Early in June 2018, the long-simmering excitement over the new digital currency EOS has finally come to a boil. Following a record-breaking ICO (during which time the EOS development team managed to raise roughly $4 billion in investor funds), EOS had finally launched officially.
However, the establishment of the EOSIO has been fraught with hiccups and setbacks; built into the EOS design was the plan that Block.one, the developer of the system, would not take responsibility for management of the ecosystem. Investors and EOS enthusiasts have spent many days working to seek out potential bugs and glitches with the system and to try to determine who will oversee and manage the code for EOSIO. In the meantime, though, to complicate matters further, a new version of EOS is preparing for launch at the same time. Called EOS classic, this new cryptocurrency has left many investors confused. Just how is EOS classic different from the original EOS?
Difference in Block Producers
EOS relies on 21 block producers for oversight of many aspects of its network. Block producers are a new concept to the EOS ecosystem; producers are responsible for generating blocks and will in many ways serve as public faces of the ecosystem. They will be richly rewarded for their work, based on the inflation of the EOS token over time, and they will have voting rights over a variety of logistical and developmental concerns regarding the EOSIO.
One way that EOS classic differentiates itself from EOS is in the number of block producers. The new classic version of the digital currency will rely on 105 block producers, according to Crypto Daily. A report by Cryptovest suggests that "this number of producers is close to that of Lisk (LSK), an already operational system using verification. The distribution of EOS Classic assets is somewhat dubious: it is unknown if exchanges would credit the balances, as they have promised to credit the balances for the official EOS blockchain."
There are, of course, some concerns already building regarding EOS classic's use of block producers as well. Cryptovest continues: "EOS Classic would actually be accessible to the Ethas ASIC miners coming soon. It is unknown if the same entities that wanted to produce blocks for EOS would allocate resources to EOS Classic. There is also no telling when the EOS Classic asset would be traded on exchanges."
What Cryptovest's report also suggests is that EOS classic will be designed as a mineable version of EOS. EOS is currently not designed to be mineable. While introducing the prospect of mining into the EOS classic system is likely to be exciting for many potential investors, it also leaves the door open for additional confusion. Will EOS classic draw resources and interest away from EOS? Will the two digital currencies be able to successfully coexist? When and how will EOS classic be tradable?
In contrast with the lengthy gestation time associated with EOS, EOS classic has moved exceptionally quickly. The official launch is planned for June 9 and will open the mainnet to GPU miners initially. As of this point, one of the most crucial questions regarding the EOS classic ecosystem has yet to be answered: Who will be among the 105 block producers? This question, among others, has prompted widespread skepticism about the EOS classic project among some cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
While EOS classic is not a hard fork in the same sense that, for instance, bitcoin cash is a hard fork of bitcoin, it nonetheless bears some of the same qualities as hard-forked currencies. One crucial distinction, though, is that EOS itself is not up and running in its full form, and it likely will not be by the time that EOS classic is launched. Is it possible that the developers of EOS classic are simply looking to capitalize on the hype associated with EOS as the official launch of the original EOS ecosystem has drawn near? If so, will EOS classic serve to assist EOS in growing as a network, or will it siphon off resources and interest in EOS, thereby potentially hurting both projects? While it's impossible to say for sure at this stage, it's likely that the digital currency world will be watching the official unveiling of EOS classic closely in the weeks and months to come.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.