EOS Network Foundation
Introducing Core+, Audit+, Wallet+, and API+
The last few weeks have been explosive for EOS and progress has been made at a record pace. The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) has injected over $7 million dollars into the EOS ecosystem via Eden on EOS, Recognition Grants, and the grant matching pool for Pomelo– the new crowdfunding platform to support EOS public goods. In addition to these ENF led initiatives, we’ve also witnessed Brock Pierce announce that he’s “All In” with the EOS community through his new investment vehicle, Helios.
These initiatives, however, are just the beginning of a new era of collaboration that will guide the long term vision and technical roadmap for EOS. The goal with the ENF’s latest initiative is to make EOS better for the builders that use it every day through an initial $1.1 million sponsorship ($250k X 4 + $100k oversight and coordination function) across four working groups (WG+) tentatively named API+, Wallet+, Core+ (previously labeled Docu+), and Audit+. These working group sponsorships are incentivizing collaboration amongst the most trusted and experienced developers within the EOSIO ecosystem to better understand its existing weaknesses and to identify multiple potential solutions. This is an exciting moment. For the first time since genesis, we’ve got the greatest minds funded to work together to consolidate knowledge, collaborate, research, and innovate towards a unified vision to enable EOS to deliver on its full potential.
Four Pillars of WG+
Each working group will create a blue paper (see below for explanation) paper that covers research deeply related to one aspect of EOS. This research should cover what exists for EOS, what other ecosystems provide that’s similar, and determine any improvements and additions that could be adopted for EOS.
Based upon the research completed, a recommendation will be made by the working group to indicate which items are the highest priority and provide a detailed plan on how to execute on it, alongside budget and costing for the overall recommended approaches.
The division of labor between the 4 working groups is as follows:
- Core+ will work with software that maintains and allows applications to run on EOS.
- Audit+ will provide an overall framework for security analysis tooling and contract audits for EOS applications.
- Wallet+ will work with software for the integration of EOS into external applications.
- API+ will work with software that provides data from EOS for external applications.
Zaisan — A blockchain solutions company with deep industry experience in enterprise solutions, development, and security across multiple blockchain ecosystems. Zaisan is a formal business collaboration amongst four established teams: EOS Amsterdam, EOS Dublin, EOS Barcelona, and Cryptolions.
Zaisan are the core developers behind the legally compliant EOSIO-based EuropeChain, my.D identity solution, and are partners or collaborators on many other projects across multiple blockchain platforms. The Zaisan team also serves as consultants and advisors for enterprise blockchain solutions and technical educators with expertise in blockchain training and workshops.
Sentnl — Blockchain auditing firm specializing in penetration testing, wallet security audits, and smart contract audits for EOSIO blockchains.
Slowmist — Blockchain security company offering solutions that include security audit, threat intelligence (BTI), bug bounty, defense deployment, security consultancy, and other services for EOSIO projects.
Greymass — block producer on multiple EOSIO chains and an organization built to facilitate the growth of distributed ledger technologies and the infrastructure powering them. Greymass are the core developers behind Anchor wallet, Greymass Fuel, and the EOSIO Signing Request (ESR) Protocol.
*Although Greymass is the sole official partner in Wallet+, other stakeholders have already begun contributing to the working group efforts as outside collaborators under their stewardship.
Greymass — see above description in Wallet+.
EOS Nation — top ranked EOS block producer and developers behind Pomelo, .gems, EOS Name Service, EOSX Block Explorer, and EOS Detective. EOS Nation are also the sole infrastructure providers of dfuse on EOS and also maintain its code repository for EOSIO.
Oversight Coordination Function
In addition to the formation of the working groups above, Aaron Cox (Greymass) has also been contracted to serve as the lead project manager for the working groups as a whole to ensure consistency and communication across all groups involved. As a technical leader within EOSIO and a participant in two of the working groups, Aaron is in an ideal position to understand the challenges and pain points developers have been experiencing as well as some of the solutions which will be needed.
Each of the four sponsored working groups have been tasked with crafting a “blue paper”, an architectural blueprint, which will be a blend of components that are traditionally found in a white paper, a yellow paper, a request for proposal, and a roadmap. The aim is to publish these four papers prior to the upcoming Chinese New Year.
For EOS to be successful, the ENF cannot take on every issue or attempt to identify or solve every problem by ourselves, which is why we are empowering key network stakeholders to join us in our efforts to allow us to scale horizontally and in parallel so that we can all work together to drive the network forward effectively and efficiently.
