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Ethereum Protocol Developer Holds $115k Worth of DAO Tokens (aakilfernandes.github.io)
121 points by aakilfernandes on June 30, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 132 comments

IMO there's nothing wrong with him owning the tokens. But he, and every other core developer, should have explicitly disclosed this before any discussion of a soft/hard fork. He can't be the only one core developer who does. And to be honest, I would want the other core developers to have invested in something like the DAO.

But we need to know who has what stake in these decisions and be able to evaluate how that may influence their opinion.

If you knew more about the DAO you would laugh at anyone would thought it was a good idea

Why don't you enlighten us? Right now your comment amounts to "you're so wrong". Not very helpful or interesting...

Why not, but its a long story:

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.

This was an interesting read, so first and foremost thanks -- I'm glad you took the time to spell it out.

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.

My point was that anyone would look at theDAO concept and invest 115,000 is a mind boggling to me. Its not a good arrangement for the investors.

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

As someone who took part in the initial Ether offering I was curious about the DAO hype and thankfully saw right through the bubble of naive idealism and saw the fact that slockit was behind it as being very dubious. I used the hype to sell some ether in the run to the DAO. The benefits while cool sounding were wishful thinking and the perception that DAO tokens were risk free yet built on a very risky first generation of an open language led to stupid amounts of money going into it, making it probably one of the best targets for a hack in a while.

That's the cool part about consesus, if the majority of miners disagree with the fork, even the founder himself can't do anything about it.

I keep seeing this idea invoked over and over again, and it's starting to bug me. The problem with this idea is that it conflates technical decentralization and the spirit or ideals of decentralization. The latter can be betrayed or degraded even while the former is preserved. Just because the miners aren't compelled by the network architecture to implement a fork doesn't mean that there aren't social dynamics which have the effect of centralizing decisions made by those miners. "Consensus" doesn't have any inherent value or rightness. Consensus is just a majority of a group electing to do something. In the world of the decentralized web, consensus is positive only when network nodes are truly acting autonomously. It's best when this means that each node acts in self-interest, without regard for or in ignorance of the interests or positions of the other nodes. This is not what's happening on the Ethereum network. There's a huge amount of coordination. Ethereum is a network that hasn't individuated itself from a relatively small group of creators/maintainers/community members. As long as the network depends on these people for strength and stability, the miners will be biased to carry out the wishes of those people. Otherwise the miners risk losing whatever value they've accrued through their work. So yes, the fork only happens through a consensus of the miners. But it hasn't been established that the miners are capable of independent action.

But what's your point? Ethereum is not decentralised because... there are social dynamics? What do you want to do about it? The protocol is decentralised, the technology is completely agnostic to anything but the will of the majority. Of course there will be social dynamics and people will discuss things and read things and coordinate and influence one another. That does not invalidate the whole thing.

Suppose for a minute the miners and the software developers disagreed strongly on some important decision. What do you think would happen?

* 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 [0] 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.

[0] https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/fi...

I think the point they're making is that there's this common "Fallacy of the Census", which is like an appeal to popularity.

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).

We have to assume Satoshi saw this problem and actually did something about it.

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.

I like the Ethereum has a founder and leadership team. I just want them to use their influence wisely.

It is better without it. Their leadership position is a bigger liability than it helps.

Yeah, recent events show the lack of leadership causes its own problems.

That reminds me of philosophic "free will". Am I really free to choose or are my thoughts and surroundings "forcing me" towards.

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?

> The latter can be betrayed or degraded even while the former is preserved.

Yes, just like a constitution. System architecture (political or otherwise) can not save mankind from the failings (of a subset) of itself.

However, use of cryptocurrencies is opt in and thus caveat emptor. The constitution OTOH is not opt-in, nor for practical purposes opt-out. You're shackled to it at birth.

Well there is a small caveat in this case. The majority of the people doing the mining run on clients that are hosted on just a few github repositories that are run by the main development team. If the developers push changes to these repos implementing the soft/hard fork... yes it is theoretically possible for these miners to reject the changes and continue on mining using the old clients but what is probably going to happen is that practically everyone is going to update to the new client and accept the forks as a patch. This is for the simple reason that most people want to keep their clients up to date and have no strong opinions on the matter. This way the development team can turn every "I don't care" vote into a "fork" vote. The idealization of independent miners is for all practical purposes an illusion.

