Recent history of the EOS Constitution (may+june)

The EOS constitution has been a topic of fierce debate ever since it’s first draft saw the light of day. The constitution that is in place today was originally conceived by Block.one, the company that created the EOSIO software. They added it to the public EOSIO/eos repository.

Vanishing Act

In a twist mere days before the intended launch of the EOS mainnet, Block.one removed the evolved version of that draft from their repository. This move was believed to stem from Block.one wanting to be regarded by regulators as a software company, not as the party being in control of the blockchain. This left it up to the community to hastily decide on the content of a replacement constitution. Should they start from scratch, or should they just use the last available version from the repository? Seeing as files were being deleted from the EOSIO repository, it was forked into the EOS-Mainnet repository not under control of Block.one. This essentially restored the deleted constitution as the de-facto new proposal.

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A new Constitution?

There were many people who felt the current articles were not sufficient though. But choosing a new constitution would require rigorous debate on what a different constitution would look like. With the launch so close, there was simply no possibility to get consensus on a replacement without risking severe delays to the Mainnet launch.

The Dust Settles

In the first week of june, the currently active version of the constitution was put into place. In the end nothing much was changed from Block.one’s version:

  • mentions of the placeholder ‘SYS’ token were replaced by ‘EOS’ (a technicality)
  • Article I was amended with the clarification ‘Lawful prosecution of crimes with the goal of preserving life, liberty and property does not constitute initiation of violence.’
  • ‘Article XX – Interim Constitution’ was added in recognition of the rush job:
    ‘This constitution is interim and is intended to remain in effect until a permanent constitution is written and ratified in a referendum.’
  • Article IX changed the arbitration rules from ‘Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce’ to ‘Rules of Dispute Resolution of the EOS Core Arbitration Forum’. This Forum is the oft-mentioned ‘ECAF’, which has become a center of contention in this second half of june.

An uncertain future

The debate on the constitution is ongoing, and we’re likely to see some significant changes. Dan Larimer himself has spoken in favor of a more technically-oriented constitution

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Disclaimer: This article is based on discussions that have been happening across many semi-public telegram groups. We have tried to accurately portray events, but we recognize that the volume of communication in these groups may have been too high for us to comprehend the full picture. Nevertheless we believe it’s important to offer context for the current situation EOS is in. We welcome any corrections and updates to this article.

References:
Last constitution draft available in the EOSIO repository, before deletion
Most recent version of the constitution from the EOS-Mainnet repository, as active on EOS Mainnet

 

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