Greymass Team Update - First Half of 2019

Intro

2019 has been an exciting year for the entire EOS community. It’s hard to believe that we’re already approaching one full year since mainnet launch! We’ve been heads-down in work mode on a number of really awesome projects that we’re excited to share with you. In this post, we wanted to take some time to offer the community a major update on our recent progress.

We continue to focus primarily on two core offerings— world class block producer/network infrastructure and active participation in network governance. We believe these to be the two primary responsibilities of a block producer, so we continue to sharpen our focus to improve in these areas as much as possible.

On the infrastructure side, we continue to build tools that improve the security, user experience, and efficiency of the network and the applications that run on top of it — our wallet, APIs, signing protocol project, and producer hardware are all built with these goals in mind. On the governance side, we continue to do our best to serve as stewards of the network, guiding its evolution in line with the will of the token holder community and doing our best to maximize the network’s value. We’ve been active participants in network governance, making sure to both vote on-chain and to engage with the community on important topics in discussion forums of all kinds.

We are constantly looking to improve, and we love hearing from voters and the EOS community at large! Please feel free to reach out on Twitter or Telegram if you’d like to share your thoughts!

Now, let’s get into some detail on what we’ve been up to!

Team

First and foremost, we’d like to announce some major additions to our team. While many in the community know Aaron Cox (aka jesta) and Scott Sallinen (aka anyx) as the faces of Greymass, fewer know about the rest of the supporting team and associates— Daniel Fugere, Johan Nordberg, and (more recently) Myles Snider.

Daniel Fugere

Daniel is an entrepreneur and software engineer who develops applications that aim to improve the lives of others. At age 19, he started his first web company, through which he developed a health service application for residents of Quebec. He has since continued creating different web applications that have the ultimate goal of making individuals more aware of the issues around them, as well as build positive relationships with people in their communities. Over the last couple of years, he has worked as a web engineer and has done back-end as well as front-end programming for projects at big companies such as Pixar, Autodesk and Riot Games. A blockchain enthusiast and avid learner of everything crypto, Daniel has been involved with Greymass since its first steps, helping develop and engineer the nitty-gritty workings of the eos-voter app. He is also an avid promoter of lifelong health – in 2014, he rode his bicycle across Canada and raised close to C$12,000 for the Canadian Pain Coalition and Quebec Chronic Pain Association. He is also a finisher of the Ironman 70.3 race. At Greymass, Daniel focuses primarily on development of our new Anchor wallet (previously eos-voter).

Johan Nordberg

Johan is a prolific developer with a broad range of experience and a passion for open-source — he has released a multitude of open-source projects, many of which are widely used. He founded his first company at age 23 after releasing one of the first iPhone apps in the AppStore. Besides iOS development, his specialties are security research, systems design and web development. Johan is a strong advocate for the Open Web and believes that blockchain technology has the potential to fundamentally change the world for the better. At Greymass he will be focusing on building our upcoming dApps-platform.

Myles Snider

Myles Snider is the newest addition to the team, recently joining Greymass as a partner. Myles has been involved in the EOS ecosystem since long before mainnet launch. He previously lead research at Multicoin Capital , where he published a number of EOS-focused investment reports. He also created The Stablecoin Index , a tool to track and compare various stablecoin projects. Later, he founded a mainnet block producer called Aurora EOS before eventually joining Greymass. Myles has written extensively about EOS economics and governance, and he’ll continue to do so in his new role here. He’ll also focus on interfacing with the community and helping bring more awareness to Greymass’s core product offerings. Myles also hosts an EOS-focused podcast called EOS Voter and writes a bi-weekly newsletter about the EOSIO ecosystem.

Greymass Projects

Anchor — Our eos-voter Rebrand

Many of you are likely familiar with eos-voter , our desktop wallet (sometimes simply called the “Greymass Wallet”). Our goal since the inception of this project has been simple— to offer a highly secure, user-friendly desktop wallet that allows users to access the full set of features of EOSIO software. We’re really excited to soon debut the 1.0 version of our redesigned, re-branded, and much-improved successor to eos-voter, which we’re calling Anchor.

