Battle of the visionaries – Vitalik Buterin criticizes Dan Larimer’s vision EOS

On Reddit, recently Vitalik Buterin, the head behind Ethereum, made a critical statement about EOS, a statement that did not have to wait long for an answer from Dan Larimer.

EOS has often been called the new Ethereum in various circles. BTC-ECHO has also reported on EOS as part of the ‘New Coins on the Block’ series, but without using terms such as ‘ethereal killer’.

Now the Ethereum subreddite on Reddit posed a rather offensive question:

The team behind EOS claims that the Delegated Proof of Stake technology behind EOS would be better than Ethereum and that therefore Ethereum can never execute as many transactions as EOS. In addition, Ethereum should not be able to use the virtual machine behind EOS, as all the dapps on the Ethereum blockchain would then no longer work. Are these accusations true and has anyone from Ethereum commented on them themselves?

The answer was not from anyone, but from Vitalik Buterin herself, the most famous person behind Ethereum.

With regard to the claim that EOS could execute significantly more transactions, he pointed out that this scalability is realized by relying on a small number of master nodes – and therefore a strong centralization. In addition, technical details such as Merkle proofs are being abolished, so that a normal user hardly has a chance to check the execution of transactions.
Vitalik Buterin also criticizes the concept of Delegated Proof of Stake. This consensus mechanism wants to maintain decentralisation via an electoral mechanism. According to Vitalik, there are several problems here. On the one hand, voter turnout is low; on the other hand, bagholders – and not users – determine the future of a blockchain.
Finally, he goes into another unique selling point: The lack of transaction fees in EOS, as with Steem, another project by Dan Larimer, is compensated by a stake-limited number of transactions per second. This means that a potential EOS user has to create a large stake in order to initiate many transactions efficiently. In this way, fewer wealthy people are ultimately excluded from the system.
Dan Larimer commented on these points on Steem. He addresses the three points and, from his point of view, describes how the problems mentioned – with regard to Steem – are none. In his view, non-voters are as much a certainty as voters. If someone wants to submit a negative proposal for the Delegated Proof of Stake system, he believes there will still be enough voters whose large stake will lead them to use their right to vote in their favour.

Regarding the poorer people discouraged from using a toll-free system, he replies that this problem exists anyway: The effort someone has to put in to exchange Fiat for any crypto currency at all is so high that it would only pay for itself from an investment of a hundred US dollars. In this context, he also refers to Steem, a network that has existed for some time with toll-free transactions.

Dan Larimer concludes with a criticism of Casper, the proof of stake consensus planned for Ethereum, referring to an analysis he had already made two years ago. In his opinion, Casper also leads to a centralization. This criticism was further deepened by him.

Vitalik, of course, did not let the statements stand like this. Thus he went again into the individual points on the part of Dan Larimer and criticized that the criticism of Casper addresses points, which were current two years ago. Since then, however, Casper has continued to develop.

The debate is certainly not over. What is striking in a positive light is that both Vitalik and Dan Larimer focus largely on factual arguments. While other steemers and editors write ad-hominem attacks, both look at the technical details – and base their criticism and defense on them. From this point of view the reading of this exchange of blows is worth reading for everyone – one learns a lot about attack vectors on decentralized systems and about consensus mechanisms and the associated difficulties.