A few thoughts on EOS, ETH, NEO, Hyperledger and other blockchain platforms.

A few thoughts on EOS, ETH, NEO, Hyperledger and other blockchain platforms.

Sat down at the EOS dev meetup with David Moss, and I feel like I have a much better understanding of what EOS is building and the timeline.

Let’s start with where we are, especially as new companies building on top of a blockchain platform.

The first candidate is ETH. If you just go by market cap, ETH seems like the “blue chip”. It has a ton of developers, it’s been around for a long time, ect.. And it also has two HUGE glaring problems: performance and gas prices.

I’ve mentioned this before, but if you look at dApps built on ETH — every single time these dApps save something to the blockchain it takes about 45 seconds, and it costs 25cents-$3 in gas fees. That means buying and selling ERC-20 tokens, but also saving your address, phone number or liking a post has the experience of the Internet in 1992, with added fees attached to it.

ETH can only do 17 transactions in one second across all the apps running in the entire ecosystem. It basically does not scale. You are not building much on top of such an ecosystem, no matter how genius it is.

So really, you need something else. Something a lot more like EOS, where the gas prices are zero (you just need to hold EOS tokens, or “stake them”) and where you don’t need to use the electric power of the country of Ireland to cryptographically save your data to the blockchain.

Now, there are other solutions to this: things like NEO, Hyperledger and Stellar. They work because they are all fairly centralized, and they use “delegates” to witness and cryptographically sign transactions, as opposed to “miners” based in China at BitMain.

I would say, if you are OK with the centralized solutions these are fine. After all, I am typing this on Facebook, I use Google for everything and I love Apple. 3 Completely centralized solutions.

But EOS is trying to do this in a genuinely decentralized way. They want to build EOS in a way where it can’t be shut off. And this dramatically complicates the problem.

If you want to do it this way, you need an entire form of “government” to monitor and keep block producers in check. These are the guys, not Block One, that will be actually deploying the code. It absolutely could work, but there are a lot of moving pieces. And getting this to all have a pretty UI, and have apps working on it, etc.. is very challenging.

None of this may have any impact at all on EOS, as an investment. But it makes EOS as a dev platform a lot more tricky. I have worked with Microsoft, Sun (Miko Matsumura) in particular in the old software world. This is something new altogether. I see quite a few challenges to getting all the pieces to fall together. But this is the promise of open source. The community has the power FIGURE IT OUT, produce the great wallets, the great exchanges and apps that this community needs. But there are no guarantees.

As far as timing, I am going to guess that June 1 will not look Steve Jobs unveiling the app store, with all the shiny new apps. Instead, it will be a lot more like Ethereum, with a few apps, but an incredible amount of promise. We will have to be patient and see how it turns out.

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