One of the features EOS promised to deliver during its ICO was enterprise-level scalability, which would allow for the platform to host a number of popular applications without encountering bottlenecks. On this front, EOS seems to be progressing nicely, as it has recently surpassed the 3,000 transactions per second mark, making it one of the fastest blockchains currently online. Of course, there are many projects saying their blockchain can handle a much larger throughput, but they will often only justify their claims with estimates and internal testing results.
According to the EOS network monitor, the platform’s recorded peak is 3097 transactions per second. EOS supporters have been quick to point out that this rate exceeds the average transactions per second processed by Visa, but Visa should be able to handle a larger throughput if necessary.
Ethereum, for example, can currently handle about 15 transactions per second, while Bitcoin can handle about 7. Of course, these platforms are designed with a fundamentally different philosophy, and there is an interesting tension at play here. It’s no secret that Ethereum in its current form cannot support a massively popular application, as evidenced by the time when CryptoKitties went viral, resulting in a very noticeable slowdown of the network.
EOS is achieving its impressive throughput by employing a design with a lower degree of decentralization. The fundamental value proposition of blockchain-based decentralized applications, however, is that they are uncensorable and lack a single failure point. If DApps running on EOS will not be able to guarantee these features, the EOS compromise of improving performance by sacrificing some decentralization might turn out to be the wrong move. Of course, the platform is still in its very early days, so it will be interesting to see how EOS is going to play out in the coming months and years.
The EOS network is maintained by 21 block producers that are voted in by EOS holders with their tokens. The system is designed so that block producers can be voted out by the community if they are not performing their duties well. Recently, Block.One, the creators of the EOS protocol, have said that they will begin staking their EOS tokens to vote for block producers, which sparked additional concerns about centralization:
“As a recipient of 10% of the initial EOS token allocation, Block.one recognizes its responsibility to participate as an active minority voting member. As such, our approach has been carefully considered, and Block.one will soon begin allocating votes to block producers that share the core values necessary to maximize the integrity and potential of the EOS public blockchain network.”
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