Yes moreover the miners do care. About their profits. And not wasting electricity. Their best bet is to mine on the most likely successful codebase, which will be the core developer's code. Even if they disagree with their change!

This has been proven wrong many times in Bitcoin and Ethereum

That's a bit of an illusion though. In theory miners have a choice, but until there is an alternative with some kind of authority and following, then they are in danger of losing money by not using the new version of the de facto client which most will use unless the devs go as far as to hardcore the transfer of all funds to their own address.

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).

Outside of crypto-anarchist circles, there's nothing cool about a 'democracy' where the only people who can vote are those who own the means of production.

Outside of rich investors who lost money and what it back you mean. Yeah plutocracies are pretty much bullshit in any circle of people who are not already rich.

Thats actually not how hard forks work. If the nodes run by the exchanges, the "economic majority", decide to fork, pretty much everyone else has to follow. Miners don't really have a say.

In PoW, ultimately the miners have the say. It's just that they're incentivized to do what the "economic majority" has to say, otherwise the economic majority can choose to hard-fork the mining algo (requiring a change in hardware investment), or, can switch to PoS, say.


That would be a soft fork. For hard forks, the miners have very little input.


Well, if you don't find a new mining algo that requires investment in new hardware, a blockchain with a minority of mining power behind it is vulnerable to the major chain. So nobody will use it, unless they didn't know what they were doing.

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

Hey, admittedly I responded without reading your blog post. Sorry about that.

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.

51% can, but 49% can't, because the 51% can attack the 49% easily, using the 49% rules, on the 49% chain. So 49% of miners can't force a protocol change, unless the community (majority economy) can also agree on which PoW algo (with different hardware requirements) or PoS algo to hard fork to.

Good point.

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.

Yeah you're right, it gets weird with close calls.

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.

> 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.

Dude, he wrote the blog post. lol

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.

The mining algo has nothing to do with it. As soon as the hard-forked clients get to the block on the non-forked chain where the hard-fork causes it to be rejected, it will reject the whole chain. It doesn't matter how long the chain is or how much work was applied, if the rules don't allow for the block it's rejected (and therefore the whole chain).

See my other response.

He wrote it...

> In PoW, ultimately the miners have the say.

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.

They're both true.

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.

True, but the core developers still have an outsized impact on the miners decision.

There's a conflicting argument happening in relation to the DAO incident: 1. Users can't be expected to know the ins and outs of the contract and its ramifications so they should not lose their investment due to the exploited contract bug. 2. Miners are autonomous and can run whatever software they want. They make technical decisions about which code changes to accept on their own.

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.

> But he, and every other core developer, should have explicitly disclosed this before any discussion of a soft/hard fork.

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.

These are public figures who work at a non profit foundation. That same non profit foundation was used to promote a security built on the software they develop.

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.

It's a private individual working at a private company - whose investment was already public knowledge. OP is just spreading FUD.


"Founded July 2014 in Switzerland, Stiftung Ethereum’s mission is the promotion of developments of new technologies and applications, especially in the fields of new open and decentralized software architectures."


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.

He doesnt work for the foundation - he left a year ago to setup a new company..

>Why don't you google shit before sharing your uninformed opinion?

some good advice there genius.

I agree. idk how much disclosure there was, but they are inextricably related and it should be inferred they own tokens. In other news, startup founder owns equity in his start up...

Its not a startup founder, its not a startup and so your point just shows that you lack understanding in the topic you are commenting on.

The Ethereum situation is very sad, a great idea flawed by centralization of power (or influence if you want to be pedantic in terms), and whilst you could argue technically all the miners control the network and anyone can participate if you look at recent events it is currently clearly dictated by Vitalik Buterin, slock.it and a few other heavily invested and conflicted* individuals.

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.

