EdenOS is reimagining blockchain governance using the EOS blockchain. Putting into practice ideas from Dan Larimer's book More Equal Animals, the Eden community is designed to produce consensus rather than factionalism when important decisions come up. This community is small but hopes to grow to thousands or even tens of thousands. The EdenOS model for scalable democracy appears capable of accommodating millions.
Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer has tweeted support for EdenOS:
"EdenOS has the potential to evolve public blockchain governance and open source collaboration beyond plutocratic pseudonymity into identity-driven hierarchical representation. Its one of the most important explorations happening in crypto today."
I joined Eden without fully understanding how everything would work. The process for joining Eden was not trivial. First, I had to be invited. Then I had to complete several tasks on a checklist. Then came the Induction Ceremony, which was exactly as weird as it sounds. Then I had to fill out a profile and wait for the profile to be approved by three people. After that, I just had to pay membership dues and I was in.
Before joining Eden, an aspiring member is urged to study the ideas in Larimer's book. Having read and reviewed More Equal Animals, this item was no problem for me. But others might find the requirement to read a whole book onerous. If Eden wants to scale, a greatly condensed version of More Equal Animals might make this requirement less burdensome for lay persons.
Prerequisites for joining Eden also included reading and agreeing to the Eden Peace Treaty. This document lays out the group's initial parameters and governance procedures. The Peace Treaty is only about a page long. It's written clearly enough for lay persons to understand.
Additional prerequisites for joining Eden were technical yet trivial. These included selecting a profile picture and collecting links to my social media presence. I was also told to download an EdenOS image to use as a background on a Zoom call. This Zoom call hosted the Induction Ceremony.
The Induction Ceremony consisted of four participants. There was the inviter, two witnesses, and me, all with the same background on our video images. The Ceremony was scripted and lasted just over a minute. I was asked if I'd read the Peace Treaty and I said yes. Then I was asked if I'd agree to abide by this treaty and I said yes again. The witnesses were asked if they believed my answers and they affirmed that they did. Finally, I was deemed an Eden member.
These proceedings were recorded. After filling out my profile on Eden's website, I noticed that this recording was publicly viewable. To me, the Ceremony felt kind of strange. Its aesthetic and scripted call-and-response were unfamiliar and a bit awkward. But the video record the ritual produced has obvious utility. It is irrefutable proof that I've agreed to play by the same rules as the rest of the Eden community.
After the Ceremony I filled out my Eden profile and had to wait for my witnesses to approve the profile. This didn't take long, but it did take long enough that I began wondering if I had something incorrectly. Once I was approved, I had to pay membership dues by sending 10 EOS to the community's common fund. If I understand correctly, Eden's governance procedures will determine how this fund eventually gets used.
Eden's governance procedures involve something that's been termed 'fractal democracy'. People are divided into groups and each group selects a representative. Then the selected representatives are divided into groups, with each group selecting its own representative. The process repeats as many times as necessary to produce a group small enough to make decisions. Eden on EOS explains this fractal democracy visually.
The process of joining Eden is commemorated on the EOS blockchain with the issuance of EOS NFTs. The NFT made from my Eden profile can be viewed on AtomicHub. One such NFT is put up for auction for every new member. There's been chatter on Telegram suggesting that the final sale price of these auctions may be used as an indicator of a member's potential for being elected into a decision making role.
Overall, I'm thrilled to be part of the Eden community. This community may disrupt blockchain governance, making it more fair. It could also disrupt governance in general, though Eden's current membership requirements seem like a barrier to widespread adoption. The required 10 EOS donation in particular gave me pause. 10 EOS is real money. But I'm happy to contribute to the common good. And I trust Eden to serve that common good.