EOS Launches Referendum Tool—Constitutional Changes May Result
EOS went live last June, and since then, has endured several months of controversy. Now, block producers have added a referendum feature that will keep the platform accountable to its base. The new referendum system will allow token holders to have a direct say in many important issues.
According to EOSGO, the referendum feature went live on January 11 after more than 16 block producers voted in favor of a launch. Some important referendums are slated for the near future, and individual EOS holders may have a much greater say in matters than they previously had.
Elections vs. Referendums
Referendums are not the only type of voting that occurs on EOS. Currently, investors who hold EOS tokens can stake their tokens in order to elect a block producer. Block producers are responsible for providing computational resources for EOS, and they are kept accountable by the possibility of being voted out.
However, this system only gives token holders indirect power, and many potential voters are not interested in finding out which values and goals each block producer holds. EOSGO indicates that turnout is currently “below 50 percent” for this type of voting. By contrast, referendums will allow users to vote directly on extremely visible and high-profile issues.
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How Voting Works
The voting process is simple: voters are able to interact with special voting smart contracts through various web interfaces, such as EOSVotes. The proposals that have been listed so far seem to be “simple” proposals. This means that some questions are merely polls, although the interface does not make this explicit.
The process of introducing a game-changing proposal, however, is quite intense. If a proposal intends to make changes to EOS’s underlying constitution, codebase, or smart contracts, it will be classified as “complex.” Complex proposals must be well-documented, submitted on GitHub, demoed on a testnet, and audited before they are even considered by block producers.
Now that the referendum system has gone live, the EOS community will begin voting on real changes. One of the first and most important decisions will concern the EOS Constitution. The platform’s constitution has been controversial from the start, and there are many constitutions that could replace it. EOSGO explains the situation:
“As planned, the interim constitution will be up for approval via referendum. There are also planned alternative constitutions to the interim constitution, two popular ones being Dan Larimer’s V2 and EOS New York’s user agreement.”
One sub-issue concerns the role that the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF) should play. ECAF is currently responsible for resolving disputes and preventing fraud. However, ECAF has been widely criticized due to the sheer amount of power that it wields over accounts and funds. EOSGO notes that many have disavowed the group–meaning that ECAF is ripe for removal (or a reduced role).
Whether an upcoming referendum will succeed in resolving either of these matters is unclear. The threshold for success is incredibly high, and many proposals could revert to default even if there is intermittent support for change. But if all goes well, the voting process could give participants more control over EOS than ever before.
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