The monthly EOS Block Producer (BP) meetings are intended to establish regular communications between the top 30 EOS BPs and the EOS Network Foundation (ENF), to foster an open dialogue between network operators and custodians in support of the mutual development of the EOS ecosystem.
The meeting began at 1:00 UTC on November 1st, 2023. 16 BPs attended the call, and a total of 27 people participated in the discussion. The Interprefy tool was used in the call for synchronous translation to facilitate the free flow of information across multiple languages in real-time.
Beatrice Wang, Communications Manager for the ENF, greeted those in attendance and kicked off the meeting with a brief overview of the topics to be discussed.
ENF Founder and CEO Yves La Rose began the discussion with an update on the recent restructuring of the ENF.
Adjusting Course: Refocusing and Team Changes
The ENF has undergone an optimization of operations in response to the network’s needs and market conditions. This optimization is focused on maintaining critical engineering work on the protocol and the EOS EVM while aligning with the ENF’s core objectives.
As a result of the restructuring, the ENF has concluded its Grant Framework and reallocated business development functions to EOS Labs. Among other changes, this restructuring has led to the layoff of nine employees across various departments, with the operations team being notably affected.
The decision for layoffs was described as difficult but necessary for the sustainability of the EOS Network. It was acknowledged that the individuals leaving had contributed significantly, offering valuable insights and skills.
Moving forward, the ENF will concentrate on fostering collaboration within the EOS ecosystem and ensuring adaptability to meet the network’s changing needs. Yves expressed his gratitude for the community’s support and understanding as the ENF continues to execute its strategic vision for the EOS Network.
Ongoing Audit Review: Progress and Continuing Efforts
In the pursuit of utmost transparency and accountability, Yves highlighted the EOS Network Foundation’s (ENF) commitment to undergo a Financial Statement Audit by a reputable CPA firm, underscoring this as the pinnacle of financial due diligence.
The ENF maintains a steady relationship with Grant Thornton. This firm consistently conducts Compilation and Review Engagements. Yet, getting a Full Financial Statement Audit is tough in the blockchain industry, more so after the collapse of FTX. Grant Thornton, therefore, has not agreed to perform such an audit for the ENF. This reflects a widespread concern over the risks and liabilities of detailed financial audits in the current climate.
Yves explained that a full audit provides an exhaustive evaluation of an organization’s financial controls and transaction testing. Although not obligatory, the ENF is advocating for such an audit to affirm its operational integrity.
Efforts to obtain this level of auditing have been extensive, with Yves mentioning discussions with several firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). PwC declined due to the ENF’s lack of specific control systems, like Fireblocks, from the start of its financial transactions, though they remain open to future possibilities contingent upon the ENF first securing an initial audit elsewhere. The ENF has implemented Fireblocks for internal controls, but it was not in place since the ENFs inception. The presence of Fireblocks from day one is an almost impossible standard for a start-up to meet. A different firm, initially on board for a full audit, withdrew citing a conflict with another client. Further inquiries with smaller firms have revealed uncertainties about auditing an entity as unique as the ENF. To date, the ENF has worked with 9 different firms in its bid to secure a Full Financial Statement Audit.
The ENF’s interim course of action, should a full audit remain elusive within a reasonable timeframe, is to proceed with a Compilation and Review Engagement. This pragmatic approach is in contrast to the preferred objective of a comprehensive Full Financial Statement Audit. The ENF is actively soliciting referrals for a firm well-versed in blockchain technology and capable of navigating the ENF’s complex, multi-jurisdictional operations to undertake a Full Financial Statement Audit.
Investment Update: ENV & Upland Partnership
Yves reported that the EOS Network Ventures (ENV) has invested $1.5 million into Upland as part of its $7 million Series A funding. The investment aligns with ENV’s mission to drive growth in the GameFi and metaverse sectors on EOS, leveraging Upland’s community of over 3 million accounts. The ENV aims to capitalize on Upland’s digital economy and robust third-party developer ecosystem, which creates added value for the EOS blockchain.
Upland has been utilizing EOS due to its efficiency and is minting 80 NFTs per second.
Discussion on BLS Host Functions Activation
On the topic of potentially activating BLS (Boneh-Lynn-Shacham) host functions upon the release of Leap 5, it was noted that the BLS host functions present a breaking change, and therefore would require a hard fork, rather than the non-consensus upgrade, or soft fork, currently recommended by EOS Engineers and ENF leadership.
