A voter incentivization model for consideration
As Block Producers, we are judged for our contributions and how reliable and consistent we are in making these contributions.
Essentially, Block Producers are in the business of selling trust.
At the time of writing, EOS Nation sits in 29th position with approximately 97M votes stemming from roughly 20,000 unique accounts. From technical, leadership, governance, and community perspectives, EOS Nation is continuously innovating and is undisputedly adding value in the EOS ecosystem to ensure its long-term growth, health and strength.
Since the EOS Mainnet launch back in June 2018, EOS Nation has proven itself to be a reliable Block Producer, having produced over 500,000 blocks with 99.991% round availability. In fact, EOS Nation sits in the top producer reliability position; in the 42,292 times we were scheduled to produce blocks, we have only ever missed 4 rounds and recovered immediately within 2 minutes (1 round) of it happening every time. EOS Nation has also contributed to 128 different EOS events in multiple languages worldwide for an average of one event every 2.9 days; contributed open-source code to a multitude of projects, including BlockOne EOS core code issues; built tools; helped those who lost their private keys; ensured token holders have the opportunity to directly influence the direction of the network; and even managed to rally the Block Producers in retiring over 34M of unused accumulated EOS tokens in the eosio.saving account.
EOS Nation was also humbled and honoured to have filled the role of Chintai Proxy Manager for a period of approximately 6 months until the position was no longer needed.
Throughout these months, it became clear that to be a successful proxy manager required timely and accurate information about everything and everyone at all times. Keeping on top of everything happening across the ecosystem, travelling to meet the Block Producers in person, attending events, participating in discussions and panels and reaching out to those who are new and/or unknown across a multitude of languages and cultures is a 24/7 job, and EOS Nation fulfills this efficiently through a network of 35+ EOS Nation members, from our core co-founders to our university interns.
At its peak, the Chintai Proxy Managers were in charge of the single largest proxy in the EOS ecosystem.
The staked EOS in the Chintai proxy alone held roughly 20% of the votes required for any single Block Producer to be elevated into a producing position slot (~18M tokens). In fact, the chintailease account was the 9th largest EOS account overall for a period of time on and around December 17, 2018.
With the recent REX deployment we see that 20M+ new EOS tokens have been allocated to Block Producers, which stemmed a new wave of discussions about informed voting, voting incentive structures, inflation and centralization within DPoS, inflation reduction combined with Block Producer pay increase, all while the ranking positions of new and unknown Block Producer actors within the EOS ecosystem grows and old assumptions are being put into question.
In light of this, EOS Nation has been brainstorming new and innovative ways of showcasing our reliability, whilst maintaining our leadership role, as well as incentivizing token holders to participate in the ever important Block Producer elections.
On this front, EOS Nation recently launched its own proxy.
The interNATIONal proxy aims to restore and achieve balance in the EOS Block Producer ranking. As EOS Nation has ears and boots on the ground across the world, the interNATIONal proxy votes for those who bring value in a variety of ways, keeping an open mind about what constitutes value and what is needed in the ecosystem at the current point in time. Through our vast network of EOS Nation Ambassadors and our constant community building endeavours, EOS Nation has a unique broad view of the ecosystem like only few are able to. The interNATIONal proxy ensures that those who brought value in the past but are no longer doing so are not rewarded continuously.
On this note, one of the ideas that was discussed prior to the EOS Mainnet launch which gained some traction and had merit was the concept of a truth bond. Starting with this in mind, as well as our recently launched proxy and the experience we gained from managing the Chintai proxy, we came up with what we believe is an idea worth exploring further, an idea which we share with you today.
What if token holders could get a percentage of daily rewards for entrusting their votes to a public proxy, an entity that was held in high regard, where the proxy manager contributions and value to the ecosystem were not in question?
What if EOS Nation attracted large EOS token holders to stake into the interNATIONal proxy, giving a percentage of our BP rewards to those who stake above a certain threshold? What if this was done through an open-source smart contract accessible and visible to all?
I believe that few Block Producers would be in a position to even introduce this topic for discussion, but as EOS Nation is such a public figure and we believe it is in the best interest of EOS to have someone take the lead, we put ourselves out there.
I believe this discussion is necessary and long overdue.
Leveraging features built within EOS, the token holders in question would retain full custody of their tokens and their allocated resources (meaning they can still stake in REX if they wish). They would retain the power to unstake at any time if the proxy choices were not aligned with their values. Token holders wishing to engage in such a project would in all likelihood already be voting for EOS Nation, but would essentially be giving their voting rights away to the interNATIONal proxy to use as it sees fit. EOS Nation would remain directly accountable to the token holders if we started voting in ways that seemed nefarious or malicious.
