But we need to know who has what stake in these decisions and be able to evaluate how that may influence their opinion.
Besides the obvious fact that the owner of the company that created it had no experience in Finance Software Development, previously working in marketing/PR.
The public appearance of the Slockit team who made it was purely marketing. Everything they output lacks any real details or substance and when anyone ever talked about this they would react badly. Often with really arrogant or accusatory outbursts.
Their main concept is basically a smart lock that uses a raspberry pi and Ethereum to unlock doors based on money sent to a smart contract. Lets ignore that this concept does not require Ethereum and that changing a variable in a contract from a 1 to a 0 and having a raspberry pi short poll that and open a lock is not revolutionary or interesting. And lets ignore the massive security holes, from both regulations on doors and the fact that the contract could be gamed if the items in the house value more than the cost to open the door since interaction is anonymous.
The point that makes them reek of being a scam is their plan to fund this idea.
They seem to take credit for the entire distributed autonomous organization concept despite several already existing. They put out a white paper called "The DAO model" basically suggesting a DAO should only function as a investment group but in a way it had limited control and limited recourse if something went wrong. Then they had the audacity to name their DAO "The DAO".
The contract allowed for a group of people to pool their money into a single contract then elect a custodian, or rather a company to take those funds and use them, profit not arbitrarily taken by the company is given back to the DAO to reward investors.
To avoid legal responsibility they did not release this contract themselves, they made it open source and said that someone else would have to start it and begin the process of funding it, despite them making the marketing material including the website.
It was released, they marketed it and the idea was that they would become the first custodian of the money, taking whatever number of millions without selling a single share in the company and being able to dictate how much they give back. If they failed there would be literally no repercussion. The fact that anyone thought this was a good arrangement is absurd.
Many people including myself asked why there was not an upper limit on investments, their answer was that since you could split off from the original DAO. There did not need to be an upper limit so no one could buy 51% and steal the rest. This "feature" was the vector for the attack on the DAO.
The code was an embarrassment, with many common mistakes made by amateur programmers who have no experience working with money. For example, they incremented after doing the call function to transfer money.
When people did report issues to them, they ignored them and then made claims they did not affect them.
The ETH Foundation then used their own resources to promote the DAO. Both project founders and others were made "curators" who would vet the code of incoming proposals (one left quite quickly). Many of the ETH Foundation members invested in the DAO.
The first generation of this code, 1.0, with no prior testing was released and funded with 150,000,000 dollars.
Nothing in this explanation of terms or in any other document or communication may modify or add any additional obligations or guarantees beyond those set forth in The DAO’s code. Any and all explanatory terms or descriptions are merely offered for educational purposes and do not supercede or modify the express terms of The DAO’s code set forth on the blockchain; to the extent you believe there to be any conflict or discrepancy between the descriptions offered here and the functionality of The DAO’s code at 0xbb9bc244d798123fde783fcc1c72d3bb8c189413, The DAO’s code controls and sets forth all terms of The DAO Creation.
Then it fell apart because a loophole was found.
Firstly I'm a bit confused. I interpreted your initial comment as saying that it was a bad idea for the Ethereum protocol developer to hold $115k DAO tokens, but now I get the sense that you were saying the DAO, as a whole, was a bad idea. Could you just clarify which it is?
Secondly, I get the sense that you're making two types of claims: a) claims of incompetence on the part of the DAO/ETH team (which seems to be the general consensus) and b) claims of fraudulent malevolence.
As a layman, I'm interested in getting a better picture of the latter. Couldn't this "just" be a case of shoddy craftsmanship and absence of due diligence on the part of investors? I apologize, but I don't see the scam per se. Please be aware that I'm only superficially familiar with smart-contract technology.
The developer who works on the protocol should have known better and also read the code.
I also personally think that anyone working on the protocol should not be holding securities that the non profit foundation they work for is promoting. And they should then not be using those non profit funds to change the fundamental principals that were advertised to raise the funds.
The whole situation is a mess
* Would the software developers suck it up and follow the miners?
* Would the pool of software developers shrink because various developers do not find implementing the will of the miners to be an enjoyable hobby and/or job anymore?
* Would the miners hire new software developers to replace the ones that leave?
* Would there be a fork?
I don't know, but pretending that "the protocol is decentralised, the technology is completely agnostic to anything but the will of the majority" is ignoring the realpolitik of this kind of situation.