For even more details on the Anchor wallet, check our our latest blog post where we introduce the project. You can download the beta version of the wallet here (note: this Anchor installation will not overwrite or interact with your eos-voter installation, so no need to worry about the beta causing problems with your main wallet!). If you have questions or feedback, feel free to join one of our two new Telegram channels— the main wallet channel , or the developer channel .

eos-voter has been our flagship product since network launch, and we’ve been hard at work building out Anchor into something that’s even better. We’ve created a new look, feel, and branding for the wallet, and we’ve added a ton of new features. We’ll be launching with support for EOS, BOS, Meet.One, BEOS, Telos, and Insights Network. We plan to continue to support other EOSIO chains, and we’ll continue to add new tools and features to allow users to take advantage of everything that each of these chains has to offer, all through a secure and intuitive interface.

We’re still making some final additions and improvements to Anchor, but you can expect the 1.0 version to be released very soon! Below are some screenshots and short descriptions of some of the major components of Anchor.

The new “Account(s) Overview” section allows users to easily manage multiple accounts across different EOSIO chains. You’ll have easy access to information about your accounts, the tokens you hold, your network resources, and your governance decisions.

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The new wallet UI allows users to quickly and easily perform the most common actions— token transfers, resource management, and token leasing through REX. You can easily switch between accounts, depending on which action you’d like to take with each.

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The new governance section builds towards the same goal we had with eos-voter— to allow token holders to easily and actively participate in network governance. This section will allow you to vote for BPs, delegate your vote to a proxy, and vote in stake-weighted on-chain referenda. As governance evolves for various EOSIO chains, we will continue to add to this section.

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Our new “Tools” section currently serves as a miscellaneous roundup of various actions and features that users might wish to take advantage of. As time goes on, we’ll continue to find homes for various tools in the sections mentioned above. In the meantime, know that you can continue to take advantage of the existing tools from eos-voter, as well as the many new tools we’ve built specifically for Anchor.

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EOSIO Signing Request Standard

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One project we’re very excited to introduce to the EOS community is our EOSIO signing request standard. We’ve created an EOS Enhancement Proposal (EEP) for the project, which can be found here .

Our signing request standard takes information about a given transaction and encapsulates it in such a way that it can be auto-populated into any compatible wallet or signature provider. In other words, it allows for easy communication between applications and signature providers in a way that makes it easy to share or request a specific action on the blockchain from a specific account. What’s even better is that these requests can be put in many different formats, such as a QR code or a hyperlink (like this one ).

Sound confusing? While technical in nature, the signing request standard is actually rather simple. Have you ever gone to a website and clicked on an “Email Us” link, and then watched as that link auto-opened your preferred email client and filled in the address to which you’d be sending? Now imagine if you could do that, but for any arbitrary action on any EOSIO blockchain.

As an example, imagine you have a button on your website that says “Donate with EOS.” That button could link to a signing request that, when clicked on, automatically opens the user’s preferred wallet and prepares a transaction to transfer a specific amount of EOS from their account to yours. The user would simply have to approve the transaction, and they could send a donation in just a couple of clicks! Or imagine that a specific community member creates a referendum proposal. They could create a hyperlink that could be shared on Telegram, Twitter, email, and more that automatically creates a request within the recipient’s wallet to vote yes on that specific proposal. Instead of having to direct the user how to find the proposal within a given governance interface, you could simply share the link and have them cast a vote directly!

That’s what our signing request standard enables, and we’ve been hard at work building it out! We’ll publish a blog post soon with more details on how this standard works, and the various exciting ways that it can be used! If you’d like to get involved, feel free to join our Telegram group and read more about the EEP on Github .

Greymass APIs

Greymass continues to run some of the most widely-used and performant APIs on the entire EOS network. We dedicate a significant portion of our BP earnings to expand our infrastructure and pay data center leasing and bandwidth fees. We will continue to invest in infrastructure that helps the network itself and the apps and services built on top of it.

