How This Blockchain Network Is Taking Its Power Back
CEO Yves La Rose sat down with Jessica Abo to talk about how the EOS Network Foundation is building a new future.
Many know EOS as the blockchain that raised $4.1 billion in its Initial Coin Offering CO back in 2018 and disappeared into the shadows. After the EOS community fought a fierce battle to take its power back, the community formed the EOS Network Foundation led by community-voted CEO Yves La Rose. He sat down with Jessica Abo to talk about how the EOS Network Foundation is building a new future.
Jessica Abo: Yves, before we get into what you're building, I want to go back in time. Your blockchain network was on the sidelines for more than four years and has made a dramatic comeback. How did you get to this point?
Yves La Rose:
After four years of essential stagnation, the community got together and essentially elected and reached a consensus on creating a centralized entity called the ENF, the EOS Network Foundation, as a steward of the network in order to be able to efficiently deploy capital and move the network forward.
ENF is an example of a decentralized, autonomous organization (DAO) fulfilling its promise as a management and governance structure being controlled by the community and not by a single person or a few executives. Can you explain the main advantages of a DAO over traditional management structures?
In traditional management structures, typically it's a top-down approach. One of the advantages of that is that things can be extremely efficient, they can be centralized, decisions can be made quickly and the organizations typically can move very rapidly because the time that it takes to make decisions can be quite fast.
In the DAO, a lot of the decision-making process is spread out to those within the organization that are better positioned to make decisions. EOS as arguably one of the largest DAOs on the planet, is structured in a way to be able to on-chain leverage the functionalities of the blockchain, but in a very efficient manner to come together, reach consensus, and move the network along. It actually gives power back into the hands of the people or of the community on the network. As such, they're able to participate in governance, they're able to direct where the network will go as a whole and move more efficiently in that manner.
It sounds like you really believe that a commercial entity can be managed in a democratic way by a community, but what do you want to say to the skeptics?
One of the disadvantages of a DAO is that it can be incredibly chaotic, and that was one of the issues as you mentioned for the last couple of years with EOS, is that when you're too decentralized, it can effectively paralyze an organization where the network itself or the entity itself is in such a state that it can't move forward because of that far-reaching decentralization. In our case, reintroducing a little bit of centralization within that process, but within an accountable framework to ensure that the DAO itself essentially remains at the forefront of the entity, is something that we strive to do and we're still striving to do daily.
Do you think it's a contradiction for a DAO to have a CEO?
In a way it kind of is. I'm the CEO of the centralized entity that is the EOS Network Foundation. But we are at a point where we're essentially stewards of the network and through on-chain accountability, we can be removed at any given time. Essentially the incentives are aligned so that the entity that represents the network has to actually do the bidding, let's say, of the network as a whole. And if it doesn't do so, if those incentives become disaligned, then there's a very easy on-chain process for either the entity to be removed or for myself, for example, to be removed.
Looking ahead, what do you hope the foundation achieves?
In the last year that the EOS Network Foundation has been in place, we've essentially stabilized the ecosystem. We've come and taken care of the things that have been lacking over the last couple of years, predominantly developer outreach, developer funding, community funding, community outreach, a lot of the marketing, the branding around the EOS network.
In year two, what we're doing right now is really focusing on that growth side of things. We're expanding very much around the world in terms of employees, in terms of location, in terms of on-the-ground presence. And we're definitely deploying a lot of capital and being able to leverage the tool that we have, the backend tool that's been powering the network for the last couple of years, really amplifying that through that business development side of things.
What advice do you have for the crypto beginners out there? Where does one begin?
If it's something that interests you, just start reading up on it and you'll find that within this blockchain space, there's a lot of different flavors that can appeal to different people in terms of what attracts you, what about this technology or about this space might be right for you and just really dive in.
One of the things is that it's really easy to fall into that rabbit hole of information because there's so much out there. One of the great things about this space is that it's so nascent, in the grand scheme of things, there are very few people here. Being able to deploy time and energy, and if you actually focus within a relatively short amount of time, you can have a niche in this space. Essentially create something for yourself that very few or nobody has either that has been created before.
And what is one way people can take their participation to the next level?
Get involved in a space. Join the circuit. The space is so new, there's room to grow, there's room for everybody.