EOS block producers – who are they and why are they necessary? We’re going to answer both these questions and more.
EOS Block Producers: The Why
EOS block producers will be the decentralized bodies that are voted in to govern the EOS network, starting from when its mainnet launches. As the name implies, block producers produce the blocks of the EOS blockchain.
That means it’s a pretty big deal to become an EOS block producer. EOS block producers are in charge of running the EOS blockchain – a big responsibility which yields a big reward.
Block producers earn EOS tokens – approximately 1% of the 5% EOS token inflation that occurs.
Although block producers will technically be able to keep the tokens for themselves, there will be an incentive to reinvest their rewarded tokens. Reinvesting would create better infrastructure growth, better community and financial support, along with better education on the EOS network and EOS dApps.
Who the EOS block producers are will constantly be changing. To understand that a little better, let’s dive into the block producer voting process.
EOS Block Producers: The Vote
There can only be a total of 21 EOS block producers at any given time. With hundreds of candidates to choose from, how do the block producers get elected? That would be through a vote.
Starting June 2nd after the EOS mainnet has launched, elections will begin to choose the block producers from the list of candidates.
The first election will end when 15%, or 150 million EOS tokens, have put forward their vote. During this first election, there will be 21 appointed block producers randomly selected from the list of candidates to act as the block producers until the initial election has completed. Once completed, the appointed block producers will be replaced with the elected block producers.
Once started, block producer elections will be continually ongoing, with votes being recalculated every two minutes, ensuring that EOS block producers are constantly changing. This method is to hopefully ensure that no one body remains a block producer for too long – although questions of the fairness of the voting process have been put forward (see below).
When voting, every EOS member can choose up to 30 block producers from the candidate list to vote for. Voters will stake their tokens on either the CPU or the bandwidth, and the votes are weighted by how many tokens are being staked. The EOS block producers elected (the ones that received the most votes) will be the ones that are producing blocks at the time of the vote.
Voters can change their vote straight away, but however many tokens they staked will be locked for three days after they stop staking them.
To vote, tokens need to be registered. Find out how to register your tokens here – but hurry, because you’re almost out of time.
EOS Block Producers: The Problem
The problem with this system is that not everybody plays fair. Larger block producer candidates may buy votes, and not all EOS block producers will operate independently and with community goals in mind.
Block.one has claimed that they will not be using their tokens to vote in the block producer elections. But this doesn’t stop the other big behemoths from using their size to sway the vote in their favour. Block.one also claims that they will use their votes to help set things straight if things start to look a little funny. But would that be enough to solve the problem?
Another concern is that, although block producers are incentivized to reinvest their EOS tokens into the network, this doesn’t mean they will. They could easily keep the tokens they earn as a reward for being a block producer for themselves.
EOS Block Producers: The Candidates
Anyone can technically become an EOS block producer (although they need to ensure they’re capable of actually producing EOS blocks, otherwise their votes probably won’t go over so well).
Ideally, block producers will be located all over the world, and come from different backgrounds (think geographical, political, organizational). Whether or not an idealized spread such as this actually happens still remains to be seen.
Currently, there are over 100 block producer candidates. Some of the larger ones include the crypto exchanges Bitfinex and Huobi Global, along with the Bitcoin mining pool Antpool. Because of their size, it won’t be much of a surprise if these candidates are elected in the first round.
EOS block producers – are you ready for them?
Featured image: Coinwire