EOS Block Producer ‘StartEOS’ Improves Efficiency After Facing Community Criticism
Yesterday on Twitter, a member of the EOS community raised issue with StartEOS, a block producer that has been performing poorly and inconsistently:
— John McCoffee (@JMccoffee) September 10, 2018
The screenshot, which was taken yesterday from a benchmarking site, shows that StartEOS often took nearly 40 milliseconds to execute custom contracts. Other block producers consistently took less than 17 milliseconds to do so.
StartEOS responded by tweeting “???” and providing a different screenshot from the same benchmarking site. Their screenshot shows that it takes StartEOS only 7.5 milliseconds to execute contracts.
It is unlikely that this difference is due to the time that the screenshot was taken. StartEOS did not explicitly state that the improvement was due to deliberate changes on their part, but it seems that the change was intentional: the past seven days had been consistently poor as well, and the improvement was very sudden.
The original critic acknowledged the improvement:
One day after tweeting, @StarteosIO has got their node up to speed and is no longer the worst performing BP! Thanks to everybody who re-tweeted and liked, to AlohaEOS for their awesome benchmark tool, and to StartEOS for the upgrade in performance! https://t.co/gdwNGgCF4V pic.twitter.com/KcJ0T8O6zm
— John McCoffee (@JMccoffee) September 12, 2018
Why Performance Matters
EOS block producers are organizations that share their computing resources with EOS and run contracts on behalf of the network. According to Aloha EOS, which runs the benchmarking site, each block producer was given a special benchmarking contract to run. They also explained the consequences of poor performance:
“[The chart] shows they are executing our benchmark contract that much slower (or faster) than other BPs. If it’s slower, they likely won’t be able to fit as many transactions within a block as other BPs. Also they charge token holders more CPU time per transaction.”
Aloha EOS also suggested that all block producers should perform “around the same baseline” so that the entire EOS network would be consistent in terms of performance and fees.
Suggested Reading : Learn more about EOS in our beginner’s guide.
The fact that the complaint was resolved is also a vindication of block producers’ purported accountability to users. EOS runs on a DPoS consensus mechanism in which token holders elect 21 block producers by voting. In theory, block producers must listen to the demands of the users or a more popular block producer will take their place.
However, DPoS has been criticized by opponents who think the system is too centralized and believe that block producers have too much control over the network. Immediately after the initial launch of EOS, the block producers decided to freeze several accounts that allegedly held stolen funds. This was extremely controversial, to say the least.
Although such controversies will not go away any time soon, the events of today are a good sign and a reason for optimism. StartEOS’ quick response shows that block producers do listen to feasible demands.
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