EOS freezes seven accounts as a counter to potential theft, but the action causes some to question the decentralization of the EOS network.
EOS Freezes Seven Accounts
The accounts were frozen after a unanimous vote was held by the 21 elected block producers. The block producers suspected that these accounts may have been holding stolen funds and so decided to take action before anything else could be stolen. However, the decision was met with heavy criticism.
The decision violated the EOS constitution, which requires decisions such as this to be made by arbitration bodies, not by the block producers. The block producers are only supposed to execute a decision after the arbitration bodies have given the go ahead.
In this case, the arbitrary body was the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF).
Criticism comes because the block producers, instead of waiting to be told anything by ECAF, went ahead and decided amongst themselves to freeze the accounts. This begs the question – can something really be decentralized when run this way?
What Led to the Freezing?
When the seven frozen accounts were suspected of holding stolen funds, the elected block producers held a conference. They decided to move forward with the freezing, despite receiving no go-ahead by ECAF (ECAF, in fact, refused to freeze the accounts, because there was no proper authority in place to issue this kind of order).
The block producers enacted the EOS911 initiative, which is a safety protocol designed by the block producer EOS42. EOS911 makes it possible to recover funds when a theft has occurred.
When ECAF did nothing, the block producers took it upon themselves to review the evidence of the potential theft, and they decided that it was enough to warrant the freezing.
Others, however, did not agree and believe that the ability for one body to make a decision such as this goes against the very core of decentralization and cryptocurrency.
Many are criticizing the decision of the EOS block producers (and their ability to make such a decision) as well as the EOS constitution itself.
Charlie Shrem, founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, commented that “If [a group] can freeze, reverse, control anyone’s accounts, what’s the point of a cryptocurrency?”
Many others’ complaints were along the same lines:
In EOS a few complete strangers can freeze what users thought was their money. Under the EOS protocol you must trust a “constitutional” organization comprised of people you will likely never get to know. The EOS “constitution” is socially unscalable and a security hole. https://t.co/WusEqBMGBp
— Nick Szabo⚡️ (@NickSzabo4) June 19, 2018
Some randomly elected 3rd party arbitrator is now making “orders” to #EOS block producers. In this case, regarding locking user accounts.
When EOS freezes seven accounts, do you think it’s a problem?
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