Working Group Structures and Budget
Each of the working groups were allocated a budget of $250k. These funds were deposited into an account with an MSIG permission structure that requires them to reach consensus amongst themselves over how those funds are allocated internally. This allows each working group to autonomously work under a DAO-like structure that requires consensus building and accountability.
For example, a working group may need to reach consensus on hiring a technical writer so that those involved in the research do not have to be bogged down writing technical papers. Specialists can and should be brought in where necessary. This will dramatically improve productivity and overall value. Teams will also inevitably find additional jobs and roles for which they have to hire experts to support them, furthering the EOS ecosystem.
The money, therefore, will be used by the organizations to better EOS. Each working group is being empowered with enough resources to really go out, conduct intense research, recruit the necessary expertise when needed and deliver clear, actionable recommendations.
It will create job opportunities for people within the EOS ecosystem, whether part time, contract, freelancer, or full time. Having this funding in place, and an appropriate timetable will provide the EOS developer ecosystem with the confidence of knowing that this is a long-term process, and they can plan accordingly.
Empowering the Community
The key to the WG+ initiative is engagement. EOS’ talented community of developers is one of our biggest assets, but it’s one which has often felt ignored and isolated over the years. The most talented and experienced developers in the EOS ecosystem have traditionally been affiliated with block producers, which actually made them ineligible to receive funding in previous funding mechanisms outside of the BP rewards. The network previously lacked coordination and pooled resources for public goods, and as a result, progress stalled. Developers would often find themselves in the frustrating position of not having the tools or resources they needed, nor incentives to collaborate on work that would be highly beneficial to the network. These problems have made it difficult for mass developer adoption of EOS, and this is one of the biggest challenges we’re working to solve going forward through sponsored WG+, Pomelo, and Eden on EOS.
These working groups will harness one of the biggest assets EOS possesses — the talent, intelligence, and passion of the developer community. Outside of the core teams outlined above, each working group will be tapping into the knowledge and expertise of countless other individuals, projects, and businesses as part of their R&D. For years, we have been working on EOS with dreams of building a brighter future. We now have the opportunity to help the ecosystem become exactly that.
Through comprehensive research and consultation with experts both inside and outside of the EOS ecosystem, the WG+ will also give us a chance to look at what’s happening on other blockchains, what already exists on EOS, how it can be improved, and if anything that could be leveraged exists on other blockchains. Once the research has been completed, each working group will make recommendations indicating which items are the highest priority, and a detailed plan about the scope of work, dependencies, and cost basis for each recommendation. All of this research will be presented to the EOS community in the upcoming ‘blue papers’.
The ENF wants WG+ to look across the whole blockchain and crypto sectors, to truly analyze and understand what has been successful, why, and perhaps even more important, why not. Often in the blockchain world it’s easy for developers to get locked inside our own bubbles. Attention is often focused entirely on what’s going on within our own echo chambers, ignoring critical learning opportunities. When EOS as a network ultimately raises its head and looks at what’s happening elsewhere, we all may find some fresh inspiration and thinking.
A great example of how this has already worked successfully comes with the Pomelo crowdfunding network. It uses the same quadratic funding model which has already been successful on Ethereum via Gitcoin. It shows how one blockchain can learn from the others.
By learning from our own community and other blockchains, we aim to develop a roadmap of recommendations stating, ‘this is what we need to do going forward.’ The ENF aims to follow through on the recommendations directly, or through other means such as Pomelo.
The Power of Collaboration
These working groups and the follow-through efforts of the EOS developer community will be the most collaborative efforts ever launched in EOS. There really is nothing like it, and it is my hope that this is going to bring an enormous amount of value and opportunity to the EOS developer ecosystem.
The ENF’s approach is all about collaboration and being agile. We are going out to the community first, conducting research and asking them to identify their biggest pain points and recommend a way forward. It’s about taking the time to fund research and to conduct environmental scans, positioning the network for future success. We have never had this luxury available to us in EOS. Once issues have been identified, we can then go back to the community with a broader understanding of our gaps, with an accompanying set of solutions.
