As the EOS MainNet launch continues, after the worlds biggest and most successful ICO that has really delivered EOS to the fore, we are now seeing the network sit within a state of limbo. A state of limbo that is requiring investors to confirm their private key in order to prove asset ownership, in order to allow them to place a vote on who will be allowed to process transactions on the new EOS blockchain.
It sound’s complicated right? That’s because it really is.
In essence, in order for EOS to continue existing as an asset, the community are required to vote on who they believe will be the best people to be given special access to the blockchain through which they can verify transactions (it’s not as manual as it sounds but this at least provides a description of what is going on). Now, in order to be eligible to vote, users must confirm their private key, within the software that is being used to register the votes. Because of this, many investors are reluctant to vote, simply on the premise that their private key is literally the private key that entitles the holder access to their entire catalogue of EOS assets. In some cases, these keys do indeed grant the owners access to an awful lot of money. Therefore, its pretty obvious why some may be dubious to disclose such information.
According to CoinDesk:
“The issue is that, to vote, users have to prove they hold their tokens, a process that requires the use of their private keys, sensitive cryptographic strings that prove they own their funds, and if lost, would be gone forever. As such, it seems that while users are eager to take part, they are nervous that the tools that would enable them to vote might put their holdings at risk.”
See the full CoinDesk article for yourself here-
This problem is of course amplified when you consider how the voting takes place. Investors vote on software platforms that are developed by third party companies, according to reports, only one of these (CLEOS) has actually been subject to a full security audit. Therefore, there is little guarantee that that the other voting systems will actually treat private keys with the integrity they deserve.
Overall, this is a bit of a catch-22 for EOS and Block.one. Voting needs to take place to ensure transparency and voters need to prove that they are actively a part of the EOS community. The only real way to secure both of the above is through confirmation via private keys etc. Yet, on the flip-side, EOS and Block.one could be putting investors at risk, something that they are working towards reducing of course, but nonetheless, risk is risk.
As this saga unfolds, hopefully more of the voting platforms will be subject to a total security assessment. Overall, we hope that for the sake of EOS, nothing deviant appears as a result of this.