EOS’ Grand Governance Experiment Has a New Enemy: China’s Great Firewall

Distributed though it may be, the EOS community has fought hard to remain united.

Distributed though it may be, the EOS community has fought hard to remain united.

As of June, two rival groups were briefly in competition to launch the official EOS blockchain (or mainnet) using code released by the company behind the protocol, Block.One. The standoff was resolved, and the EOS community launched a unified network later that month.

However, in the time since, another rift has emerged, an East-West divide being made worse by a language barrier between Mandarin and English-speaking members, as well as differences in internet availability. Namely, Chinese internet controls – commonly known as the “Great Firewall” – make it difficult for those in China and the West to converse using the same platforms: Western EOS enthusiasts mostly gather on Telegram, while WeChat dominates in China.

The fact that two broadly separate conversations are happening in parallel has made it difficult for EOS to live up to its promise as a blockchain with built-in democratic governance. It’s also had tangible effects for EOS token holders, since some have had relatively easy access to dispute resolution, while others haven’t.

Dispute resolution emerged as an important theme early on in the network’s existence, as many community members had lost their private keys to scams and hacks. While the main arbitration body, the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF), was a source of confusion and controversy early on, it was at least able to keep some users with compromised addresses from having their tokens stolen.

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