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New allegations claim that the EOS network is more centralized than it appears. According to one of its own block producers—which help to maintain the network—EOS New York, at least six other block producers are actually owned by a single entity. Today EOS New York called to remove them.
The EOS network is run by 21 block producers that can be voted in or out (there are many more competing to be in the top 21). If one person were able to control the majority of them, they would be able to do nefarious actions, such as censoring transactions. However, there have been some issues with this model, namely that it’s hard to tell if block producers are colluding—which appears to have happened in the past. And it looks like these same issues are coming back to haunt the network.
On Twitter, EOS New York published publicly available records of the six block producers, showing that they were registered at the same time, by the same person or organization. The six block producers in question are: “stargalaxybp, validatoreos, eoszeusiobp1, eosunioniobp, eosathenabp1, and eosrainbowbp.”
“This is unacceptable,” EOS New York said, adding, “We are therefore proposing the removal of the following registered producers.”
The block producer also requested the signatures of the top 50 block producers on the EOS network, in an attempt to try to identify if any more groups of them are owned by the same people. However, this won’t affect organizations that have registered multiple block producers under different companies—or any that are colluding.
Twitter users expressed mixed reactions to this information. Some called such reports a “whack-a-mole” game that requires a lot of effort to research, yet presents only a temporary fix. This is because it’s much easier for block producers to hide collusion than it is for white hat actors to expose them.
A series of controversies
There have been reports in the past of collusion by block producers on the EOS network. At the time, EOS developer Block.one said it was “aware of some unverified claims regarding irregular block producer voting, and the subsequent denials of those claims.”
Recently, EOS New York itself was voted out of the top 21 block producers, even though it had been helping to run the network for a year and was widely supported. Observers alleged that a group of Chinese block producers (which make up a sizeable proportion of the top 21) had colluded to vote it out.
EOS stalwarts claimed that its constitution, a system of rules for anyone using the EOS network, would prevent such behavior. But, the constitution was broken by block producers in April, when they replaced it with a new user agreement—in violation of its rule that it could only be replaced with a vote that met certain criteria. However, it appears that this new user agreement has been equally ineffective.