The EOS space is relatively new in cryptoland but already it is becoming a formidable competitor to BTC and ETH domains. Transactions are instant, fees are zero and the number of applications based on the EOS framework is rising fast. And this is only the beginning as most new ventures are still working hard to launch their MVP’s.
The low hanging fruits were first to appear on the scene; simple betting sites, the million pixel home page made its comeback from 2005 and the first wallets and exchanges were appearing. This latter part was definitely necessary as the whole field was a desert. After the year long daily ICO’s that grossed an impressive 4 B$ for EOS, many expected that there was more “infrastructure” available when all tokens moved to the EOS mainnet in June 2018. But there was almost nothing, except things like Scatter that were asking for private keys to set up, scaring all those trained never to expose your private key. The instructions to vote for BP’s and initiate the mainnet was done so poorly that it took more then a week to reach the 15% threshold.
So on one hand, there is this formidable new EOS technology (dubbed blockchain 3.0 by many) that could be used in countless different consumer and business sectors and on the other hand there was this barren landscape waiting to be filled. Any project that enters the arena with a serious business plan to fill the void has a chance of becoming a first mover in the field, growing in a way that will be hard to overtake by others and eventually become the industry standard.
Reading the Worbli white paper certainly checks a number of boxes to be considered a potential first mover:
- large and experienced team
- well funded
- targeting a wide audience in different business categories
- compliant from the start
- community governance
There are many other boxes you can check, but I suggest you read the full WP. I will focus here on compliance and community governance, always touchy subjects when discussing decentralised ecosystems. But especially community governance will be an essential feature to become a credible industry standard.
Any company providing financial instruments that intends to become serious needs to be compliant with international financial regulations. This is a one way street, regulations always get tighter and are seldom reversed but they can certainly not be ignored in many countries. Worbli intends to include strict KYC rules when you sign on and generate a new account. Nothing new here, except that this will be on a chained Worbli governance layer on top of which the EOS layer will be integrated. So, once you are onboard, you will get access to all applications that will come to tuition in the Worbli ecosphere. AI and machine-learning will be applied to detect suspicious transactions while keeping the privacy of its legitimate users. This in a way forms a centralised step but as with all KYC procedures, it is inevitable to have some legally vetted point-of-entry. Besides, the SingleSignOn feature will be regarded as a plus by many.
When Worbli started there is of course some centralisation at the initiation of the whole project. Plans need to be drafted, partners need to be sought, technology needs to be developed, initial investors need to get on board, the list goes on. Likewise with EOS governance, there is criticism as to how centralised / decentralised they really are, but decentralisation is a feature that cannot be created from day one. There will always be a small team starting up around a concept, and if you want to be a globally compliant financial network too, you simply need mechanisms to approve decisions in a timely manner. As long as the decisions are communicated in a transparent way, this should not be a red flag, at least not initially.
It is more important to see what Worbli’s long term intentions are and what roadmap they follow to allow decentralised community governance. On top of the pyramid will be the Worbli Foundation, owned by nobody, with a core team for day-to-day operations, governed by a board of directors (2 from Worbli executive team, 2 selected by community votes, 3 recruited but independent experts, also approved by community voting). The rulebook for decentralised corporate models is far from being written, so expect gradual improvements here when the system develops.
A very important aspect of Worbli is the community voting over different projects that may get initial funding from the Worbli Network Fund (WNF). This has long term impact on the success of the whole ecosystem. There is no assurance that the community will always vote for the best projects, but at least if we continue to misjudge new initiatives, we have only ourselves to blame.
Do not underestimate the importance here; Worbli is providing turnkey platforms and infrastructure for a wide range of applications, all fuelled by the Worbli tokens, but it will be the scope and depth of the (community selected) new projects that determine the long term success.
Drilling down one level deeper, success will depend on the projects that come through the WNF funnel. There are strong arguments for any new project to consider the Worbli route: besides the technical, token and KYC infrastructure you get access to, your project will have integrated financial services from the start and a massive potential customer base to launch your project. On top of that, you have access to all future improvements of the EOS platform which Worbli will follow. Each project may become a first mover in its own niche, but choosing the Worbli platform will certainly give your new venture a kickstart.
The final verdict
Too early to tell how Worbli will pan out and how committed the community will be when it comes down to project selections, but using the share-drop mechanism to include a base of 330,000 EOS owners is certainly a flying start. The white paper exudes ambition through all of its pages and when they indeed live up to their promises, Worbli may be the start of a very substantial new ecosphere, bringing blockchain based solutions to everyone. If I were hedging a new idea or business proposal at the moment, I would certainly take this opportunity and send in my proposal.