One of the biggest ICO just finished its first stage, raising 650,000 eth – currently worth almost $200 million – in its first five days of a year long token sale according to a press release.
The token has already been listed on some exchanges, such as Kraken, where it rose by more than 100% at the time of writing after some frenzied rollercoaster sharp price movements.
The ambitious project, which markets itself as a competitor to ethereum, is being led by Dan Larimer (pictured) in technical coding aspects and makes many somewhat stupendous claims.
Firstly, unlike most token sales, EOS is not an ethereum based project. They plan to create their own blockchain which they say will have many things, including no transaction fees and parallel processing.
However, we were unable to find out how exactly they plan to deliver because their “technical whitepaper” is in fact not technical at all. For example, regarding their most astonishing claim, they say:
“The permission evaluation process is “read-only” and changes to permissions made by transactions do not take effect until the end of a block. This means that all keys and permission evaluation for all transactions can be executed in parallel. Furthermore, this means that a rapid validation of permission is possible without starting the costly application logic that would have to be rolled back. Lastly, it means that transaction permissions can be evaluated as pending transactions are received and do not need to be re-evaluated as they are applied.”
That quote tells us what parallel processing means, or in marketing speak, the benefits, something usually reserved for adverts. But we learned little, if anything, about how it will achieve any of those benefits, which is the main purpose of a technical or even non technical whitepaper.
As for their second astonishing claim, no fees, they say as long as you hold tokens then your process can run. How, is a mystery, but we can guess it would probably be through some convoluted method that combines new token issuance and token freezes in as complex a manner as possible.
We can guess so because of Dan Larimer’s past projects, which tend to be heavy on marketing but often seem to lack any substance underneath.
Take steemit, for example. It claims to be a decentralized social network, but it all operates on a centralized website with the speed of centralized websites, which suggests it is not decentralized at all.
But it had excellent marketing and EOS is excellent at marketing too. For example, they somehow managed to get both Reuters and New York Times to write about their then upcoming ICO. A very curious first for this space considering the niche nature of the somewhat PR announcement.
Meanwhile, their “technical whitepaper” brilliantly markets the benefits of many buzzwords while also explaining the drawbacks if a project doesn’t have them. But they over do it to the point of raising eyebrows.
Take parallel processing. That is one of the holy grails in blockchain tech. Another word for it can be sharding. That’s moon maths and a very hard problem.
So when someone claims they’ve cracked it in a technical paper which does not contain even one equation, we’re more inclined to think the only thing they’ve cracked is marketing.
Because saying the next ethereum probably sells well in China, which sent most of the eth to EOS. Not least because most of them are unlikely to be able to even read the technical marketing whitepaper.
But saying the next ethereum when there isn’t even a proof of concept is probably a flag to anyone with some critical thinking ability, not least because if EOS was indeed so capable they’d want to be in the good side of ethereum and its devs to cooperate in shared problems, such as parallel processing.
However, solving problems is unlikely to be the aim of the project based on what they’ve already published. The aim, instead, appears to be more that of selling just how good some buzzword solutions would be with the project promising their delivery.
But if we go by past performance, all we’re likely to get is the buzzwords, which will probably continue to be claimed in some technical convoluted marketing paper even after likely non delivery.
We’ll probably get back to the project at that point and if we do find their parallel processing to be nothing of the kind we won’t be very surprised because our expectations of this project are at rock bottom.
We do however expect it to be hyped for a few weeks at some point, with its price potentially rising to then fall into irrelevance as Larimer jumps to another excellently marketed buzzword project.
That all said, we might be proven wrong. Perhaps Larimer single-handedly can crack the scalability problem even though hundreds of very capable ethereum developers have been working on it and expect it to take some more time.
Moreover, after failing to deliver in BitShares and Steem, perhaps Larimer manages to create something of real substance this time, but until that’s shown, we won’t bet on it and think it more likely he’ll just move on once the hype gives way to irrelevance.