Interview: Researcher Argues EOS isn’t a Blockchain — Just a Distributed Database
Blockchain testing and research company Whiteblock Inc. has released a damning verdict on EOS, describing it as a “distributed homogeneous database” masquerading as a blockchain. In a report titled “EOS: An Architectural, Performance and Economic Analysis,” the company dissects several aspects of the EOS protocol and comes to the conclusion that it suffers from a serious security deficiency as well as network performance that is significantly lower than what was claimed.
According to the report compiled by Whiteblock’s research team made up of Brent Xu, Dhruv Luthra, Zak Cole, and Nate Blakely, EOS has a number of shocking security and protocol failings that fatally compromise many of the use cases suggested for the network once dubbed the “Ethereum killer.”
Over the course of two months since its September launch, the test evaluated the EOS network’s transactional throughput against its claimed capacity. In addition, it also tested its response to adverse network conditions, how it responds to variable transaction rates and sizes, its average transaction completion time, its partition tolerance and its fault tolerance. The results are far from flattering.
In a press release about the EOS test published on November 2, Whiteblock stated bluntly:
“EOS is not a blockchain, rather a distributed homogeneous database management system, a clear distinction in that their transactions are not cryptographically validated. EOS token and RAM market is essentially a cloud service where the network provides promises for computational resources in a blackbox for users to access via credits. There is no mechanism for accountability due to the lack of transparency on what Block producers are able to create in terms of computational power.”
According to Whiteblock, the actual throughput recorded by EOS under “realistic” network conditions is substantially lower than that claimed by EOS marketing materials, and the network suffers from a basic security problem of repeated consensus failure and lack of Byzantine Fault Tolerance.
In June, CCN reported that barely a week after the launch of its mainnet, EOS became immersed in controversy after an incident with its block producers which led many to question the extent of the network’s decentralisation. Whiteblock’s findings would appear to lend credence to those fears, which could have a significant effect on the EOS price.
Delivering its verdict on the network as a whole, Whiteblock said:
“The research results prove the inaccuracies in performance claims and concluded that the foundation of the EOS system is built on a flawed model that is not truly decentralized.”
CCN Exclusive Interview With Whiteblock CTO
Following the release of the report, CCN interviewed Whiteblock CTO Zak Cole to get his exclusive comment on the implication of the report for the EOS community and the blockchain ecosystem at large.
CCN: Does the fact that the study was commissioned by ConsenSys represent a conflict of interest? [Editor’s Note: ConsenSys is an Ethereum development studio with significant investment in ETH applications]
Cole: Our research was funded by about 20 organizations in addition to ConsenSys. Funding was also provided by Bo Shen, Dan Larimer’s former partner and co-founder of Bitshares, which EOS used as the basis for much of their technology. ConsenSys funding a portion of the research initiatives has no influence on the scientific process and should really be considered a moot point. We’ve conducted the same tests on Ethereum and pointed out their flaws as well. The Ethereum community was receptive to our research and engaged us further to continue our research. We’ve worked with dozens of blockchain systems. The purpose of our tests aren’t to point out what’s good about a system. This isn’t a beauty contest. In order to build more effective and higher performing systems, we should be objective and transparent and identify weaknesses in order to optimize and account for them in the design process. If the EOS community chooses to be combative towards tests and observations of this nature, the entire ecosystem is doomed and will certainly never achieve their purported scale.
Here is a link to our research which cites several significant security and performance flaws in Ethereum.
Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
Who is Buying Bitcoin? Take the survey here and help us with our study.