By Douglas Horn
Last week I wrote about the process for beginning the Telos arbitrators election. The process was intended to begin on Monday, February 4th but was delayed a few days by technical difficulties in updating the contract. However, the Telos Core Developers have successfully resolved the issues to propose an update which was approved and executed by the Telos BPs in a series of multisig transactions that concluded on Thursday February 7th at 9:01 UTC.
At that time, the arbitrator nomination period automatically began. It will continue for one week until 9:01 UTC on Thursday, Feb 14th, when the voting period begins. The voting will continue for 29 days, ending on Friday, March 15th at 10:01 UTC.
There is one matter that is yet to be resolved: the Telos governance documents call for arbitrators to have a threshold of at least 20,000 more “yes” votes than “no” votes in order to be elected. This was intended to prevent arbitrators from being elected without broad support. However, in developing the current version of the voting system, voting in leaderboard style elections (where there are many candidates for many open seats and the top vote receivers win) does not use both yes and no votes. As a result, there needs to be some form of voting threshold enacted to prevent an arbitrator candidate from winning a seat as a result of low turnout and few candidates. Telos needs arbitrators, but they must have broad support.
Given this necessary technological change to the voting system, the block producers are exercising their executive authority to best interpret the intention of the governance rule and decide how to apply a reasonable solution that meets the same objective. According to the Telos Original snapshot there were 44.7 million TLOS in activated accounts (excluding system accounts and other accounts that will not vote such as the Telos Foundation, Exchange Token Reserve Fund, and GoodGrant accounts). The block producers are considering a variety of numbers as a threshold from 2,000,000 to 2 million.
The block producers also revised the term for arbitrators from three years as listed in the governance documents to one year. There was strong concern that three years was too long for our inaugural crop of arbitrators. There will be time to revise this to the intended 3 years before the first year of service is complete, if the community decides that the original term length should be respected.
Telos Voting and Proxies
There are two voting systems on Telos: the BP voting system used in all EOSIO chains in some form, and all other voting, which is unique to Telos. The BP voting system is siloed and not really applicable to other types of voting. This is one reason why other EOSIO chains do not have on-chain voting available and why it has taken so long for EOS to develop an off-chain voting system for its referendum process.
The Telos voting system is 100% on-chain and uses the Trail system of voting developed by the Telos Core Developers (primarily Craig Branscom and Peter Bue). The current version of Trail Service voting does not have for/against voting for leaderboard elections, as noted above. And unfortunately, it also does not yet incorporate the proxy system. This is planned for future versions of Trail, but this development is time consuming and Telos needs to elect arbitrators soon in order to address issues like lost and stolen keys that are already occurring. (A side note, all members of the Telos Core Developers have been working on development without pay since the moment the Telos Launch Group voted to launch the network. We plan to seek worker proposal funds to repay this work and once caught up, to fund future ongoing development of Telos.)
So, the current Telos voting system is the first of its kind in EOSIO and probably in blockchain in general. However, it is not yet where we intend it to be and one of the missing features in this MVP (minimum viable product) version of the voting service is that it does not allow voting through proxies.
For Arbitrator Candidates
Anyone wishing to serve as a Telos arbitrator has until voting begins on February 14th at 9:01 UTC to submit your candidacy. The easiest way to do this is through Sqrl wallet, as described in the Telos arbitrator elections tutorial (below). Please note that Sqrl version 1.0.2 is required to submit as an arbitrator.
To learn more about Telos arbitration and voting, please see the following articles:
Telos Arbitrator Elections are Coming
Telos Users Guide — Tutorial: Telos Arbitration
Telos User Guide: Understanding Telos Arbitration
About the author: Douglas Horn is the Telos architect and whitepaper author, and the founder of GoodBlock, a block producer and app developer for the Telos Blockchain Network.
More about GoodBlock can be found at: www.goodblock.io
Join us on Twitter @GoodBlockio
Vote for GoodBlock on the Telos Blockchain Network @goodblocktls