A few highlights of our API infrastructure:

  • We run a geographically distributed network of dedicated general-purpose API nodes for world-wide low-latency access, load-balanced to automatically route clients to the fastest node available.

  • We also developed a light history implementation and run dedicated light history nodes (and we’ve been happy to see a number of other BPs begin to run light history!)

  • We use top-of-the-line dedicated hardware (which we have purchased) located in our US data center for full history, which the geographically distributed network accesses for older history.

  • We have a custom API extension layer built upon all of our infrastructure to add additional calls to improve client/server communication.

Over the past few months we have invested roughly $40k USD into a few new server builds for our US-based data center. This includes a handful of small but powerful dedicated hosts (Intel 4.5ghz + 32gb RAM + Optane) and one much larger build to add more capacity/redundancy to our full history stack (Intel Xeon 6244 + 768gb RAM + 7x Optane). These servers are expected to come online for public use within the next month and will enhance our ability to provide services to the EOSIO community.

Further, we continue to explore various ways of improving APIs on EOS. We will be publishing more thoughts and building more tools in the near future on these issues specifically.

Governance

We believe that participation in network governance is a core part of the responsibility of an EOS block producer. We believe that this should take two forms— participation in governance discussions within the community, as well as on-chain voting. When we make governance decisions, we not only vote on-chain, but we also do our best to communicate our stance to the community through blog posts, social media, and discussion channels.

If you’d like to see our on-chain referendum votes, you can do so using this useful tool by EOS Titan . To keep track of BP approval votes, you can use this tool from EOS Authority . BP approval votes are requested from the top 30 ranking BPs at the time the approval is submitted. Any time we are in the top 30, we will review proposals, communicate a stance on them, and vote on-chain if we approve. Below are links to some of our blog posts, commentary, and ideas on recent governance initiatives.

  • Our support of the tokenauction referendum proposal

  • Our stance on the retiresaving proposal

  • Our commentary on how inflation affects decentralization in EOS

  • Our proposal for a “Worker Candidate” system for EOSIO chains

For additional commentary on various governance initiatives, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Telegram .

Roadmap

For much of 2019, our focus has been on designing, building, and testing Anchor. We’re extremely proud of the progress we’ve made and the product we’ve built, and we can’t wait to release the 1.0 version to the community. But we believe the release of Anchor will also mark an important turning point in the project, as it transitions from being something entirely built by Greymass into something that is built, maintained, and improved by a community of developers all over the world. We’re big believers in the ethos of open-source software, and we see Anchor as a type of “dApp” that can live, develop, and grow beyond our organization.

Another great thing about the Anchor release is that it will free up time for our team to tackle some other EOSIO ecosystem challenges we’ve been thinking about for quite some time. As many of our voters know, we’ve spent lots of time studying, building, and maintaining infrastructure for EOS APIs. Both of these efforts have given us great insight into how a number of various backend platforms could be improved upon to strengthen any network running on the EOSIO platform. Between new API endpoints, improved data structures, better communication protocols - there’s a lot we hope to contribute improvements towards.

You can also expect a brand new version of the Greymass website coming soon!

Finally, we’re continuing to look at how we can collaborate with, support, and improve other EOSIO blockchain ecosystems. We strongly believe that there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of interoperable EOSIO chains in the future. This will allow for experimentation and evolution at a speed that we haven’t yet seen in the blockchain world, and we’re excited to be a part of it. Anchor will launch with out-of-the-box support 6 different EOSIO chains — plus the ability for users to add custom blockchains — and we’ll continue to add more support where it makes sense. We also continue to explore other ways of supporting EOSIO infrastructure, including validation, other open-source tools, infrastructure services, second layer expansion (like DSPs), and much more. Stay tuned for more information on all of these projects as we explore each and every one! We’ll be sure to keep our community of voters updated as we do.

As always, thank you for your support. We couldn’t do any of this without the community of voters that backs us. If you’d like to continue to support our efforts, you can do so by voting for us at teamgreymass. We look forward to continuing to serve this community by building tools, adding value, and actively participating in this network!

Sincerely, The Greymass Team

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