On 19th June 2019, I decided, after a week of controversy in the Enumivo community, to conduct an investigation into block producer (BP) collusion.
My small investigation lead to the discovery that one person was in control of at least 8 BPs. Of those 8, 2 were in the top 21 and the rest within the top 30.
Even more worrying, I discovered that at least 7 of these nodes had, at some point, entered the top 21.
I had also discovered that multiple prominent members of the Enumivo community were voting on these dodgy BP nodes, and the dodgy nodes were returning the favour.
All of this confirmed what a small section of the Enumivo community always suspected: block producers were colluding for votes, and one person owned multiple BP nodes.
A Little History on the Subject
The issue of BP collusion is one which longstanding members of the previous ENU Council have tried to proactively solve. Numerous times.
However, each time we attempted to propose a solution we were shut down by a specific group of community members. The main reason for opposition was always the same: ID.
The solution put forward, numerous times, was to use development funds to vote on 30 BPs which met certain criteria. Said criteria always required BPs to verify their uniqueness.
However, the method used to determine uniqueness was a sticking point. Many BPs were from countries where revealing their identity had its legal risks.
This lead a section of the council to block any attempt to identify BPs. The lack of alternatives meant the issue was never addressed.
Each attempt at securing the chain resulted in punishment of my BP. The same group of community members, who opposed identification, removing their votes from it.
Aiden’s stance being that stepping in would only occur in an extreme situation. And rightly so.
Back to My Investigation
This time the punishment being due to the fact that I publicly called out dishonest BPs the night prior. We had dropped from the top 10 down to 20.
Meanwhile, random BPs I suspected of being dodgy were creeping up the table. I decided to do some searching and see if I can link any accounts.
Deciding that the best way to identify accounts would be to look for matching memo tags on transfers to KYC’d exchanges, I went to work.
My methodology was essentially to search the suspected ringleader’s (enulexlexlex) recent transactions for a transfer to ‘wallet4bixin’ or ‘bikibiki1enu’. Then I took a note of the number in the memo, which is unique to each KYC’d person.
The next task was pretty simple. I simply needed to find accounts which were also sending ENU, to the mentioned exchanges, with a matching memo tag.
The enumivo.qsx.io block explorer lets you check the voters of any block producer. So, deciding this was a good place to start, I headed there and began going through the accounts voting for the suspect.
I instantly found what I was looking for and began compiling a list of TX hashes and account names. When I had managed to find 17 accounts I sent a message into the Enumivo Telegram channel stating I was compiling some evidence.
Strangely enough, within minutes of my message, the block explorer’s ability to see who was voting on a BP had been removed. I tagged the creator (one of the opposers to identifying BPs) in a post to ask him.
Cue the Drama
The response I received was a tirade of abuse and, the person who manages the block explorer, explained he removed the ability to see the voters to make me “unhappy”.
This prompted an intervention from Aiden, as did the reluctance of enulexlexlex to explain what I had discovered.
To cut a long story short (you can see the full transcript across the ENU Chat and BP Talk Telegram channels), this resulted in a further tirade of abuse, the suspect simply leaving both groups and Aiden threatening to abandon the project.
Drastic Times, Drastic Measures
His plan is essentially to run 30 BP nodes and vote on them using some/or all of the ~44m ENU development fund. The drastic action will be temporary and he will not profit from it. Instead he will burn the inflation he receives as block pay.
He stated that this situation will remain until he loses his voting power or the community stakes enough ENU to outvote him:
“The chain will still run as normal but about 44M ENU under my control will vote all 30 nodes under me. If the community can beat my votes for another producer, then they deserve to join me and get their share of the inflation. This will go on until I will lose my voting power since I will continue to sell 1M monthly.”
He then went on to lay the gauntlet for the cartel, stating that they have enough time to stop him:
“If you don’t agree to any of my plans, or you oppose to it, you can stop me since it will take me days to prepare for the takeover. You can destroy the chain yourselves before I can save it, or you can collude and blacklist my account to prevent me from taking over. Then I will accept it and I will be gone if that happens. That is also a DPOS rule that I will have to respect.”
The Current State of Play
Other than that, the situation is one which sees 6 BPs controlled by the suspect remaining within the top 21.
Aiden is still preparing his nodes to take over and the portion of the community which erupted on the 19th has gone quiet.
I personally do not know what to expect but, in the meantime, I can give you a summary of what I found below. A full PDF of my findings with TX receipts is available below.
I ended up finding the following:
- Transactions to matching accounts on KYC verified exchanges.
- Accounts created by the original suspects
- Multiple BPs claiming their pay at the same time
- The same BPs funnelling all their pay to one account
- That account had sent ENU to both exchange accounts of the suspect
- All the BPs were voting in similar patterns
ThyThey voted for many people who blocked motions to identify the BPs originally
- They also included the same people who punished the eurnoproject BP, multiple times
- The suspect is in control of at least 17 accounts which held a total of 4,478,312.5151 ENU at the time of my investigation
Love, peace and happiness.