Saying that Ethereum implements the will of the majority is like saying American democracy implements the will of the majority. Sort of? But meanwhile there are a lot of empirical studies  demonstrating that the will of the people has little to no influence over American public policy. A democratic financial system is much more corruptible than a democratic political system.
By only saying that the problems will sort themselves out because a census controls the network doesn't address the other factors that can be influencing the decisions of the majority. Essentially a census-controlled network isn't infallible (i.e. bitcoin block size debate).
No one can come out and say, "We must change bitcoin. You should follow me because I created it."
By removing the founder role, Bitcoin is just that much more decentralized.
If the miners freely agree to accept a fork, were they really free in their decision or did they do it because of peer-pressure or because humans like to preserve groups more than anything else?
On the other hand: What would need to happen to "prove" independency of the organization?
Yes, just like a constitution. System architecture (political or otherwise) can not save mankind from the failings (of a subset) of itself.
Since miners are in for the money, usually they don't care about anything else as we see from other cryptocurrencies.
Also, don't mistake consensus of miners to consensus of users of the network, which is the biggest problem with most cryptocurrencies (BTS did well on that part).
So the miners do have quite a bit of say. Depends on what your strategy for hard-forking the PoW algo is. Or, you need to understand PoS.
It's in the blog post. Read it :P
In my defense, I've spent a lot of time on /r/ethereum where a lot of people think that 51% of miners are capable of changing the protocol.
Could you elaborate on the issue, I take it you're referring to this
> In a proof-of-work blockchain, nobody rational would follow a fork with less than 50% of the mining power behind it because it would be vulnerable to attack by anonymous miners unless there were also a change in the hashing algorithm that required an investment in different kinds of hardware.
But let's say we have Chain A with 51% and Chain B with 49%.
If the miners on Chain A want to attack Chain B, they'd have to move their computing power onto Chain B. In which case the miners from Chain B, could attack Chain A while they're busy doing their attack on Chain B.
In the end, it would be MAD (mutually assured destruction) unless the miners from one chain had enough to defend theirs while attacking the other. For that you'd need at least 66.6(repeating, of course)% miners on Chain A with half of those able and willing to perform an attack on Chain B.
I think this would be hard to achieve.
pro A: 51%
pro B: 49%
If B miners move to attack A, it means B will be successfully double-spent sooner. I'm not sure how best to coordinate the attack vs defense, but pretty sure ultimately the majority would win out. And yes, there is mutual destruction in play.
This is less of an issue with say, 67% and 33%.
Anyways, I also argue that there's only room for 1 secure PoW blockchain, and that's basically Bitcoin.
I read your blog post, but I didn't see where you mentioned that, so it's a little hard to argue with. I do disagree, however.
But you do make a good point, miners are centric to the platform. However, they have to all agree in order to make their opinion matter. Which requires a very strong opposition to the hard fork, in this case the hard fork is the best option so they'll agree either ways.
This simply is not true.
The hard protocol rules _define_ who is and who isn't a miner. If you violate the rules the system's participants are enforcing, you're not a miner anymore as far as the protocol is concerned.
A minority-miner pow-chain quickly loses credibility. If say a 67% coalition of miners say that a hard-fork will not happen, then the 33% coalition of miners are in a bind, even if the exchanges choose to support the 33% -- which they won't, because it's too vulnerable to double-spend attacks.
Ergo, the minority-miner pow-chain must either also hard-fork the mining algorithm (to require investment in new hardware), or hard-fork to a non-PoW system.
I do understand your definition of a hard-fork. What I'm talking about is a protocol-extrinsic, cryptoeconomic justification of my argument. There's a game of chicken involved, for example.
The only way I see to accept both arguments is to assume that miners are all highly technical while your current average users are not, but that seems like a stretch to me. The truth is that miners run the software that they think is most likely to benefit them financially and that is the one that is being championed by the biggest public faces of the community.
Isn't it a bit ironic to ask for disclosure, when one of the main reasons for cryptocurrencies to exist is their pseudonymity?
Kind of like a libertarian asking the police to investigate one of her bodyguard mercenaries.
They raised money for this non profit by advertising a specific kind of software that is immutable. But because some wealthy investors (including themselves) lost money in the security built on their software. They are using that raised money to make the immutable software mutable.
