EOSIO is a blockchain designed to facilitate the operation of a new kind of program called a decentralized application (dapp).
Its technology attempts to solve historical issues in using blockchains to run dapps, as popular applications have even clogged capacity on larger, more developed blockchains like Ethereum (ETH), resulting in performance issues for all users.
One of a number of new blockchains that have prioritized dapp performance, EOSIO has made design choices meant to confirm more transactions per second while eliminating fees charged to users making transactions.
However, there are other notable differences that set it apart from competing blockchains.
The first is that EOSIO programmers can develop dapps using WebAssembly languages like C++, Java and Python, as opposed to a new project-specific programming language.
Also, on EOSIO, software updates are decided through voting using EOS. EOS is the native cryptocurrency on EOSIO and is needed to pay for the costs of operating its blockchain.
The EOSIO blockchain is designed to emulate the performance of a real computer, and the software itself uses some familiar computing concepts in its operations.
For example, there are three types of resources that power the EOSIO blockchain.
- Bandwidth (Disk) – needed for relaying information across the network
- Computation (CPU) – the processing power it takes to run a dapp
- State Storage (RAM) – used to store data on its blockchain
EOS is needed to purchase all three of these resources on EOSIO, meaning developers must buy EOS to run dapps they launch.
To secure its blockchain, EOSIO uses a system called delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS).
DPoS uses a real-time voting and reputation system to decide who can create the next block on its blockchain. This means anyone who owns EOS can help operate the network, however, the more tokens you own, the more likely you are to be chosen by the software.
Each EOS token can be locked, or “staked,” to represent one vote that can be used to support development of the platform.
EOSIO takes a more active approach to governance, with features enabling its users to vote and carry out decisions to alter the software’s rules.
Owning EOS gives a user the ability to vote on decisions, and block producers are responsible for carrying out decisions that are approved. Both groups can vote to change the “EOS Constitution,” a governing document that codifies the rules between all EOSIO users.
This gives EOS block producers extensive powers over network users.
As an example, EOS block producers have the ability to freeze accounts. (Freezing an account only requires 15 of the 21 EOS block producers to vote to lock funds.)
This has led to criticisms that the design of the EOSIO blockchain could become victim to centralized control and abuse.