An AMA With Yves La Rose Of EOS Nation
Equilibrium’s Kyle Ellicott recently hosted an ask-me-anything session with Yves La Rose, CEO of EOS block producer EOS Nation.
AMAs are exactly what you’d imagine: some expert or uniquely experienced individual fields questions from the audience and community. In this case, we had direct access to Yves’s niche technical knowledge of blockchain topics, as well as his accessible manner for explaining it.
From the simultaneous blessing and curse of the pending EOS 2.0 launch to his thoughts on how to drive EOS blockchain adoption, we covered a lot of ground in our community discussion with Yves. Do be sure to check out our next AMA with Zack Gall, founder of Everything EOS, to be held on February 5th at 4 PM, GMT
This AMA has been edited for length and context.
What is your grand vision for the future of the internet, for Web 3.0?
I think a big part of why I came here is because of decentralization. Fortunately but unfortunately, the internet is very centralized. That's good, because in order to create a system, centralization is incredibly efficient. But letting go of that power over time is a serious level-up. Decentralization is key. It increases trust among the user base interacting with you.
I really see a future where that interaction between centralization and decentralization becomes incredibly smooth, so that end users do not see a difference. Your data is safer, you retain control over it. Hacks and data leaks as we know them kind of a thing of the past.
What are your thoughts on the release of EOS 2, and what benefits does it bring to the broader ecosystem?
2.0 is a blessing and a curse right now. I say that because the past week has been very, very challenging from an EOS backend point of view.
EOS 2.0 really opens up the floodgates for transactions. The amount of transactions per second that the network can handle goes up drastically. We're talking about a five to eight times multiplier. So right now I think we've handled the record for EOS as it currently lives, which was 3996 transactions per second. And within those transactions you've got multiple actions, so I don't recall what the number is, but much greater than that.
By comparison, Etherium does 15 transactions per second and Bitcoin does 3-4. EOS 2.0 is a serious upgrade. But it's also a curse at the same time.
In order to be able to accommodate those transactions, you need some serious hardware and it needs to be optimized. That hardware works very differently from traditional proof-of-work systems. We don't have a mining firm, we don't have rooms with tons of dedicated infrastructure in them that just do one thing really rapidly. That's not the same thing. We're legitimately running real data center and server infrastructure, gaming it for some specific tasks because EOS is very CPU intensive. In order to process that amount of blocks quickly, you need very, very, very high-frequency CPUs.
In order to accommodate that 24,000 transactions per second your infrastructure needs to be very, very finely tweaked. And not just your own infrastructure. If your neighbor, the person giving you the blocks, or if the neighbor after the person you're giving the blocks to, is not also running a well-tuned system, then it causes micro forks and other issues.
So think about it like a highway packed with cars. Now we're in a situation where the highway only has, let's say, eight lanes, but the amount of cars traveling over the highway just increased by eight times. We now need to widen the highway to accommodate that. But if I widen my highway into the city and the road out of it only has three lanes, I’m now the network bottleneck. So everybody's upgrading.
It's been a lot of sleepless nights, but it's really good, because if we want to have enterprise-level applications that run on a network, we need to go through this period. And we need to optimize to be able to handle those transactions.
Block.one is developing a new social network called Voice, which launches around Valentine's Day, February 14. Why are they doing this? Why go down that path?
Based on what we know, EOS is not launching Voice on the mainnet. The beta will be launched, and one of the tentative dates for that launch is February 14th. If you're going to be releasing a beta version, you wouldn’t deploy on the mainnet, that makes absolutely no sense. So you would be releasing on a testnet, because you're going to be in a highly iterative state where you're testing and making modifications.
Consider Equilibrium right now, which could make changes to particular smart contracts within its framework. Equilibrium still hasn't done that, and that is the smart decision. Equilibrium would not have done that, let's say, four months ago when you're changing the code every two hours. If every two hours you have to go to a decentralized group of individuals and say: “By the way, I need you to review this code and refine it,” it makes no sense.
It's the same thing with Block.one. They will be releasing the beta in a private testnet. And what they said is, ideally, over time components will be on the maintenance. That's the kind of the other argument. I think what Block.one will do with Voice is going to be incredibly powerful. They’ll show us, for the first time, an architectural blueprint for what building a large-scale enterprise level application would look like on a blockchain.
What do you see as real-world use cases for crypto that can lead to mass adoption?
Stablecoins and fiat gateways. We're seeing more and more relays between stablecoins, functionality for converting from one stablecoin to another. If I’ve got $1 USDC, I should be able to trade it for $1 USDT or $1 EOSDT. It should be one-to-one everywhere, and right now it isn't.
So there's a lot of opportunity to be able to create those relays where there's almost zero slippage, nearly no margins between those trades. And they occur instantly.
Those things are just impossible on Ethereum, and EOS is really beginning to take that market. At the same time, a lot of the capital is still very much locked in Bitcoin and Ethereum, so how do we go and unlock it?
What can we do collectively to attract more people to the EOS ecosystem?
It's still very complicated to come into the ecosystem and transact on it. I think we're at a point where the foundations are properly laid, we're now a big part of the focus and what I think is missing or what I would really like to see is some incredible UX, just facilitating the user experience.
Users right now on EOS are, from my point of view, either investors or developers. Even if they're just token holders, they have to be power users. And that's kind of a problem. They have to jump through all these hoops in order to transact with the chain. They need to know what CPU is, what net is, they need to know about the Resource Exchange. They need to know all those things. My grandma is not going to go through all these hoops. The idea is: if she wanted to use blockchain, she should be able to. And right now she can't.
We need serious entrepreneurs and serious businesses that are successfully able to create business cases where they incorporate those operational costs, and abstract niche blockchain concepts away from users. They basically just become the portal for the user and take care of everything.
What’s the next step of blockchain adoption? Stablecoins are a hot topic right now, what's next?
Gaming is definitely part of the equation. It’s a natural space because gamers are already used to interacting with non-fungible tokens. They’re just used to having digital assets on the chain. Once you have the finance products, gaming is next.
What are you most excited about to see happen in the next 10 years?
I'm excited to see the base layer of our day-to-day interactions become so decentralized and so ingrained that we no longer think that something might happen to my data, that that worry just completely disappears. I'm excited to see where I now have the power to decide what is mine, what is yours, and then monetize that. I'll be able to have control over my online presence, which we really don't have control over.
I'm incredibly excited to see what level-up we're gonna get as humans. And I think that blockchain is at the base of it.