Why don't you google shit before sharing your uninformed opinion? Especially when suggesting I'm spreading "fear uncertainty and doubt" like we are at war, dick.
They are public figures who write blog posts too and have used that blog to promote theDAO, a security which they were invested in. Its cut and dry corruption.
>Why don't you google shit before sharing your uninformed opinion?
some good advice there genius.
When the DAO hack hit the fan Vitalik Buterin immediately instructed the exchanges to stop (and they did) and then started talking and planning for the hard forking within hours, this was not only a PR disaster (as it turns out it wasn't needed) but gave a clear signal to any spectators about where the power was centralized. He later tried to justify the decentralized nature by saying "see I had to beg the exchanges" https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/743972769717641216 but history shows a far different sequence of events than beg and hope they listen. Smart contracts have a bright future, just not the ethereum implementation/network/fiasco.
*e.g. http://pastebin.com/aMKwQcHR#L45 The ethereum foundation can reimburse exchange losses. Without a hard fork and rollback this damage will be permanent and the ecosystem will die.
I shorted ether after this whole debacle started but the fact it's still trading above $10 is mind-boggling. I believe in the technology and that this will benefit it in the long-term but for now, it's either in one huge bubble or someone is fixing things up.
Why not just call it BreX coin and drop the pretense?
The difference between the two stories is that my friend friend had a really good time. Why? Because he knew that he wasn't "investing", he was gambling. If your friend is gambling with more than he can afford, he has a gambling problem and should seek help.
The primary motivation should be investing in technology and the concepts behind it, not looking for instant-rich ROI.
Isn't TA like astrology...period?
i.e. not just to crypto-traders?
At one point his $12k became $40k. Proper risk management and he can then invest with his profits.
He probably shouldn't have gambled the $12k to begin with, even though the first spin of the wheel turned out ok.
Assuming $12k is a lot to this guy.
The ethereum website starts off with this line:
> Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference
The developers of Ethereum now want to censor transactions from a certain address and interfere with a certain contract because it ran exactly as programmed (including bugs).
That is why it's a controversial fork. If the only reason they're going against the stated principles of the network because the developers are heavily invested themselves... it makes it more controversial. If they're not invested in the next big contract to fail, will that one get bailed out as well?
For example: of course the judge would rule in favor of the company he's invested in. He wouldn't invest in a company if he didn't think it was a company with good, reasonable management!
I don't see any problem as long as this was disclosed ahead of time.
So the situation here is not so much like founder investing in his own creation, but rather like a founder investing in a user of his creation. Then the user screws up, and some want the founder to make a change in his creation to help that user...but that change might hurt other users who did not screw up.
It would be a better analogy if it was a developer of TCP/IP and something bad happened to their website so to fix it they fucked with TCPIP to fix an application level issue.
This whole debate wouldn't even be happening if not for all the core Ethereum people heavily invested in the DAO.
Zuck doesn't control the majority of shares, he controls the majority of voting shares. If FB started selling shares and using the proceeds of those shares to pay dividends to existing investors then it might be a Ponzi scheme if this were not disclosed in relevant documents.
I actually didn't feel comfortable sharing that since it didn't really matter but I did it indirectly in a reply just out of curtesy.
But it's funny, I try to be polite by not ignoring a comment, I get called "inconsiderate". You really can't please everyone.
Not respecting their decision to do so is at least equally inconsiderate.
This obviously isn't about "anyone" knowing, as you said yourself
> If they didn't want anyone to know they would not have done that.
It's totally fine not to like it, but it is a system that provides value for many people, and assuming there are more value to be provided from network effect is not a crazy idea (like when a business can have multiple steps in it's supply chain happen on the blockchain).
I get the impression that Etherium is really Vitalik Buterin, and the other names are window dressing. Is that correct?
So if you believe this than it's not him.
But yes, Vitalik gets the "many ETH-believers want him to be their ersatz satoshi" treatment. But IMO, he's ignoring those attempts and not encouraging it at all.
That address is Gavin Wood, who is not even part of the foundation.
> I get the impression that Etherium is really Vitalik Buterin, and the other names are window dressing. Is that correct?
No. There are a lot of other people involved in the branch, but Vitalik is the most known by far outside the community.
The gods of "libertarianism" must be laughing right now.
