EOS’ Arbitration Body Orders Block Producers to Freeze 27 Accounts, Gives No Explanation
Jun 23, 2018
The EOS mainnet is barely a week old and is already embroiled in controversies.
Reports emerged yesterday (June 22, 2018) of the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF) ordering the freezing of 27 accounts—without providing an explanation why.
This order comes a few days after the 21 EOS block producers (BPs) decided to freeze seven accounts. According to the BPs, these accounts held stolen funds from phishing activities. The BPs on that occasion acted without recourse to an arbitration body.
The controversial freezes have reignited debates over whether EOS is truly decentralized. Meanwhile, the price of the cryptocurrency has taken a massive tumble, losing almost 50 percent since the start of June.
Details of the ECAF Freeze Order
The ECAF issued an “Emergency Measure of Protection Order” on June 22, 2018, instructing the 21 BPs to disable transactions from 27 accounts on the mainnet. As mentioned above, the ECAF gave no official explanation for the directive, instead saying that “The logic and reasoning for this Order will be posted at a later date.”
The authorities in EOS just instructed the block producers to censor transactions from 27 accounts with no reasons given.
“the logic and reasoning for this order will be posted at a later date”
— Ferdous ฿hai (@ferdousbhai) June 22, 2018
The EOS Decentralization Debate
Suffice to say that two such controversies in close order have left some in the cryptocurrency community flummoxed at the running of EOS. During the mainnet launch, many commentators raised issues over the perceived lack of decentralization of the project. The debate over whether the project is indeed decentralized has only increased in intensity since then.
Critics say the power wielded by the BPs and the ECAF amount to centralized governance of what is intended to be a decentralized system.
For supporters of EOS, they believe that some form of governance is needed on blockchains to counter the activities of ‘bad actors.’ Article IX of the EOS constitution states:
Dispute Resolution – All disputes arising out of or in connection with this Constitution shall be finally settled under the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce by one or more arbitrators appointed in accordance with the said Rules.
Many of the project’s proponents believe that the accounts being frozen were involved in phishing scams. The period leading up to the mainnet launch of the project was indeed fraught with reports of such scams, but critics remain skeptical.
I bumped into Bitcoin in 2010 while I was still engaged in the fierce battle of obtaining my Engineering degree. I found the content of Nakamoto’s white paper fascinating since it reminded me of the works of legends like Haber and Stornetta. When I am not writing about cryptocurrencies, I am either attempting to beat my scrabble high score or engaged in some internal existential debate.