EOS is a Layer 1 blockchain designed to address scalability issues first-and second-generation blockchains face. As the longest-running blockchain after Bitcoin and Ethereum in the industry, it has been used by developers to build blockchain applications and ecosystems. This has, in turn, unlocked use cases in the supply chain, decentralized finance (DeFi), and gaming finance (GameFi) sectors, among others.
EOS was launched in 2018 using open-source technology from Cayman Island-based company B1. In its early days, EOS was known to outperform other projects, thanks to its technical innovation.
However, development slowed, and the venture capital pledged to community projects building on EOS fell through. Faced with these challenges, projects on EOS no longer had the resources needed to continue operating on the network.
In solidarity, EOS Block Producers reached a consensus on creating a new entity called the EOS Network Foundation (ENF), which is now responsible for efficiently deploying capital and moving EOS forward. EOS Block Producers also passed a proposal to stop locking up tokens — or token vesting — for use by B1, and the EOS Network became a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
On September 21, 2022, to achieve absolute code independence, community engineers led by the ENF shifted away from EOSIO 2.0 to Leap 3.1, the C++ implementation of the new Antelope protocol. Today, with its new features, EOS continues to tackle scalability challenges faced by blockchains.
What Is EOS?
EOS uses Delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) as its consensus mechanism. Its native token, EOS, is a utility token used on the network to purchase system resources, participate in EOS governance, transfer value on native applications, and account for value by investors and speculators.
Token holders can also stake their idle EOS tokens to receive a percentage of the fees collected from users who wish to use EOS system resources through the EOS PowerUp Model.
Introduction to the EOS Blockchain
In many real-world situations, scalability is the most significant barrier to establishing public blockchains. Blockchains’ scalability issue typically emerges when a network grows and its transactions increase.
Commonly debated blockchain performance measures such as swaps per second, transaction throughput, and latency are have yet to achieve a sufficient quality-of-service level in many blockchains.
Through its aforementioned ecosystem features, EOS aims to address these limitations without compromising network security or developer freedom.
A WebAssembly C++ engine
At the core of the EOS blockchain resides a high-performance WebAssembly (WASM) engine that executes smart contract code. This engine is designed to meet the demands of blockchain applications that require far more from a WASM engine than web browsers do.
High throughput, faster confirmations, and low latency
A good user experience demands reliable feedback with a delay of not more than a few seconds. EOS achieves high transaction throughput because its DPoS mechanism need not wait for all the nodes to complete a transaction to achieve finality. This asynchronous style of validation results in faster confirmations and lower latency, i.e., the time taken for a transaction to be confirmed as accurate after it has been initiated.
EOS has an Ethereum-compatible Virtual Machine (EOS EVM) that allows Solidity developers on Ethereum to enjoy the EOS blockchain’s scalability and reliability. This includes nearly free transactions for their users, as well as access to the open-source code libraries and tooling to which they are already accustomed.
Permissions through access keys
The underlying design of the EOS blockchain incorporates a comprehensive and highly flexible permissions system to create custom permission models for various use cases. Account owners can grant specific authorizations to third parties while having the power to revoke these permissions at any time.
EOS supports hierarchical account structures, which enable any user to manage multiple smart contracts under a single parent account. Alternatively, an account owner can divide the authority required to modify a smart contract across various accounts.
Due to its protocol design, applications deployed on EOS are upgradeable. This means developers can deploy code fixes, add features, and change the application’s logic as long as they have the necessary authority to do so.
EOS also allows developers to deploy smart contracts that cannot be modified. These decisions are left to the discretion of EOS developers rather than at the mercy of the protocol.
Programmable resource allocation and governance
Developers can modify system smart contracts to create customized economic models and governance rules. Since the core layer of code does not always have to be updated for changes to occur, this on-chain mechanism can be modified using system smart contracts.
What Makes EOS Unique?
EOS leverages human-readable accounts to make it easier for users to remember their own accounts, as well as those with which they interact. Instead of long strings of random characters, EOS accounts usually use recognizable addresses such as “Alice.gm”.
Affordable transaction fees
EOS offers its users nearly free transactions, making it ideal for sending or receiving micropayments. This addresses one of Web3’s greatest barriers to entry, since gas fees on other chains can add significant costs to a single purchase.
In cryptocurrency transactions, finality refers to the assurance or guarantee that the transactions cannot be reversed or altered after completion. The speed of a blockchain will impact its finality rate, as it determines how quickly transactions are confirmed and finalized.
Currently, EOS’s finality is approximately three minutes — much faster than Bitcoin’s 60 minutes and Ethereum’s six minutes.
In contrast with Web2’s finality, however, three minutes is still slow. Therefore, the ENF and its key technology partners — known as the Antelope coalition — launched the Instant Finality initiative to offer users instant and irreversible transaction settlement.
EOS’ DPoS mechanism allows its nodes to validate transactions more quickly and with fewer network resources. Because it does not involve mining like proof-of-work (PoW) networks, the EOS Network is one of the industry’s more energy-efficient blockchains.
Base layer insurance
Recover+ (R+ for short) is a cybersecurity portal and rapid incident response program designed to safeguard EOS DeFi projects and their users with bug bounties and white-hat incentives. With a response program, stolen funds can be recovered swiftly in the event of malicious hacks.
On November 5, 2021, blockchain lending platform Pando Rings was exploited for over $70m. While Pando Rings is not an EOS-based application, the attacker stole over $2m in EOS tokens. Thanks to this program, the Recover+ team was able to intervene and freeze the stolen funds, thereby protecting EOS DeFi users.
EOS Working Groups
Since the ENF was established in 2021, it has funded several EOS Working Groups for ecosystem improvements. It has also recommended a course of actionable items through “Blue Papers”, which offer suggestions for enhancements in several areas, including core infrastructure, APIs, SDKs, DeFi, and security analysis tooling.
EOS Network Ventures
EOS Network Ventures (ENV) is a $100m venture capital fund whose mission is to attract capital investment and deploy it to benefit the EOS Network. It also makes strategic equity and token-based investments into tech start-ups in the Web3 space. ENV’s scope includes — but is not limited to — GameFi, the metaverse, eSports, NFTs, and fintech.
EOS Network Foundation
The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) is a community-led non-profit founded by Yves La Rose in September 2021. Its mission is to identify opportunities for investment, seed funding, and collaboration in pursuit of Web3 innovation.
To do so, the ENF coordinates public goods funding and non-financial support for the growth, development, and worldwide adoption of the EOS Network. Since its establishment, multiple public goods programs have been organized and funded, contributing to key EOS developments.
On November 9, 2022, the ENF announced that it had initiated a proposal to launch a $100m ecosystem fund to be managed by ENV.
As the longest-running blockchain after Bitcoin and Ethereum, EOS has overcome past challenges and adapted to present demands since its inauguration. It continues to move towards a robust system, using its performance, flexibility, and scalability to create native Web3 GameFi experiences for both developers and end-users.