Yves spoke to the non-trivial impact of such a move, highlighting that over 180 exchanges would need to coordinate upgrades, which he explained are a complex and burdensome undertaking for all involved.
He reasoned that the costs and operational hurdles associated with the upgrade could not be justified by many external stakeholders, which in turn might lead them to fall out of sync with the network. This misalignment, Yves suggested, exacerbated by current market conditions, could potentially have adverse effects on the entire EOS ecosystem.
Based on these downsides, Yves expressed that it is the ENF’s considered position to recommend against the activation of BLS host functions at the current time, instead proposing to wait and activate BLS with the upgrade to Leap 6, scheduled for the latter half of 2024. The upgrade to Leap 6 includes additional features that will necessitate a hard fork to the protocol such as instant finality, which is itself enabled by a significant evolution of EOS’s current consensus mechanism.
While underscoring the ENF’s position, Yves emphasized that the ultimate decision rests with the Block Producers (BPs). He stated that despite the ENF’s reservations, it would support the BPs’ decision and provide necessary assistance should they opt for activation. Yves further clarified that coordinating the upgrade would not be a challenge for the ENF, but that the burden would fall to all associated external parties that rely on continuous synchronization with EOS, a network that is approaching 2000 days of continuous uptime. It was further reiterated that the ENF’s role is not to dictate but to support the consensus of the network’s block producers.
EOS Labs Update
EOS Labs has been operational for two months now and has seen growth, with the number of projects increasing from 107 to 128. A total of seven projects have produced investment reports, up from four previously, with three new reports submitted to ENV within the past month.
Furthermore, EOS Labs has connected with nine exchanges that have indicated their intention to support the EOS ecosystem, and four regional stablecoin projects have been identified.
Starting in November, EOS Labs plans to collaborate with certain projects to stimulate activity within the EOS EVM ecosystem. The focus is currently on more than 20 projects, including those that EOS Labs has invested in, plans to invest in, or are in cooperative relationships with. These operational activities will span several months and will be scheduled according to the progress of each participating company.
In terms of staffing, EOS Labs operates with four full-time staff members plus part-time community workers. Despite the limited manpower, there are no immediate plans to expand the team due to the current market conditions.
Budget-wise, EOS Labs receives over 470,000 EOS monthly, with the operational budget still being funded by ENF. Excluding internal team expenses, the majority of the funds are allocated to support ecosystem projects, including joint marketing initiatives and aiding projects with their initial liquidity. However, the capability for liquidity support is somewhat restricted, prompting a need for discussions on new strategies.
EOS Labs is also responsible for settling outstanding payments related to the Pomelo/Grant fees and will be reaching out to involved parties to discuss resolution methods.
Regarding the Telegram mini-app and bot mentioned in the previous month, EOS Labs aims to introduce some features into the Labs group soon. Efforts are being made to design a new protocol that improves the integration and signature processes between Telegram and third-party wallets. Appreciation is extended to Greymass for their support in these developments.
Block Producer Attendee List
- EOS Nation
- EOS SG
- Detroit Ledger Technology
- EOS LaoMao
- EOS Asia
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 Antelope framework, serving as the driving force behind multi-chain collaboration and public goods funding for tools and infrastructure through the EOS Network Foundation (ENF).
The EOS EVM is an emulation of the Ethereum EVM, housed within an EOS smart contract. It offers feature parity to other EVMs in the space but with unmatched speed, performance and compatibility. EOS EVM connects the EOS ecosystem to the Ethereum ecosystem by allowing developers to deploy a wide array of Solidity-based digital assets and innovative dApps on EOS. Developers can use EOS EVM to take advantage of Ethereum’s battle-tested open source code, tooling, libraries and SDKs, while leveraging the superior performance of EOS.
EOS Network Foundation
The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) was forged through a vision for a prosperous and decentralized future. Through our key stakeholder engagement, community programs, ecosystem funding, and support of an open technology ecosystem, the ENF is transforming Web3. Founded in 2021, the ENF is the hub for EOS Network, a leading open source platform with a suite of stable frameworks, tools, and libraries for blockchain deployments. Together, we are bringing innovations that our community builds and are committed to a stronger future for all.