EOS Is Not a Blockchain but a Distributed Database, Says New Research

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By Maud Guon Nov 06, 2018
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Blockchain testing platform Whiteblock makes a startling claim that the EOS system architecture is not a blockchain, but a distributed homogeneous database system lacking cryptographic validation.

Commissioned by blockchain software technology company ConsenSys, Whiteblock released a research reportEOS: An Architectural, Performance and Economic Analysis—on November 1, 2018.

The report said, “The EOS system architecture is not a blockchain, according to traditional definition, but rather a non-autonomous homogeneous distributed database system. EOS is fundamentally similar to a centralized cloud computing architecture without the fundamental components of a blockchain or peer-to-peer network.

EOS Is Not a Blockchain

Whiteblock argued that EOS is sharply different from other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The EOS ecosystem also has several bugs:

  • Consensus mechanism bugs

       Both Bitcoin and Ethereum use the proof of work (PoW) algorithm to reach consensus, while the EOS protocol resorts to the delegated proof of stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism. This DPoS voting mechanism can allow the largest EOS token holder to gain majority control over the network.

       According to the report, “In permissionless networks, it is also important that there are mechanisms that prevent spam and Sybil attacks on the network. There are problems with the transaction as proof of state system implemented in EOS. The network is susceptible to attacks in which the network can be flooded with false transactions that are associated with legitimate transactions from the past.”

       Experts argued that it is impossible for EOS to implement Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT), meaning that bad actors could form cartels very easily.

  • No formal verification of the validity of transactions

       As the report put it, “Block producers do not actually process transactions based on any consensus algorithm, though rather process transactions in a mechanical fashion as there is no formal verification of the validity of transactions.”

       Just like a centralized cloud computing architecture, EOS lacks the essential parts of a blockchain or peer-to-peer network.

  • Slower-than-expected transaction speed

       Bitcoin is able to process 7 transactions per second (TPS), while Ethereum can handle around 20 TPS. Though EOS announced that it could achieve one million TPS in the future, the report found from a test that “when 50ms of round trip time (RTT) is added into the EOS system, performance immediately falls below 50 TPS, indicating that latency has a significant effect on throughput.”

EOS DApp Developer Disputes Research Report

According to The Next Web, an EOS DApp developer claimed that “Whiteblock’s interpretation of how EOS validates transactions was particularly weird.” The developer said that EOS does in fact use cryptography, which conflicts with conclusions made in Whiteblock’s report.

What’s Behind the Report?

It’s worth noting that EOS rival Ethereum has invested heavily in ConsenSys. Before the launch of EOS MainNet in June, 2018, EOS was originally borne on the back of the Ethereum blockchain, powered by ERC-20 tokens.

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