Arguably the most important contribution of Ethereum is the real-world implementation and accessibility of smart contracts.
From smart contracts follow decentralized applications or “dApps,” which enable common users to interact with financial and other purposes of the blockchain without necessarily needing to be cryptocurrency savvy. So many smart contracts and dApps have been launched on the Ethereum network that it has seen severe congestion at times, which has led to the development and implementation of third-party platforms which are still connected to the Ethereum network but enable more efficient operation through different methods of processing finalized transactions on Ethereum. Several have been launched over the past couple of years, including Raiden (developed by an Ethereum co-founder). However, other projects, like EOS, have abandoned Ethereum altogether in pursuit of alternative scaling technologies.
Smart contracts and dApps already operating on the Ethereum network may recognize the value in moving to a more scalable option such as EOS, but until now there would have been a great deal of work involved in porting such applications to the EOS architecture.
shEOS, a firm which helps companies launch EOS tokens and provides important infrastructure for that network, has recently created a new protocol called EOS21 which enables the smooth transition of ERC-20 tokens (standard Ethereum tokens and smart contracts) to the EOS ecosystem. “We think developers should have that technical and creative freedom, so we designed a protocol to make it possible,” the firm says of the development. They also wrote:
“Recently, the importance of one specific development has become clear to us, and that is inter-blockchain communication and interoperability. […] How empowering would it be for developers to have freedom to move their tokens to any chain they wanted to? To any chain they felt best addresses the needs of their particular project. It’s widely known that each blockchain offers certain qualities that make it more appealing depending on the needs of the dApp developer.”
What This Means for Users
Everyday users of Ethereum dApps may not immediately see any change, but ultimately this project could lead to an exodus from Ethereum mainnet to the (in some ways) more attractive EOS environment. EOS is capable of settling transactions faster and handling more users. There are dedicated servers operated by numerous firms including shEOS. The benefits to common users may not be seen for a while, but for developers and firms looking to improve their Ethereum dApp products, the EOS21 protocol could certainly be a gamechanger.
Potential applications of the protocol are myriad, including “two-way pegging.” This would mean that EOS tokens could be paired with traditional Ethereum tokens for some applications, a powerful possible implementation. The firm even foresees ETH transactions being authenticated via EOS, or vice-versa. Furthermore, a pro-open-source firm to the core, shEOS openly encourages similar projects or even other blockchains like Ripple/Stellar to copy their idea and build on it.