But it's totally cool and even funny that we throw people in prison, where they are kept in small enclosures, and where they often develop mental and suffer physical and sexual abuse, for not meeting our intrusive demands. Lol. Yeah it's the libertarians that are dogmatic psychopaths, not us.
Or may it be that you just want to rip all the benefits of living in a society but then want to be cool and "libertarian" and choose not to contribute to it?
We have a right to throw people in prison if they don't contribute money to our big projects. Yea it's those libertarians who are the psychopathic loons, not us.
>Or may it be that you just want to rip all the benefits of living in a society but then want to be cool and "libertarian" and choose not to contribute to it?
Why does one have to contribute to society to be permitted to live in a country and interact with other members of it? Why do we have to throw those who do not contribute in prison? Look what you're endorsing. You're like the High Sparrow.
You are contributing to being surrounded by members of society that are uplifted by that same society and that favors all. And again, if you don't like that, go and live away from civilization and don't pay your taxes, but stop complaining that you don't want to pay and then rip all the benefits the same.
Per capita wealth and GDP would be substantially higher, making for a more prosperous society.
Moreover, you can't justify imposing a debt on someone by the fact that you provided something to them without their asking for it. If I mow your lawn without you agreeing to pay me for it, I can't take you to court to demand you pay for the service on the basis that you benefited from having your lawn mowed.
Somehow you think all principles of justice and basic fairness go out the door if the holy government is the one behind the action.
OP is just concern trolling.
so, again, I'm more comfortable letting others reach their own conclusions, connecting the dots, taking action. I think whenever we deal with anonymity-enabling cryptocurrency systems, and distributed actors, the web, you need to find your own balance between not being too gullible at one extreme, versus, not being too paranoid or prone to mob justice or witch hunts on the other. if I were 100% certain I know what happened, I'd say it. but I'm not 100% certain, therefore I won't.
similar to my thoughts on Mt Gox a few years ago. we may never know the exact truth of what happened. but if you see certain definite facts, on the surface, a certain pattern, you can reach your own conclusions about what was hidden below the surface, and make future bets accordingly.
It's like when kids run around saying 'I know a secret!'
Either say it or keep it to yourself.
I do think there's value in making statements which help to stimulate thought in the reader and discussion. hopefully I succeeded at that. I said exactly as much as I'm comfortable with saying.
You didn't even link to any of the 'publicly available' bits of information you read.
well I for one care if I'm 100% sure.
UPDATE: HN won't let me delete this. yet HN allows everybody to downvote to oblivion, draining a user's karma, for any comment they make which doesn't align perfectly enough with the hive mind. mods also don't seem to recognize or act on the toxic juvenile attack-oriented commenting culture here. am I the only one with a love-hate relationship with HN over the years?
If you're not going to give us ANY information AT ALL then you're just wasting everyone's time by making 'I have a secret!' type comments.
I'm not upset, I'm just trying to explain to you why you are getting downvoted into oblivion.
I will contribute what I want, when I want, where I want, how I want. if you like it, value it, understand it, great, that's awesome. there's no need to attack or criticize. and to be very fair, if I applied your own criteria right back at you, to your comments, they would also fail. Your comments gave me no useful information at all. Instead all you've done is waste my time and those of the poor folks who've had to stumble across them. I said what I said, then, I wished to move on. If you also were privy to the same knowledge of recent public events in the Ethereum/Dao space, great, good for you. If you saw the same sequence of events and patterns, great, good for you. If you don't, oh well, I'm not obligated to do anything further for you personally. I would like to discover a website that's like HN, but a bit less toxic, so perhaps if you decide to help me with that, then in exchange I'd be willing to share with you more details behind the scenes as well. Otherwise, please chill. :-)
I have tried very hard to be polite to you. Please change your tone, or, just quietly move on. Thank you.
"ok thank you for the kind words"
has been downvoted to -1
HN mods/ownership: please remove the Downvote button. at best the staff/mods should be able to exercise it. because it's well past the time where it's been shown to have been abused by its current users. My vote: HN should continue to attract and retain smart people, and kind people. It should not attract or retain assholes.
HN mods/devteam: I vote please remove the downvote control for ordinary users, site-wide. its the simplest way to fix this old long-standing problem. simple, shotgun solution.
There are a million ways to talk about something without making strong assertions about it, e.g. "is this what it looks like? <link>".