EOS is not a blockchain, it is a glorified cloud computing service


A blockchain test company claims to have found something quite shocking: EOS EOS, a blockchain protocol that was worth $ 4 billion a few months ago, it may not actually be a blockchain.

In a new experiment, the benchmark company Whiteblock concluded that the EOS token (and its RAM market) is essentially a cloud computing service and is based on an entirely centralized premise. As such, it lacks some of the most fundamental aspects of the blockchain, such as immutability.

The tests were commissioned by the main blockchain ConsenSys entity, to establish the metrics for the benchmarking of the base-level blockchain protocols.

"Through practical tests and experiments in a controlled laboratory, this research provides a complete and objective model of [EOS’] design, performance and economy to present a reference for the blockchain community ", says the document, which Whiteblock shares directly with Hard Fork.

Whiteblock has built a replica of EOS to destroy

EOS differs from Ethereum and Bitcoin in many ways, but especially in the way that decides who should be to validate the blocks and reap the benefits to do so.

Unlike work-proof blockchains, which allow anyone to contribute to the enhancement of the network, EOS selects who should process the transactions (block makers) through a complicated voting process called a delegated Proof of of Stake.

During these elections, each EOS token equals one vote, which means that those who hold many EOSs have more say on who controls the network.

So, to conduct this experiment, Whiteblock performed an EOS replication that supports works the same way as the real thing.

"It works exactly the same software." Whiteblock's block manufacturers in the environment perform the same functions that a block maker will perform in the main network, "Zak Cole, Whiteblock's Chief Technology Officer told Hard Fork. "We provide the nodes inside a controlled test environment, we configure the network conditions between these nodes in order to emulate the performance of the real world and automate their processes and actions in order to observe their behavior and measure their performance in a deterministic way. "

Initially, Whiteblock began testing his copy of the EOS blockchain in September. The tests took place in an isolated environment and continued for two months.

The company describes EOS as more than a network that provides promises for computational resources, stored in a "black box", to which users can access. Even more overwhelming, he says that the whole EOS system is built on an imperfect centralized model.

"EOS is not a blockchain, rather a distributed homogeneous database management system, a clear distinction in that their transactions are not cryptographically validated," says Whiteblock. "Manufacturers of EOS blocks are highly centralized and users can only access the network via block producers as intermediaries, and block makers are a single point of failure for the whole system."

EOS is not exactly fast and could be checked by signs

A large part of the paper is dedicated to show that there is no adequate protocol to prevent producers of colluding blocks from maintaining their role as producers of blocks, with little protection against bad actors who form cartels to bring down the & # 39; entire network.

As such, the report indicates that EOS suffers from consensus failures without Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT), leaving the open network to be controlled by rogue and collusive members.

In order for a blockchain to have BFT, the network must be able to withstand system failures resulting from situations related to a mathematical puzzle called the Byzantine General Problem. If it can not, the bad actors are theoretically able to process false transactions, so BFT refers to the reliability of a blockchain.

"Conceptually, it is impossible for EOS to implement the Byzantine fault tolerance – a true BFT system would not be susceptible to signs that are formed in the system, [but] […] the signs are easily formed in EOS, so any attempt to claim the BFT is canceled. "

In particular, the researchers note that the main threat to the integrity of EOS is the Sybil attack, which involves the bad actors surrounding other contributors of the network, not being able to completely process the transactions creating fake identities and using them to initiate spam and DDoS attacks.

"This is indeed a great vulnerability in the system because fraudulent users are essentially able to create malicious accounts much more quickly than blockers are able to reach consensus [on which accounts to exclude]", Warns Whiteblock." This further demonstrates the high level of centralization that exists in the EOS network and the enormous power that these block producers possess. "

The report then states that block manufacturers do not actually process transactions based on any consent algorithm, instead confirming the transactions in a "mechanical" way, without a formal verification of the validity of the transactions being processed.

To this end, Whiteblock's benchmarks revealed that the amount of transactions that can be processed by EOS is significantly lower than that initially stated in marketing materials, never exceeding 250 transactions per second (TPS), even with optimal settings such as zero latency and packet loss.

It is necessary to remember that other testers have already compared the speed of the EOS network. The general belief is that the maximum current throughput of EOS is around 4,000 TPS.

