In the case of the EOS blockchain, one of the criticisms that is often made is that of the cartel created by some Block Producers (BP) to govern the blockchain in their interest and thus to elect only certain BPs over others.
But how do they control and alter the BP rankings on a practical level?
Who are the BPs?
There are 21 BPs in the EOS blockchain that validate the blocks; the rest of the BPs are all in standby, though until position 65 they still receive a reward because they still have the machines active in case a top BP were to have problems.
Unfortunately, there is currently no audit that can show whether behind a BP account there is really an active machine, since any account can become BP if it has a certain number of votes – it takes at least 50 million votes to enter the top 65 – so it is possible that many of the BPs were artificially created.
But what’s the point of creating fake BPs?
As mentioned, only the first 65 receive a contribution in EOS tokens, as an incentive to keep the machines on, so if a user has enough tokens to stake, it takes only 2 minutes to create a new account and vote for an account.
The cartel: pure science fiction?
Unfortunately not. Being a public blockchain, it is possible to see that there are several BP accounts that were created all on the same day and that, “coincidentally”, they all have enough votes to be in the top 65.
- Eosrainbowbp, position 57;
- Eosathenabp1, position 54;
- Eoszeusiobp1, position 55;
- Eosunioniobp, position 60;
- Validatoreos, position 44;
- Stargalaxybp, position 43;
- Koreainbexbp, position 27;
These are only 7 accounts that have been created through the TokenPocket account.
What are the measures to be taken to address this cartel?
Although the situation is currently not the most promising, this fact is well known among block.one’s top management. Not by chance, CTO Daniel Larimer has written a proposal to change some of the rules of the blockchain and there’s also the involvement of Colin Talks Crypto, who through his proxy, colinrewards, is trying to use his millions of votes to favour only those BPs that give a tangible contribution to the blockchain and to the EOS community.
This is definitely a centralisation problem for EOS and, although everyone agrees that BPs can represent a form of governance that is not very effective, it must also be said that, in some cases, full centralisation may be compromised in order to pursue a greater good, as Brock Pierce explained in a video interview made a few days ago by Roger Ver.