EOS raised eyebrows last year when it raised a whopping $4 billion during its ICO even without a working product. While outsiders were shocked at the number, crypto and blockchain insiders — which largely drove the massive ICO — have long known about EOS’ grand promises and disruptive potential. The platform has been billed as an “Ethereum killer” thanks to its unique application of the dApp model and its promise of improved performance and much faster transactions per second.
Even so, the EOS rollout has been nothing short of perplexing. Although the platform is already live, it has had some stumbles that raised serious questions about its viability thus far. Most recently, the company was in hot water when it was revealed a user found a way to send a $3.6 trillion transaction through the network.
Moreover, the EOS chain has had problems with scalability due to oversized demand. On the non-technical side, the platform has been accused of a lack of transparency, as well as a seemingly negligent approach to QA that led to a bevy of issues at launch. Regardless, EOS’ promise has continued to buoy it as second-layer providers build solutions to support the nascent ecosystem. With new fixes to old problems, and a constantly expanding community, EOS may finally be regaining its footing.
A Troubled but Fixable Recent Past
Despite the massive hype surrounding it EOS is not without detractors, and the company has continuously given them ammunition in their complaints. The company’s problems are many and multi-faceted, and one of the biggest concerns in the industry is that the company has not had an urgency to fix them.
One of the biggest issues with the platform is related to its Proof of Stake consensus, which, while functional, has raised worries of fairness due to how supernodes are elected. The problem is compounded by the fact that according to a recent study, after the top 50 nodes, staking the network becomes unprofitable and does not even reach break-even.
On a more technical note, users have also expressed confusion and disbelief that several known bugs and issues with EOS code and smart contracts, which makes it vulnerable to attacks, remain unsolved on Github. Paired with complaints that the EOS team does not perform adequate QA on its code before releasing onto its mainnet, it paints a picture of a dev team that may not be responsible enough to shoulder the platform’s potential.
Finally, making a wallet for EOS is a needlessly complex process, requiring an existing member to help new users open an account. When seen as a whole, these problems could point to serious trouble in the short term for EOS, but the company, and the community behind it, seem to have finally understood the problem and have started working on fixes.
A Crowdsourced Solution
Troubled rollouts are nothing new in the tech world, but usually companies will fix issues almost immediately once they’re reported or detected. EOS has been slow to act, which has cost it some reputation points, but some in the community around the still promising blockchain have taken a more active stance.
The community’s support for EOS stems from the fact that in theory, it is still a better ecosystem than Ethereum’s on which to develop a dApp. This alone has helped an organic developer community to sprout up around it. Until now, EOS has largely relied on first-layer implementations to solve most issues and to their credit, has been successful. Now, some interesting second-layer solutions have emerged that could put EOS over the top.
For instance, LiquidApps, a dApp development platform, tackles one of EOS’ biggest issues — true scalability and processing. EOS currently has a cap on RAM usage, both in terms of resource cost (58 EOS per 1MB) and roughly 90GB maximum supply. As a result, dApp development is constrained by the available development and memory resources. LiquidApps adds a layer in the development stack and provides vRAM — a simulated memory storage that works apart from the EOS chain and adds capacity for developers.
Other solutions include Oracle Chain, which is improving real-time data transmission by enabling the use of oracles on the blockchain (oracles are trusted third parties that verify data). Additionally, there are projects and initiatives that are exploring the use of sharding to improve scalability and development. Bitfinex has also gotten into the game with their EOSfinex decentralized exchange, which will allow users to purchase and trade tokens of their favorite EOS dApps.
EOS and Peers Enjoy First-Mover Status
With a growing list of exchanges to provide a portal where EOS enthusiasts can trade value across the EOS blockchain, second-layer solutions that make development easier and more cost-effective, and applications to entice a burgeoning audience, EOS has demonstrated that it’s capable of encouraging growth by nature of its superior blockchain model alone.
It doesn’t matter that there isn’t a “perfect” blockchain for creating or hosting decentralized applications, yet. Whether its EOS, NEO, Ethereum, or Cardano, the earliest bootstrapped dApp networks are setting the standard by which others must measure themselves. The large market presence of these early solutions also ensures that their dev communities snowball over time, thus raising the bar for future applications, but also making it easier to pass muster. At the end of the day, EOS is an encouraging example of how determined the blockchain model can be in the face of severe growing pains.