thomascox, @EOSgo or @sam i.e the people who are eager to listen to the pain points and want to be the part of the discussion and are willing to embrace the changes required for blockchain’s future.

The elected members of such commissions should be given the power to vote for Lokpal/Ombudsman on the blockchain.

Cause this will complicate the voting process for investors.

I feel the small investors won’t care much about the voting process of electing a Lokpal/Ombudsman, so “maybe” we could drop the first group from the election process. The investors who care about the future of the blockchain will mostly be active in decision making, hence, the active members of “Planning and suggestion commision”. They could always elect a representative to put their voice out and vote for a right candidate. Anyways they are voting for B.P themselves “stake-based voting”.

Different scenario after putting Lokpal/Ombudsman in place.

Scenario 1: One EOSGP(good producer) is working hard for the blockchain future but isn’t able to secure the top 21 place cause less of contact with whales on the blockchain and voter turnout isn’t much. EOSBP(Bad Producer) secure top position as top EOS investors have partnered with him and are voting for him.

Lokpal job will ensure the EOS long-term vision of decentralisation and they could put their vote on electing the EOSGP. Even if there is a concentration of B.P in one specific country, the Lokpal will put efforts to stop that from happening, much like B1’s vote now.

Scenario 2: (Worst Case) 12 years from now, when top 21 block producers get enough power and establish contacts with top whales. Cause of favouritism and power they may ignore arbitrators ruling which in fact is important for the blockchain future but ain’t good for B.P in a certain way.

The arbitrators instead of feeling powerless, have an option of electing a right representative who could take all the action of Block Producers into account and act wisely when voting. As regular investors won’t be keeping a track of every happening in the EOS ecology, so the work to keep a track, make a wise decision and put the update into public forum goes in the hand of Lokpals.

Scenario 3: Daniel Larimer leaves EOS, and some jerk like we have on STEEM takes the command. B1 could act disruptively and try to get few changes to meet the short-term greed of the organisation and whales. Changes irrespective of long-term vision may get passed by B.P cabal.

Again we would have someone trusted who could be elected by non-active producers, dapp business and commision going against the will of B1 and active producers.

Couldn’t Lokpal collude with whales or B.P?

They couldn’t, let's assume some whales incentivize Lokpal to vote against the will of arbitrators and other groups, he would need to notify all the group to vote for certain B.P and if the reason doesn’t align with groups, he could always be unelected.

Let’s cut the story short and come to the conclusion.

A parallel government in place which is much powerful and could act against the whales still works under the governance is much needs for long-term decentralisation of Block One.

The lokpals are the ‘elected voter to vote the B.Ps’ could be a good addition to EOS governance, as not many investors will align themselves to the future of EOS block-chain. As many investors just work on FUD and FOMO on the network, which gives a lot more power into the hands of whales. Most of the investors in crypto space still don’t care much about the technology and are into this space to earn quick money.

The delegation will help whales to increase their EOS and short-term investors in order to earn more profit may exit the trade in EOS and invest money in new ICO. Again the process will lead to centralisation in future.

Bitfinex like exchanges may use the untouched stake to vote for themselves. We need someone to look into such voting and notify every member regarding it. On Binance, you won’t be able to sell 0.976 EOS, they are stuck in your wallet, I wonder if Bitfinex have the same system and they use that stake to vote for themselves.

We will always have block producers trying to put every effort into developing great tools for the community, for marketing reason and having their names out. Few whales may just collude and decide to vote for certain B.P who won’t care much about community. That will surely affect the good intention of hard working B.P which isn’t that great for the health of Blockchain.

We have few neutral communities like @eosgo @koreos @imeos @eostalk @ineos they always are much aware of the communities need, suggestions and ideas, as they are much connected to investors and enthusiasts in different regions. The ‘Planning and suggestion commission’ (need a name change), will help such group of people to put thought into improving the blockchain, take the suggestion and pass on B1. We take some assurity for implementation of proper ideas and suggestion, irrespective of power in hands of ‘B1’, the representatives will enforce such ideas by electing ‘lokpal’ with a similar mindset.

I feel if we remove investors from voting for the ‘Lokpal’, it would make the process simple. The arbitrators, B.P, Dapp, sidechain, P.C won’t find it difficult to vote for representatives. The process will remain simple and transparent.

Regular voter which are not following the happening in EOS governance could even trail/proxy their voted with lokpals.

How could it be implemented technically? I don’t have any idea.
Just my two cents. :)

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