EOS stands for Ethereum Operating System. It is a blockchain based platform for the development of decentralized apps or DApps. Built on the Ethereum network it extends the functionality of the Ethereum network. It provides an operating system like range of services and functions that DApps can utilize.
The concept behind EOS is to combine the best features of the various smart contract technologies out there and place them all in one scalable and simple to use platform that will allow everyday users to take advantage of the blockchain economy.
The main improvements offered by EOS over the standard Ethereum network relate to providing addition functionality around user authentication, cloud storage and server hosting. It should have no problem scaling to thousands of transactions per second without issues.
The EOS user accounts can be configured with differing levels of permission. Databases can be shared between accounts and user data can be stored on local machines located off the blockchain. There are built in facilities to be able to recover access to your EOS account in the event your account is hacked.
Cloud storage and server hosting are integral parts of the EOS platform. This allows application developers to build and deploy applications with a web interface free from the problems of sourcing storage space or providing bandwidth. Developers have access to analytics regarding storage and bandwidth and are able to specify limits for individual applications. To have access to these services you are required to stake some of your EOS tokens.
Applications built on the EOS platform do not require end users to provide micropayments to perform tasks that affect the blockchain. Whilst there are some fees, they are expected to be extremely low and it is up to the DApp developers to decide how these will be paid.
Most blockchains operate on a system that achieves consensus over state. Under this system, it means that at any point all of the computers can verify the entire state of the blockchain to prevent fraudulent transactions. As new blocks are added, the nodes on the network take the block transactions and update the state of each address associated with those transactions.
However, when using a “consensus of events” system the focus is on transactions as opposed to the state. Rather than having to verify the state of the whole network at any given time, the nodes just verify the series of events that have occurred so far to keep track of the networks state. As a result, the system takes a longer time to completely reconfirm the history of transactions but can handle a much higher throughput at any one time.
The EOS developers claim that this process will allow the network to scale to one million transactions per second if using a single machine and possibly infinite scaling is possible in parallel between multiple machines. The EOS network is yet to be tested to anywhere near these limits.
The EOS Token Sale
At the time of writing the EOS token has a market capitalization of $4,458,079,612 US dollars. This makes EOS the fifth largest crypto token by market cap in the world today. The EOS token sale operated somewhat differently to other token sales and took place over a year starting in June 2017. There were 350 separate periods of distribution and at the end of each distribution period, the total amount of EOS tokens minted for that period were divided amongst contributors based on the amount of ETH they had contributed.
As EOS tokens were listed on most major exchanges at the same time as being issued directly by the developers the market was able to decide a price. There was no need to get in early and investors could take their time and watch the progress of the development team before making their decision. EOS’s token sale is the largest token sale of its kind (possibly barring the Venezuelan Petro coin, which is marred by much controversy.) The EOS sale itself was a controversial issue. Having an ongoing ICO and tokens available to buy and sell on exchanges at the same time is an uncommon practice and some have suggested that it drove speculation and pitted investors against each other.
EOS tokens dont perform a function. Their sole use is that those who develop applications for the EOS platform are required to hold a sufficient amount of the coin for the application to run smoothly. An applications acceptance on the system is dependent on a voting system and is overseen by EOS token holders.
Recently the EOS Jungle Testnet suffered an attack that resulted in it being shut down for at least a day as the network resolved the issue.
Also, an EOS based DApp called DEOSBet, a gambling platform operated by DEOSGames was “jackpotted” 24 times in one hour by one “lucky” individual. It is not clear at this stage if the vulnerability was unique to DEOSBet or if it represents a more significant underlying issue in the EOS smart contract system.
A short while ago a seemingly similar exploit was found in EOSBet. The DApp was forced offline. An investigation into the bug eventually led researchers to find a critical flaw in the EOS blockchain.
Bug bounties paid to researchers digging into EOS’ code have been paid out over $417,000. This represents around two thirds of all bounties on HackerOne (A vulnerability coordination and bug bounty platform that connects businesses with cybersecurity researchers.) paid out this year.
EOS is an exciting project who have a solid team and big dreams. The $4 billion US dollar budget shows that people have faith in the project. With such a lofty vision the project was always bound to have problems. The project appears to have brushed off the negative headlines that have plagued it and with the funds they have, it should just be a matter of time until they can present a highly polished final product. EOS is sure to be a significant player in the burgeoning DApp market and looks to be around for a long time to come.