EOS: Potential Ethereum Killer and Only Just Few Months Old?
Approximately few weeks ago, CoinDesk released its State of Blockchain Report Q2 2018, which included the eye-opening revelation that EOS, a two-month-old blockchain platform, has acquired a $7 billion market cap to become the fifth biggest blockchain in the last quarter. EOS also raised the highest-recorded ICO of $4.2 billion over 350 unique events occurring every 23 hours. The EOS euphoria has continued its momentum over the past seven days, with Google Trends indicating that EOS enjoyed the second-highest search volume compared with Ethereum, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency.
Figure 1: Google Trends Past 7 Days: EOS vs. Ethereum vs. Bitcoin vs. Cryptocurrency (data captured hourly)
Data Source: Google Trends
Officially launched on June 2 by Block.One with Daniel Larimer as the lead developer, EOS calls itself “the most powerful infrastructure for decentralized applications” and has been referred to as the “Ethereum Killer”. Even though some experts remain unconvinced due to its clumsy launch and 50+% turnover in the last 2 weeks alone, others are intrigued by EOS’ potential. According to Huobi Research, EOS is one of the most active projects of all time among all GitHub communities, and is also one of the projects with the most Stars and Forks in the last 2 weeks.
According to Investopedia, EOS is a blockchain-based, decentralized system that enables the development, hosting, and execution of commercial-scale decentralized applications (dApps) on its platform. It has two key elements: The EOS.IO, which is the operating system that manages and controls the EOS blockchain network and EOS tokens, which is the cryptocurrency of the EOS network. As one of many Ethereum alternatives that is also an open source software and based on the Smart Contract technology, EOS provides three features that focus on solving scalability, flexibility, and usage challenges for blockchain.
Thousands of Transactions Per Second
EOS uses the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism, which utilizes a reputation system and real-time voting to achieve consensus. Community members vote for validators to secure their network, and validators will be rewarded by validating transactions for the next block. This mechanism is more efficient and fair than Ethereum’s Proof of Stake (PoS), for two primary reasons:
1. Traditional mining isn’t needed, saving a lot of time and allowing more transactions to be handled.
2. Validators are chosen in a more democratic way, rather than according to how much cryptocurrency they have.
To put EOS’ efficiency into perspective, Ethereum currently supports only 15 transactions per second, while EOS successfully manages an astounding 1,000 EOS transactions per second.
Easy Fixes for Bugs
EOS mitigates damage caused by bugs by offering two options for block producers to deal with suspicious code.
1. Freeze accounts. Once 15 of 21 block producers are in agreement, an account or contract can be frozen until it is updated. This prevents buggy contracts from consuming too many network resources, inadvertently leaking funds, or other issues.
2. Change the code of applications or contracts through the aforementioned “15 of 21” agreement. If EOS users disagree with the decision, they can vote out the block producers and replace them with those who support the community consensus.
Nonetheless, finding a bug in immutable code is catastrophic. Users need to transfer everything to a new contract, which is costly.
Unlike Ethereum, which doesn’t have even the most basic features that users expect in a mainstream platform, EOS provides several common features, such as an account, password, account/password recovery, and human-readable usernames. This makes EOS intuitive and practical, especially for everyday, non-technical users.
Figure 2. Ethereum vs. EOS Feature Comparison
Data Source: Bitemycoin.com and Cryptobriefing.com
The fact that these features are integrated into the protocol layer solves many critical pain points that blockchain users experience every day. For example, users don’t need to worry about sending money to the wrong address (which may be just one digit off), because EOS account names utilize a familiar format that is also used by Gmail or Facebook. This format reduces the probability of sending money to the wrong receiver; if a mistake does occur, users can retract the transaction and recover the lost funds.
