Can EOS provide a killer social DApp?

Can EOS provide a killer social DApp?

Cointelegraph follows the development of a brand new blockchain from its inception to the mainnet and beyond through its series, Inside the Blockchain Developer’s Mind, written by Andrew Levin of the Koinos group.

In my first post in this series, I explained why Ethereum and Steem were unable to deliver a mainstream decentralized social application (DApp), despite two very different approaches, and how that makes the solution obvious; why not combine the fee-free system developed for Steem with the flexibility of a blockchain with smart contracts like Ethereum? Then we could give developers the best of both worlds, allowing them to build free apps with the freedom to add new features whenever they want.

You could say that’s exactly what Dan Larimer was trying to do when he left Steem and started working on EOS. Now, four years after the release of EOS, Larimer plans to release “Fractally”, a new social app based on EOS. But this begs the question: why hasn’t anyone been able to build a successful social media app on EOS? After all, it’s not like no one has tried.

Remember the voice?, the company Larimer founded and ran as chief technology officer, invested $150 million in its own Voice social app, which it then released not on the EOS mainnet but on its own. dedicated blockchain.

This was strange because the purpose of a general purpose blockchain is that it should be possible to run any application on top of it. As I explained in my previous article, the whole problem with Steem was that it was its own separate blockchain and therefore did not enjoy the kind of adoption by Ethereum developers and users. . It should come as no surprise, then, that Voice simply failed to deliver.

Related: Social apps are the next big trend in crypto

Fractally: Larimer’s new trick

Larimer is back with Fractally, which he said “will bring incentivized content creation to EOS”. The secret, he claims, is a “fractal governance” system, but that doesn’t explain why no one has been able to build a social app on EOS with widespread adoption. In fact, even though Larimer can launch a great social app on EOS, what does it say about this platform that the only person capable of creating a great app is the literal inventor of this platform . So what happened?

Steem x Ethereum = EOS

In a way, what Larimer was trying to do with EOS was exactly what I described at the end of the last article. Combining the best of Steem (now Hive) and the best of Ethereum. But, that’s where “the problem lies”. There are three things Larimer took from Steem that may seem small, but have incredible consequences that EOS still grapples with to this day.

On Ethereum, users just address addresses similar to Bitcoin addresses, which are a long string of numbers and letters that are free to create because they don’t take up any network storage space. This is critical because anything that takes up network storage or uses some of the network’s compute resources has a real cost that has to be paid for by someone.

Steem wanted to be a social blockchain and so, the theory went. They needed a centralized account that they could easily remember and use to manage their frequent interactions. So it made perfect sense that these accounts had human-readable and easy-to-remember names, but that also meant they took up storage on the network. But, this centralized account also makes you a target. If you have a single private key that you regularly use to access an account and that account contains valuable tokens, hackers will do their best to gain access to your computer so they can steal your money and anything valuable. value. have there.

Related: An Inside Look at the Moral and Technical Considerations of Crypto Social Media

To solve this problem, each account name was also associated with multiple addresses, each with different levels of authority, so the user was not always exposing the address’s private key containing all of their tokens. All of this takes up valuable network storage, which is why, despite having no-fee transactions, Steem had account creation fees.

Expensive storage

Larimer obviously liked this design because he implemented a very similar system on EOS – account creation fees and all. To make matters worse, the EOS database is built on something called ‘memory-mapped files’, another holdover from the Steem design, an important consequence of which is that it’s designed to use the most expensive form of storage. possible: random access memory (RAM). This means that EOS users not only need to buy accounts, but those accounts are going to be inherently expensive, because what you’re really buying is the RAM needed to store that information.

No charge BUT

What this really highlights is that the lack of fees is clearly not binary. EOS is free, to some extent. It’s free of charge, except for accounts. And, since smart contracts also consume network storage, you’ll need to purchase additional RAM for those as well. But, EOS is by no means the only blockchain that takes this approach to fees, in fact when we left Steem and evaluated all the options, we couldn’t find a single blockchain that didn’t introduce fees. charges at any given time in the user experience.

This is one of the main reasons why we decided to create an entirely new blockchain framework from scratch, because all these blockchain design fees are in their very foundations. We had to build an entirely new base around the idea of ​​truly free, without exception.

Related: Gasless transactions will revolutionize the Web3

Free mana

This solution was a system where simply holding the native KOIN token of a Koinos network allows you to use the blockchain without introducing any friction. The system we described in our mana white paper does just that, and a prototype of this system is already running on the Koinos testnet.

Like us Explain in the whitepaper, mana is a gas-free alternative to Ethereum. Much like gas on Ethereum, everything a user does consumes mana. Unlike gas, however, users don’t have to spend their crypto on gas every time they want to do something – it pays off. Instead, each liquid token is “born” with mana inside that is consumed when the user makes a transaction, but regenerates over time. Once a token’s mana is consumed, the token is locked until the mana regenerates. This way, doing anything on the blockchain has an opportunity cost, but does not cost the user any actual tokens. In other words, it really is free of charge.

Free DApps

But doesn’t that mean that users still have to buy tokens to use the blockchain? Isn’t that basically a royalty? This is why mana is designed to allow developers to pay for the mana consumed by a given contract, or simply delegate their mana to their users. This way, people can use mana-powered blockchains without ever having to acquire tokens. It’s this kind of frictionless user experience that we believe is key to delivering social apps with the kind of user experiences that drive viral adoption. “except” free of charge is simply not enough.

I’m sure a lot has changed since the launch of EOS and will continue to change as this ecosystem matures. Every software product has its strengths and weaknesses. My goal is not to critique EOS but to explain why the DApp landscape is as it is and how the architectural evolution of blockchain technology (Ethereum to Steem/Graphene to EOS) has resulted in the limitations that prevent the widespread adoption.

“Those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it,” said Edmond Burke.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Andrew Levin is the CEO of Koinos Group, a team of industry veterans accelerating decentralization through accessible blockchain technology. Their core product is Koinos, a cost-free, infinitely scalable blockchain with universal language support.