EOS Wants to Fulfill 2017 Promises With Dan Larimer

Key Takeaways

  • The EOS Network Foundation has taken a major step in bolstering its independence from Block.one by enlisting the network’s architect, Dan Larimer.
  • Larimer and his team will fork the EOSIO codebase.
  • The developments follow years of failed promises and widespread community disapproval toward the project’s founding company, Block.one.

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The EOS Network Foundation has tapped Dan Larimer, the founding developer of EOSIO, to help it take over the direction of the EOS ecosystem. The partnership follows the EOS community’s vote to halt vesting to its founding backer, Block.one.

EOS Network Foundation Aims for Brighter Future

The EOS Network Foundation has its sights set on a revival.

Dan Larimer, who architected EOS and was previously part of the project’s founding backer Block.one, will now help the foundation revive the project’s ecosystem. To further establish independence from Block.one, Larimer and his team will fork the EOSIO codebase.

The fork will happen across two major upgrades: Mandel 2.3 and Mandel 3.0. The EOS Network Foundation was allocated 200,000 EOS to help Larimer and his team execute the fork.

In a press release, Larimer said that the Mandel code fork was “the shortest path to EOS independence.” He also described the fork as “the first step on a multi-year plan to revitalize EOS.”

The developments announced today follow years of woes for the EOS community. EOS rose to prominence in 2017 when Block.one raised $4.1 billion through an ICO to fund the project. It was one of several blockchains that was branded as an “Ethereum killer” across the crypto community. However, it failed to deliver on its promises. Following the capital raise, Block.one proposed a number of initiatives that are still yet to launch several years later.

Block.one’s missteps caused a longstanding divisions within the EOS community. The company was accused of holding back progress on the project, with the EOS Network Foundation’s CEO continuously claiming that it had suffered thanks to Block.one’s failure to execute. After years of tension between the two camps, EOS block producers voted in December to cease the vesting of 67 million EOS tokens that were scheduled to be unlocked for Block.one over the next six to seven years. The allocation is currently worth around $180 million.

The EOS Network Foundation is hoping that enlisting Larimer will bring the project closer to fulfilling its original vision. Last week, it received $21 million in funding from the EOS community to move toward its goal. Whether it can make a comeback remains to be seen.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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Dan Larimer’s newest project is another attempt at decentralized social media

Daniel Larimer, former chief technology officer of Block.one and a co-founder of Block.one and Steemit, has revealed his next project, called Clarion.

The project is meant to become a mobile-first decentralized social media platform, supporting all types of social features like personal messaging via text and video, publishing content to followers or having Discord-like voice chat rooms.

According to Larimer, Clarion “learns lessons from other projects,” including the initial idea for Steemit and Voice, two social media projects he launched or backed.

According to him, the two previous attempts at decentralized social media were “logically centralized” and required “all full nodes to process all transactions.”

Larimer’s idea of a better network draws more from RetroShare and Zeronet, two platforms based on peer-to-peer messaging, with the latter based on BitTorrent. He also cited file sharing protocols like IPFS as good examples of decentralized networks. These present usability challenges though, especially on mobile devices.

Clarion would be developed as a “progressive web application” based on WebAssembly, a framework that allows building high-performance apps on the web programmed languages like C++ and Rust. This is mostly necessary to avoid the reliance on native applications distributed through app stores, with Larimer noting that “recent actions by Google, Amazon, and Apple have demonstrated that we cannot rely on app stores and hosting providers to distribute our applications and content.” The WebAssembly architecture also helps when designing desktop full nodes, as it requires minimal changes to the code.

Clarion’s blockchain-related aspects are somewhat less clear, as Larimer described it as not needing to reach consensus on the order of user actions, thus making it a “layer 0” platform. WebAssembly plugins will still allow building applications on top of the “Clarion OS.” Larimer clarified that there will be no tokens associated with the project’s base functionality.

The announcement was met with some skepticism in the community due to Larimer’s perceived history of abandoning projects. Larimer was the co-founder of Steemit, a blockchain-based social media platform popular during 2017, which he left in favor of Block.one, the company behind EOSIO, a blockchain framework underpinning both EOS and Voice, another social media platform.

After Larimer left his post at Block.one in January, many interpreted it as a sign that he was going to build something else, which appears to have been the correct intuition. It is interesting to note that the projects Larimer left did not fare too well afterwards, with Steemit being acquired by Tron in a rocky and controversial deal, while EOS is currently struggling against its newer competitors in terms of adoption.

Larimer still seems to be particularly interested in decentralized social media, a space that is also seeing a growing list of competitors. While his past experience would make Larimer an excellent candidate for building a viable “Big Tech killer,” it also raises the question of why Clarion’s basic ideas could not be implemented earlier, while he was still heading those projects.