Vitalik Buterin vs. the Public
Buterin expressed concerns regarding EOS. He conceded that EOS’ transaction speed is impressive, but alleged that EOS gains speed by sacrificing censorship resistance achieved through Merkle proofs. He also criticized the DPoS system for creating a semi-centralized system, which strays away from the ideal cryptocurrency model. Furthermore, voters may not even be motivated enough to vote, making the entire process skewed and pointless. However, Buterin concluded that EOS block producers will be well-rewarded for their efforts, but that the incentives for users to actually turn up and vote remain an issue.
When it comes to the general public, however, they continue to be optimistic, or at least rather neutral, on EOS’ growth.
Figure 3: Sentiment Towards “EOSIO” Keyword from August 2–11, 2018
Data Source: Keyhole.co
For the last 10 days, the public has remained bullish about EOS, with only 2% of negative sentiment monitored on social media, including Twitter, Youtube, and Medium. Positive sentiment leads with 53.8%, followed by neutral sentiment at 44.2%. Popular influencers have joined the enthusiastic chatter, including Jimmy Zhong (@jimmyzhong_iost) and Philakone (@PhilakoneCrypto).
The truth is, even though the price of EOS has declined over time, it is within the realms of acceptability as EOS remains in its very early stages, having just launched in June 2018. Based on today’s data from Coincheckup.com, EOS is fifth in terms of market cap, with only 8.25% decrease; this is slightly better than Ethereum, who experienced a 11.3% decrease.
Figure 4: Market Cap Rank on August 11, 2018
Data Source: Coincheckup.com
The huge potential of EOS can also be seen from its price. Based on Coingecko.com, the price of ETH/USD in the first three months was way lower compared to EOS/USD in its first three months.
Figure 5: ETH/USD August — October 2015 vs EOS/USD Price June — August 2018.
Data Source: Coingecko.com
Even though EOS is still in its infancy, it has successfully captured the attention of the cryptocurrency world. With its main focus centered on the scalability, flexibility, and usage of blockchain, EOS delivers monumental innovations in the blockchain system that allows users to experience a more effective, adjustable, and convenient transaction.
While there is still significant room for improvement before EOS can directly compete with Ethereum, I remain optimistic and can’t wait to see what comes next for EOS.
 Bauerle, N., Ryan, P., and Hart, A. 2018. State of Blockchain Q2 2018. [https://www.coindesk.com/research/state-of-blockchain-q2-2018/]. Accessed August 6, 2018.
 Teng, A. 2018. Experts: “Ethereum Killer” Needs to Work on Its Governance Issues or Risk Losing Users. [https://www.techinasia.com/eos-at-risk]. Accessed August 6, 2018.
 Yuming, H. Y., Hai, D., Junjing, S., and Xiao, X. 2018. Huobi Blockchain Big Data Weekly Insights Vol. 7: 20.
 Yuming, H. Y., Hai, D., Junjing, S., and Xiao, X. 2018. Huobi Blockchain Big Data Weekly Insights Vol. 7: 18.
 Seth, S. 2018. What Is EOS. [https://www.investopedia.com/tech/what-is-eos/]. Accessed August 7, 2018.
 Tron Live. 2018. An Easy to Understand Guide to PoW, PoS, DPoS, Consensus Mechanism and Super Representative. [https://medium.com/tron-foundation/an-easy-to-understand-guide-to-pow-pos-dpos-consensus-mechanism-and-super-representative-eb1f5504a8e]. Accessed August 7, 2018.
 Snider, M., Samani, K., and Jain, T. 2018. EOS: Analysis and Valuation: 16.
 Macdonald, A. 2018. EOS Vs Ethereum: Predicting The Winner Of The Smart Contract War. [https://cryptobriefing.com/eos-ethereum-smart-contract-war-winner/]. Accessed August 8, 2018.
 Dobrica. 2018. An In-Depth Review of EOS and a Full Timeline of its Recent Struggles. [https://www.blockdelta.io/an-in-depth-review-of-eos-and-a-full-timeline-of-its-recent-struggles/]. Accessed August 8, 2018.
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