EOS is a 24/7 democracy, a digital democracy. The network has tools that work towards improving the system’s transparency, activeness, and decentralization. One of the is proxy voting, a way for token holders to delegate their voting power to other accounts without compromising their ownership of the tokens. But while this helps those who cannot research all of the block producer candidates, it also degrades the network’s decentralization because it concentrates voting power.
The big few
How powerful are the most significant proxies? Who do they represent and which BPs are getting their votes?
According to the data collected by the EOS Authority explorer tool, there are currently 261 million EOS tokens involved in the voting process, just about 25% of the total EOS and half of the staked tokens. But only approximately 35 million (13.4%) are casting their vote through a proxy.
From these 35 grand EOS votes, the biggest proxy has almost a third. The account “madeofstarks,” know as The Starkness gathers 12 million votes from only 28 accounts. Moreover, the biggest three of them make the most of its voting power, currently delegating 6 million, 3,5 million and 2 millions EOS. The most voted candidate is EOSflytoMARS, and their least voted, shEOS. The second biggest proxy is the Chintai Proxy that votes for only two accounts but reaches a voting power of almost 7 million EOS and their votes are distributed between the exchange’s sponsors and other BPs they find “exemplary”. “For this reason, the proxy managers have elected to release 5 votes on top of the 11 sponsors, totaling 16 votes to start”, Chintay wrote on their Medium blog.
We have to reach positions two and three to start seeing proxies supported by more accounts. The Luke Stokes proxy that stands in third place with 2.9 million votes represents the interests of 231 accounts. And fourth comes EOS Cannon, with 430 accounts which delegated their voting power to the proxy.
Voting decay also applies to proxy voting
Producer vote decay is a feature that was introduced in EOSIO Dawn 4.0. It intends to reward active voters with more influence while degrading the voting power of those who “set it and forget it” over time. The permanent voting process EOS runs are the only mean by which the community of holders can police the network to prevent malicious actions by any of the block producers.
Understanding how voting decay works is simple. After a user casts a vote, the power of that vote will decrease will time. If they leave their vote a whole year, it’s voting power decreases by half, and the pace keeps up until it reaches 0% voting power after 24 months have passed. Vote power decays on a weekly basis, so users who want to maintain their full voting power should recast their votes every seven days.
Vote decay also affects votes delegated to a proxy. Just like while voting for a BP directly, users need to recast their vote weekly. An interesting fact: currently, proxies are less affected by voting decay than block producer candidates. This means that generally speaking, users who proxy their votes tend to recast it more often than those who vote directly.