With so many talented individuals involved and with Aaron Cox coordinating the deliverables, the WG+ will most certainly bear fruit. One of the major challenges for blockchains, and really any tech project, is managing expectations. The market can be extremely impatient and often looks for instant gratification while not understanding that development is a long-term process. By providing the EOS community with a multi-pronged roadmap, it will have numerous deliverables to look forward to that can each generate discussion, anticipation, and buzz leading up to each release.
This method of conducting academic research rather than rushing into development is yet another example of learning from what has worked well in other blockchain ecosystems.
Increasing the Talent Pool
The WG+ pillars will also collectively increase the talent pool working on EOS. Having quarter million dollar budgets available will also provide a much-needed boost to the ecosystem by facilitating the hiring or contracting of multiple technical writers, consultants, and advisors to offer their expertise for the betterment of the EOS Network. It will give those organizations the resources and initial funds to recruit the kind of experts they need to grow. It will create jobs, spark activity, and bring more people into EOS.
Increasing the talent pool in the EOS community has been a pressing issue for some time. Up until very recently, it was going in the opposite direction, with a continued and depleting draining of talent and resources. By funding the EOS ecosystem, we will attract more talented individuals to work on solutions. It will also make EOS much more attractive as a blockchain and investment. We will see an influx of fresh skills, new perspectives and novel approaches which will deliver better products — fuelling greater momentum into EOS — driving up the market cap and brand awareness.
Research then Build
By first focusing on the research and publication of a series of blue papers, it will allow the working groups to set a framework which will give all relevant stakeholders a chance to provide their feedback about how EOS should move forward. Once reviewed, the WG+ and ENF can talk and coordinate about the practical steps to begin deployment. This might be anything from marketing to documentation and design to entirely new code libraries.
In the short term, therefore, it may be some time before any demonstrable action is seen, but we should start to see recommendations coming through during the next few months. It’s worth remembering that the working groups themselves will not be making any decisions directly — they will be saying, ‘here’s what we believe is the problem and these are our recommended solutions’.
Once the blue papers have been published, they’ll provide the building blocks for writing out RFPs. These are essentially bounties, which state a problem and offer a reward for developers to go out and solve it, much like the aforementioned Gitcoin. Pomelo will be able to support this with a bounty functionality from the first quarter of next year.
Standards and Frameworks
Standards will be crucial to the development of EOS. For example, we want to be able to say — ‘if you want to do X, this is how you can do it’. It is remarkable that EOS still does not have standards in place today.
Standards will give developers a mini roadmap for any feature they want to create whether that’s co-signing a transaction as an application or showing how an API endpoint can provide data.
While research papers may not define standards specifically, they will be able to identify where standards are needed and how they could benefit. This could drive a move towards the community being able to accept a new EOS standardized modus operandi.
This will help to normalize the development processes. As things stand, integrations differ according to different applications. Defined standards could, for example, work towards having a single login button for any wallet. It’s simple on the outside, but extremely difficult to deliver. It also makes little sense for multiple dev teams to work on the same problems at the same time, wasting resources and creating more problematic varied solutions. The ENF wants to create an environment of open source code and standardization that enables developers to begin standing on top of the shoulders of giants rather than individually reinventing the wheel themselves.
We are at the beginning of a long journey and EOS is still playing catch up, but we’re most certainly picking up speed. We have come to terms with what has held us back in the past and we now have everything we need. We’ve entered a new era of collaboration that is allowing us to tear down major roadblocks that have previously stood in our way.
The formation of Core+, Audit+, Wallet+, and API+ is adding another exciting chapter in the story of EOS. We have always believed in the quality of this ecosystem — the technology is unparalleled, and it benefits from some of the most talented and passionate developers around.
The ENF is providing the ecosystem support which has been so lacking. With the help of the community we can enable EOS to become the thriving blockchain ecosystem we had always expected it to be.
The EOS Network is a 3rd generation blockchain platform powered by the EOS VM, a low-latency, highly performant, and extensible WebAssembly engine for deterministic execution of near feeless transactions; purpose-built for enabling optimal web3 user and developer experiences. EOS is the flagship blockchain and financial center of the EOSIO protocol, serving as the driving force behind multi-chain collaboration and public goods funding for tools and infrastructure through the EOS Network Foundation (ENF).
EOS Network Foundation
The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) is a not-for-profit organization that coordinates financial and non-financial support to encourage the growth and development of the EOS Network. The ENF is the hub of the EOS Network, harnessing the power of decentralization as a force for positive global change to chart a coordinated future for EOS.