BPs Freezing Seven Accounts is a Violation of the EOS Constitution
EOS is back in the news again, this time for apparently violating its constitution. According to reports, the 21 EOS BPs have frozen seven accounts allegedly involved in a phising scam. The decision to freeze the accounts has brought up a lot of controversies. Many critics say it is yet another example of the lack of decentralization in the EOS project.
Details of the Freeze
The 21 EOS block producers (BPs) unanimously voted to freeze seven EOS accounts. There are allegatins that these seven accounts held stolen funds from a suspected phishing attack. The BPs decided as part of the EOS911 protocol which was initiated by EOS42 – one of the 21 BPs. This initiative enables the recovery of stolen funds. However, the main bone of contention is that the decision by the BPs contravenes the provisions of the EOS constitution. Article IX of the EOS constitution states:
Dispute Resolution – All disputes arising out of or in connection with this Constitution shall be finally settled under the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce by one or more arbitrators appointed in accordance with the said Rules.
Based on Article IX of EOS’ controversial constitution, BPs don’t have the authority to make such decisions. The power to resolves disputes is solely in the hands of an “arbitration body.” The role of the BPs is to carryout out the resolutions reached during arbitration.
BPs Circumvent ECAF
The EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF) was the arbitration body for this dispute. ECAF declined to take any action, citing limited authority to actthe in the matter. This decision was based on the fact that the main EOS constitution is yet to be ratified – only an interim constitution is in place at the moment.
With ECAF unwilling to act, the appears the BPs took it upon themselves to come to a decision. In a blog post by EOS New York, the BPs said:
We plead with the accompanying Block Producers/Candidates that the ECAF must step forward to issue the emergency freeze action on the affected accounts. Without this, we proceeded as a group to review the evidence ourselves and came to a difficult decision of executing based upon the evidence brought forth.
The decision by the BPs to freeze the seven accounts has generated a lot of debate within the cryptocurrency community. The major focus point on both sides of the argument is on the philosophy of blockchain immutability and decentralization. Critics like Jackson Palmer of Dogecoin, cryptographer, Nick Szabo, and Bitcoin Foundation co-founder, Charlie Shrem disagree with the decision of the BPs.
In EOS a few complete strangers can freeze what users thought was their money. Under the EOS protocol you must trust a "constitutional" organization comprised of people you will likely never get to know. The EOS "constitution" is socially unscalable and a security hole. https://t.co/WusEqBMGBp
Most critics are against the monopoly of the 21 BPs. According to them, such a situation hardly qualifies as a decentralized blockchain. For the supporters of the BPs, they blockchains need protocols in place to punish bad actors.
“Protecting” “punishing”. No. No one gets to decide those things. You are hair swapping 1 nation state for another one, albeit a digital one. This is the point of crypto, no one should have that power. If you do, then we should just stop wasting everyone’s time. https://t.co/yCh6IIPGqp
The freezing of the seven accounts is the latest in a list of controversies surrounding the EOS project. A few days ago, activities on the mainnet shut down after a bug was discovered. The mainnet launch itself was plagued by bug issues as well as concerns over the voting process.
What are your views on the EOS decentralization debate? Do you think the 21 EOS BPs are monopolizing the control of the blockchain? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.
Image courtesy of Twitter (@ummjackson, @NickSzabo4, and @CharlieShrem).