In the past week, two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Huobi and Bitfinex (a lead investor in BlockOne) have announced their candidacy to become Block Producers on the EOS Blockchain. We foresee several serious concerns and intrinsic conflicts of interests with exchanges operating as Block Producers.
When you deposit or hold tokens on an exchange, your tokens are put into a shared wallet that the exchange controls, along with everyone else’s tokens. This gives large exchanges, such as Huobi and Bitfinex direct control over an enormous amount of voting power. When they become block producers this exacerbates the risk that they can use these tokens to vote for themselves or worker proposals that ensure their control and profit over the blockchain.
Past instances of this attack exist in Bitshares where a leading Chinese exchange, Yunbi, used their customer’s tokens to vote on a proposal to directly benefit Yunbi’s own self interest. Coincidentally, Yunbi and its owner INBlockchain are both lead investors in the BlockOne corporation which develops the EOS blockchain.
Block Producers partnering with Exchanges
BigOne, another exchange operated by INBlockchain now has its eyes set on EOS and has initiated a portal for BlockProducer voting. As BlockOne develops its approach to voting and staking tokens, full transparency is crucial to understand how INBlockchain’s owned or operated Block Producers and Exchanges will not participate in joint collusion. The core risk to the long term viability and success of EOS is the prioritization of profit over transparency.
Above, are the results from BigOne’s block producer voting held on its Exchange. Three of INBlockchain’s candidates are shown to have the most votes. Some from the block producer candidacy have noticed missing votes.
Why not fine Exchanges?
We affirm that there is even greater risk in any proposal that would fine exchanges. This stance is due to potential reactionary responses from the exchange against its customers. Fines against an exchange would put the staked tokens at risk due to the fact these tokens are being stored in the exchanges own wallets. The customers of these exchanges would most likely be paying parts of these fines along with the tokens having illiquidity risk due to the lockup. The very nature of any exchange is to store a customer’s tokens which inherently makes penalties a systematic risk for the community. This is the our critical concern for trying to leverage any reactionary law and we firmly believe such laws only will serve to eventually hurt the
We believe there are many independent block producers that are capable of supporting the ecosystem for the long term. There are too many overlapping concerns with exchanges operating as block producers and DApps. Since operating as a block producer will only be a secondary aspect of an exchanges overall business we do not believe they’ll give the process the focus that is required.
Block Producers are at the core of a Blockchain’s decision making process and larger corporations such as exchanges can be easily blinded by voting power at hand instead of long term community success. To ensure equal voting rights and opportunity among block producers on the Evolution blockchain we’ll be implementing proactive procedures.
The enforcement of this policy will be through the existing arbitration process. The community is able to stake tokens to initiate a claim against participants.
Looking forward to feedback from the community. Welcome to the Evolution!