In fact, not only would the token holders unstake from the proxy if they believed EOS Nation to be acting in bad faith, they would likely unvote EOS Nation as well, keeping the proxy in check and EOS Nation accountable for any and all actions.
This method of voter incentive would have the advantage of ensuring the added votes are proxied towards Block Producers who are effectively “whitelisted” by EOS Nation, ensuring token holders are not incentivized for voting mindlessly.
In return, EOS Nation would be able to leverage the power of the votes in the ecosystem as a means to restore balance to the large unknown entities seemingly voting for questionable actors, voting power that is currently only accessible to the largest of exchanges and stakeholders.
This responsibility would be akin to an open and public truth bond, incentivizing token holders whilst ensuring EOS Nation has direct skin in the game and is kept in check.
We would hope that those who currently vote through proxies that match their value system continue doing so. The vast majority of current proxies vote for the benefit of the ecosystem without wanting anything in return, other than supporting Block Producers that grow the value of EOS through various means, as elaborated above. These voters probably put a greater importance on long-term growth and health of the ecosystem and we do not want that to change.
This open and transparent voting incentive program might influence those that currently engage in the vote buying practice to come out of the shadows and do so publicly, potentially removing votes from unknown Block Producers who might be seen as lacking in terms of value-added contributions to the ecosystem, as they would not be found on the interNATIONal proxy.
Let me be clear, there is no sugar coating the subject — what EOS Nation is wishing to discuss is open and transparent vote-buying structures.
Let me also be crystal clear, EOS Nation has NEVER engaged in vote trading or vote buying. The interNATIONal proxy as it stands today has been built organically without having offered ANYTHING in return, ever.
The proxy-as-a-service idea comes from the hypothesis that some individuals who have objections about vote buying seem to have moral objections. This hypothesis stipulates that we oppose vote buying when we perceive the vote-buying actor does not bring any value to the ecosystem, but that these moral objections are put aside once the individuals perceive that the vote-buying actor does unquestionably bring value to the ecosystem.
Therefore, vote-buying is not what we believe most token holders care about, but whether the vote-buying actor adds value.
Another objection that has been brought up in regards to vote buying schemes is the infamous “race to the bottom” as an issue of network security.
If the prohibiting of vote-buying and swapping cannot be enforced, as is currently apparent, I would argue we are not doing the system any good if we become irrelevant as the system is overtaken by those that do. This moral stance actually disadvantages those that follow the “gentleman’s agreement,” and arguably worsens the problem. A rule with no means of enforcement quickly becomes a force for consolidation of power to those willing to break the rules.
I strongly believe something must be done before we hit a point of no return where we are incapable of bringing balance to the ecosystem. I believe we are being naive if we don’t tackle this head on and expect things to work out on their own.
So what am I suggesting?
I believe that as a community we should embrace a world where the Block Producers give back 100% of their rewards, effectively removing all inflation from the ecosystem and countering the centralization of powers that is currently occuring. In my opinion, it is best if we as a community welcome this concept and prepare for what is already upon us.
EOS Nation is already preparing for this inevitable future as we find other sources of revenue so that we may eventually achieve this.
Being a Block Producer provides EOS Nation with the reputation, the competencies and the network to seek alternative means of revenue within the EOS ecosystem.
Being a Block Producer is rewarding in itself
Albeit we are incapable of financially sustaining ourselves at this point in time without block rewards, we are moving towards this goal and the proxy-as-a-service suggestion is but one of the actions in this direction.
Picture yourself in the Star Wars world where there is this thing called the “Force”… Do you pick up a blue lightsaber and get ready for battle, or do you pretend the “Force” doesn’t exist and hope those with red lightsabers don’t take over?
For an independant Block Producer like EOS Nation, vote swapping is impossible as we do not hold any significant amount of EOS, even if we ever wished to engage in the practice. However, offering a proxy-as-a-service incentivization service could be possible.
If this is indeed accepted by the community as a viable means to counter the growing list of unknown Block Producers gaining in ranks, then we suggest vote-buying be put in the open so that those who do it are accountable for it, and those that don’t can campaign on it as a differentiating factor.
This new chapter in EOS could lead to a balancing force emerging that would be equipped to counter the seemingly “evil” vote-buying that has placed questionable actors in positions of power within the EOS Block Producer ranks.
What do you think?
Yves La Rose
EOS Nation Co-Founder and CEO
“A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored.” ― A Jedi prophecy
EOS Nation is a top Block Producer on the EOS Mainnet. Let’s connect:
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