The EOS whitepaper states that it is perfectly possible that EOS will one day climb to process millions of transactions per second.

"During tests with real world conditions of 50 [milliseconds] of round-trip latency and 0.01% packet loss, performance dropped below 50 TPS, putting the system in close proximity to existing Ethereum performance, "says Whiteblock.

Bitcoin is currently able to process up to 7 TPS and Ethereum can process around 20.

Whiteblock says that EOS does not use cryptography

According to Cole, EOS stores all transaction data in a sort of table designed by brain leader EOS Dan Larimer, called Chainbase.

When the EOS network confirms the transactions, Whiteblock states that blockers are simply crossing references to new transactional data against this table, rather than confirming their legitimacy with cryptography.

The company claims that EOS transactions take place only because of the manufacturers of blocks that update the data stored in the underlying Chainbase, rather than cryptographically verified changes to the state of the underlying blockchain, as in the case of Ethereum.

"All these actions operate in an environment free of cryptographic validation of contracts and transactions," says the research. "EOS is basically the same as a centralized cloud computing architecture [client/server] without the basic components of a blockchain or peer-to-peer network. "

Having network participants validate transactions by checking a special table has consequences. Not only is it unusual for a cryptocurrency, but it offers developers practically endless amounts of "cancellations", which means that EOS transactions can be canceled by those who have access (such as block makers).

In fact, there have already been cases of reverse transactions and frozen EOS accounts.

"The possibility of canceling the chronology (or anything else) related to the state is a notion that is directly in conflict with the essential definition of what can be considered a blockchain, which is characterized by the immutability of the data", concluded Cole.

Except it does, just differently

Hard Fork contacted many manufacturers of EOS blocks for comment. At the time of the press, most of the representatives refused to comment, noting that they are awaiting the publication of the full report.

A source, a developer of EOS dApp, said that the interpretation of Whiteblock on how EOS validates transactions was particularly "weird".

The source explained it Chainbase it's just a way to store information in real time, like in folders or files. In this case, EOS stores data relating to transactions in a Chainbase, placing in a central location (similar to a Bitcoin master node).

Block makers then validate transactions using cryptography, writing confirmed transactions in a blockchain as part of the process.

Chainbases They are designed to optimize EOS performance, as they allow EOS to store data in RAM, which is then used to quickly produce blocks.

This would suggest that EOS actually uses cryptography, in contradiction with Whiteblock's conclusions.

A look behind the curtain

It should be emphasized that ConsenSys, who commissioned Whiteblock, is strongly invested in the blockchain ecosystem of Ethereum, the main competitor of EOS. It is described as a "venture production study" that focuses on developing platforms based on Ethereum.

And if this whole thing is not strange enough – EOS was actually Borne on the Ethereum blockchain, which begins as ERC-20 token.

But after Block.one launched the EOS mainnet in June to become his own blockchain, many Ethereum tokens have made the switch – Everipedia is one, which is run by Larry Singer, the co-founder of Wikipedia.

It must also be said that EOS is no stranger to the controversy. The launch of his mainnet was a nightmare, the whole process lasted more than a week, with the producers of blocks that did not agree on the fact that EOS was ready to go on living alone.

Since EOS is fully operational, Block.one has paid over $ 400,000 to independent security researchers to uncover critical flaws in the code that were not set in time for launch.

In any case, ConsenSys states that it will use Whiteblock's findings to develop comprehensive reports, which it will provide to partners, including Ledger Capital, Bo Shen, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Microsoftand Google. Academic institutions such as MIT, USC and Duke are committed to contributing resources to complete the research.

Extra– Of course, one of the listed shareholders, Bo Shen, is actually co-founder of Bitshares, an autonomous blockchain organization developed by Dan Larimer and published in 2014.

Research has continually highlighted the architectural similarities between Dan Larimer and EOS's Bitshares system, in particular the possibility of restoring the state and making changes to the genesis block.

Whiteblock allowed Hard Fork to publish the study, which includes an in-depth representation of its methodology along with detailed test results. You can access the full report from this link,

For those who remain unconvinced, the company also states that it will carry out the EOS benchmark tests in November.

Strangely, you can even answer here.

Published November 1, 2018 – 1:00 pm UTC

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