Dan Larimer - Decentralized Blockchain Governance "Decentralization is a myth"

in #eos2 years ago

So Dan brought out an article that is pretty heavy hitting and counters a lot of my own arguments as of late. This is some hard hitting stuff actually. damn.


Original Article :

I am not sure if copying the article is going to be ok or not but I am about 80% sure its fine because medium doesn't have ad revenue model and Dan is probably not monetizing the article. Either way here is the part about the code of law myth which I think is pretty hard hitting stuff.

The Code is Law Myth
There is widespread belief that there is no “governance” of Bitcoin or Ethereum and that these protocols are decentralized. There is further a belief that the code should be law. In reality all blockchains have human governance processes that reveal themselves in emergencies and when the protocol upgrades. All code has bugs; and bugs in the law create injustice and violation of expected property rights.

Ethereum’s shadow-government hard-forked to fix the DAO hack. Bitcoin mining pools voted on which fork to support when a software upgrade introduced a long unintended fork. The Ethereum foundation has used Trademark law to define the official version of the chain that exchanges are allowed to list. Segwit was accepted due to a summit of community leaders who voted on a compromise that included increasing the block size only to be betrayed due to the phased-rollout plan that later abandoned big blocks.

Large miners have cornered the market on ASIC with the benefit of economies of scale. Mining pools have cornered the market on block production (2–3 pools control Bitcoin and Ethereum). Fees (aka producer bribes) have risen to be higher than bank transfers. Lightning networks create new bank-like-intermediaries and are vulnerable to censorship attacks by mining pools and ASIC cartels.

Every blockchain that has a “process for upgrading” has a governance structure that is capable of changing the rules, rolling back stolen funds, etc. It is the good-old-boy network of Github admins, exchange connections, and mining pool operators. The problem is that these processes are informal and less predictable and even less accountable than the governmental structures we hope the blockchains would replace. Insiders take stealth control of these informal processes while the masses perceive coordinated governance chaos.


This was a great share! I have resteemed to share this with others😃

Please keep the excellent information coming as information is power when investing in crypto projects.

Dan drops the mic baby!

Decentralization is not a boolean variable. The question should be how decentralized or disintermediated is the technology and at what points can control be taken by individuals? Most won't bother reading the white papers to figure this out though. Is mining centralized? I believe that mostly yes since ASIC's took over. But mining is not the only part. There are the merchants, the users, the nodes confirming transactions without mining, and also programmers. All of them want control, but control isn't complete.

So the question should be, is it decentralized enough? This can be a tricky question. Who can seize your funds? Decentralization doesn't automatically mean that you are in control. For instance, Bitshares is called "decentralized", however, if you check more closely, most of the time OpenLedger actually has control of your private keys. This isn't much better than using a fully centralized exchange such as Binance or Coinbase.

As for EOS, an intriguing project. Is it decentralized enough? Time will tell. The main question is, why only 21 block producers? Seems to me that it might not be hard to get collusion with such a low number. Yes they can be voted out (and not just every 4 years, but continuously). It's like fitting politicians with blockchain ankle bracelets. Should we call the BP's Block Producers or Bitware Politicians?

I think if more people understood how EOS worked, they would always vote for someone not in the top 21 currently and change their vote soon after, to always keep potential collusion at bay. History shows however, that once votes are set, they rarely change. Maybe a voting bot can be set up to accomplish that for the community to generate "randomized term limits".

As for "code is law" being a myth, nature has been the law of God for eons, and there are many bugs in nature. There's a tradeoff between security and freedom.

So the question should be, is it decentralized enough?

Well, one thing is for sure, even the most centralized crypto is going to be a lot fucking less centralized than Youtube, twitter, twitch, facebook ect...

History shows however, that once votes are set, they rarely change.

Votes decay over time forcing us to have to vote again after a few months I think.

Votes decay over time forcing us to have to vote again after a few months I think.

I just read that recently. Of course, how many will even vote in the first place?

A lot more than usual I think. The wallet and voting system is really easy to use and functionality is bound to be become better.

The whole article is about how crypto is completely centralized.

Yeah that's a good point lol.

This was all crystal clear to me ever since BCH happened. Still, I think this is fixable on a single blockchain with honest, community-focused brainstorming and maybe 50k USD at the most.

Dan is trying to justify the "elite" who are the EOS block producers. It seems that it should be easier to find more than 21 EOS block producers in the world. Why doesn't EOS set up block producing pools so that more people can participate?

There may be only a few pools containing Bitcoin and Ethereum production but I don't think that anyone has much trouble joining them.

I really hope that this isn't going to be like the BCH roll-out where the lead figures start claiming that their coin is the new Bitcoin. The whole market goes down because of this hubris.

Dan is doing the exact opposite in his article, just like the intention of BCH has always been the exact opposite of what you said.

He isn't trying to sell his blockchain concept? Why not?

Roger Ver was selling firecrackers on EBay and was arrested for it. That sounds like someone who does everything out of the goodness of his heart and never tries to make a profit.

I'm so glad we are surrounded by saints.

THE OPPOSITE!!! He's saying the opposite!!! He is explaining how bad shit is bad, contrary to popular belief.

Bad shit is bad!!! He's calling out shit-ass behaviour to those haven't realized it yet. He's explaining how crappy and shitty important shit people are shitting over crypto.

You know how everyone thinks crypto is decentralized? He is explaining how it ISN'T DECENTRALIZED. Get it? He's shouting "YOU SEE THIS STUFF YOU THINK IT'S GOOD? IT'S ACTUALLY HORSESHIT. YOU'VE BEEN LIED TO. IT'S ALL BULLSHIT."

Also he isn't advertising EOS, he is talking about every crypto, including EOS.

Decentralization is a myth. That is valid to every crypto out there, including EOS.

tl;dr: the opposite

He is saying that "decentralization" is a myth BECAUSE he pretends to have a good solution for it. His solution essentially rejects decentralization and its possibility. It is giving up on decentralization.

Like in society, bad actors are few and good actors are many. Larimer's designation of 21 block producers hurts the many because of the bad actions of a few. It is faithless just like socialism and communism and fascism and elitism.

For example, I can process golem transactions and earn some coin just by offering my cpu. Only 21 actors can do this with eos. EOS is faithless.

I'm running an eos node. Transactions are coming through. My CPU and bandwidth are being used. I get nothing.


All the developers are in the "Access network", they preprocess transactions for the "Core Network" and the nodes in the "Access network" get no rewards.

I'm sorry, because this post was made around Dan's exposure of crypto centralization, I interpreted your words solely under this idea, therefore failing to understand your context.

Now, reading it again under the context of the whole article on medium instead of just the "there is no decentralization" part, I can only say I 100% agree with you.

Regardless, the discussion is useful. There are probably benefits to EOS pseudo-centralized model but it doesn't compete with Bitcoin in my mind.

Any experiment towards true decentralization is welcome, so it should be highly fostered ($) regardless of competition, in my opinion.

Good point! Updates, changes to the code/law are completely human :)

That's exactly what's being described as wrong as far decentralization goes.

Thanks for sharing! A link to your post was included in the Steem.center wiki article about Dan Larimer. Thanks and good luck again!