EOS has been defined as:
“a consensus blockchain operating system that provides databases, account permissions, scheduling, authentication, and internet-application communication to massively improve the efficiency of smart business development that uses parallelization to make possible blockchain scalability to millions of users and millions of transactions per second.”
The ICO for ESO began this week, Monday June 26, 2017. An Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, is an unregulated (as far as I know) method to raise funds for a new cryptocurrency venture.
The ICO for ESO is structured differently from most other initial coin offerings. There is an initial 5-day sale, then every 23 hours (for 350 times) there is another sale. I think the 23 hours is a clever way to be fair to people living around the world, and not tying the 24-hour day to any one time zone. Based on how much Ethereum you “contribute”, you will get a proportionate share of ERC-20 tokens.
By creating the ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, every token issued on the Ethereum network can be considered a “sub-currency” of the Ethereum network. This means it can be readily traded on the existing exchanges. Ethereum is the best blockchain currently available to execute “smart-contracts” and thus is being used to handle the distribution. Some people are already claiming that EOS may be the Ethereum “killer”. See also https://steemit.com/eos/@trogdor/the-eos-ico-for-dummies (SteemIt seems to be the source of Dan Larimer fans and cryptogeeks who will be the first to buy this distribution. So look there for the best information on the technicalities of how to buy.
There is some trust required in the EOS launch, as a person must buy ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum change.
They EOS instructions have “scary language” like this:
EOS TOKENS MAY HAVE NO VALUE. 7.9. EOS Tokens Will Become Non-Transferable. Buyer acknowledges and understands that EOS Tokens will become non-transferrable within forty-eight (48) hours after the end of the EOS Distribution Period.
In English, what this means is: They won’t be transferring the tokens from the Ethereum blockchain to EOS blockchain, if that is even possible. Instead, new tokens will be created on the new EOS blockchain when it is available, and will built to match the ownership already established of the ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
The website was originally blocking people in the United States. Now instead of block them, they just have to click a few buttons and swear they are not US Citizens; then apparently they are allowed to continue. This is probably to avoid breaking any US laws.
According to COB on SteemIt, this same technique has been used by the Dan Larimer family of blockchains and cryptocurrencies, such as Muse and BitShares. Cob also emphasizes that it’s critical for any blockchain to have a widely distributed ownership stake.
Sandwich on Steemit, gives a guide to buying your ERC-20 tokens with MyEtherWallet (MEW), along with guidelines and protections, but instead, he recommends using the official EOS launch/distribution page http://eos.io/distribution with MetaMask integration. MetaMask is accomplished with a free plugin to the Chrome browser.
All in all, the whole thing is a little scary, and there are lot of steps involved. I think this means that mostly techies and high end investors with techie staffs will be the first to invest. However, this maybe one of those opportunities of a lifetime, to get in on the world’s future “operating system on a blockchain”, which stands to revolutionize the world.