EOS Mainnet Token Swap Explained (July 2018)

In June 2018, the EOS mainnet was launched, where it was migrated from being an ERC20 token to a standalone coin. There has been a lot of controversy and confusion around this new mainnet, in particular around how to claim coins on the mainnet and how the mainnet works.

This guide will explain how the EOS mainnet token swap works, and summarise things like EOS voting, EOS wallets & the EOS ecosystem as a whole.


In principle, EOS is a third generation blockchain potentially very scalable up to millions of transactions per second, and allowing decentralised applications to be built on it.

The EOS ICO, where they distributed their ERC20 tokens, was launched by an organisation called Block.one. They created the base software for an EOS mainnet called EOSIO, and let the EOS community do whatever they want with it. So the EOS 'mainnet' both wasn't created by Block.one, and isn't the only mainnet on EOS. The community around EOS can create multiple mainnets, each competing to be the main one/most widely used.

Block.one have create a command line wallet for storing mainnet coins, but no graphical one at the time of writing this. Many posts we've seen suggest a clean & simple to use wallet interface needs to be developed before mainstream adoption of an EOS mainnet.

Disclaimer: The EOS mainnet is in its infancy and is not operated by Block.one, the company that created EOS. So be very careful using this mainnet.

Did you register before the ERC20 token freeze?

To claim coins on the EOS mainnet, holders had to register the address holding their ERC20 EOS tokens before June 2nd 2018 at 21:59:59 UTC. It's unclear what would happen to a person's tokens if they didn't register before this date, where unregistered addresses risk loosing all their EOS ERC20 tokens with no mainnet coins (there is a claimed backup solution, but it claims to only work for Ethereum addresses that have an outgoing transaction).

This process of registering for the EOS mainnet required holders to share their Ethereum private keys, which is generally a very risky thing to do, where whoever you share it with can steal your coins. So be careful if you have yet to do this, a website claiming to offer you mainnet coins may just steal your EOS ERC20 tokens (including other ERC20 tokens you might hold on that wallet).

Supporting EOS vs keeping your coins safe

There's a tough decision to make right now regarding supporting the EOS ecosystem and keeping your investment safe, as there's currently no hardware wallet available for EOS. Any large crypto investment should ideally be kept on one of these hardware wallets. Other things to be careful of:

  • Legitimate websites in the EOS space are very new, so may not have reached the maturity to be safe from attacks yet.
  • There are many ongoing scams to steal EOS mainnet coins, be careful to avoid these. Be aware that for an EOS mainnet to be created, 15% of all EOS tokens are needed to approve of its existence (so this offers some protection from scams, assuming that a malicious person doesn't hold anywhere near this number of tokens).

Voting is important to EOS, as it ensures honest block producers are in power and therefore protects the network (where EOS' consensus mechanism relies on users staking behind nodes in order to vote for those nodes to be 1 the top 21 block producers, where these top 21 block producers determine consensus on the EOS mainnet). This brings us to a dilemma, risk investment but support the mainnet, or keep your investment safe.

An extra thing to note is that the existing top 21 block producers are currently supporting a process to return funds to users if they can prove they were stolen. There is a lot of controversy around this at the moment as some users believe that this goes against the philosophy of a blockchain, where these block producers have far too much power and are too centralised.

If you'd like more info on EOS in general, see this Reddit post, or we've included some other useful information below.

What is my EOS public/private key?

When you received EOS ERC20 tokens in their ICO, these would have been sent to an Ethereum public wallet address. This public address is your 'public key' (sometimes called a 'receive address'), and the private address linked to this wallet is your 'private key'.

Voting with EOS

To vote with EOS, Block.one have created a command line tool called CEOS. This isn't very easy to use unless you're a programmer/computer scientist. A more user friendly way of voting that is claimed to have good endorsement is the Greymass EOS Voter tool (keeping in mind this isn't endorsed by us, we encourage you to investigate it thoroughly before considering using it). This video gives an overview of how to use this.

Is there an EOS Wallet

Both CLEOS and the Greymass EOS Voter tool can be used as wallets. At this point we can't really give any recommendations for which to use, we have just tried to pass on trends from the community.

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