Ethereum is such a mess! I have a close friend that invested $12k in ether, then the value increased to $40k, then he invested a ton into the DAO, which tanked, then he doubled down and purchased even more DAO at a discount on the assumption of a fork that would reimburse DAO tokens to parity and he would make a killing. He's sweating bullets over all of this. Last night he was going nuts over the soft fork crisis. I don't know how he does it, $12k is a lot for him

Investing 101: never invest more than you can afford to lose.

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.

Even more important, Never speculate with more than you can afford to lose.

Alternatively: A market can afford to be 'wrong' for longer than you can afford to bet against it.

All investing is speculation.

ill agree nothing is zero risk. But there is way safer stuff than DAO

Fully agree, I worked with the real jr mining industry, it's the exact same kind of bullshit.

Why not just call it BreX coin and drop the pretense?

TheDAO was explicitly a bad investment, it was like investing in Slockit but without having any actual shares or legal recourse.

My friend invested $5000 at a blackjack table in Macau, at one point his $5000 had increased to $40000. He ended up walking away with $2000.

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.

Indeed, I have as much sympathy as your friend as someone who stresses over his 'investments' in alpha quality cryptocurrency software.

The primary motivation should be investing in technology and the concepts behind it, not looking for instant-rich ROI.

That is precisely how I trade. My positions depend on my long-term belief in the technology, if I believe in it then the general direction of my positions will reflect that. I'll short it, yeah but I'll always have a stash.

Sounds more like speculation / gambling instead of investing.

It really is much like that. Some people rely on Technical Analysis to make sense of things but TA is like Astrolgy to most crypto-traders.

> but TA is like Astrolgy to most crypto-traders.

Isn't TA like astrology...period? i.e. not just to crypto-traders?

I can't speak to stocks, but I use TA tools for some relatively ineffecient markets that just have fundamental volatility and trends. I could write my own methods and algorithms but the TA guys already wrote them for me.

To be honest, I am not familiar with other forms of trading so I didn't want to make that statement.

Sounds like greed to me. Don't invest more than you can afford to lose.

At one point his $12k became $40k. Proper risk management and he can then invest with his profits.

Yep, this is why pro's have clearly established stop-loss and take-profit levels before they enter a trade.

Exactly. Take the 300%+ return . Get out of the game ahead. Doubling down is risky.

Heck at least pull your principle out and ride the rest.

Hindsight bias.

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.

Sometimes having skin in the game can help one learn. But one must never forget to learn, must develop a risk mitigation strategy that allows one to continue saving.

He can still sell his DAO tokens at nearly at par, what is the problem?

Why wouldn't a founder invest in something they created and believed in? This is how any founder makes money, they put time/money into their creation, hoping it will pay off. I must be missing something?

He's invested in a specific contract someone else created on the network. Not specifically invested in the currency itself.

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?

First, realize that this logic applies to any conflict of interest.

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!

They've proposed a hard or soft fork of the software. Them owning these tokens may bias them to serve their own interests above those of the Ethereum project as a whole. Even if they remain completely unbiased, there is at least the appearance of conflict of interest which may harm the project.

I don't see any problem as long as this was disclosed ahead of time.

I'm a little unclear on this whole thing, but I believe that Ethereum and The DAO are distinct things. Ethereum is a virtual currency, and The DAO is something built on top of that virtual currency.

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.

Thats a failure of an analogy.

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.

Not surprising in the slightest.

This whole debate wouldn't even be happening if not for all the core Ethereum people heavily invested in the DAO.

Why haven't people realized the bitcoin-esque products are all Ponzi schemes that developers hope to cash in on? If the product has even mild success, the developer has created wealth for themselves.

Following the same logic; Zuckerberg controls most of Facebook's shares, it must be a huge Ponzi scheme.

Neither are Ponzi schemes, neither FB, nor the DAO use income derived from the sale of securities to drive the payment of dividends on those securities.

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.

Facebook is providing value outside of a small sphere of followers. Bitcoin is a feedback loop.

I live in a country with backwards financial laws; no PayPal and ridiculous credit card regulations. Bitcoin has been the only way I could purchase stuff/ pay for books/servers online. No one can take away the fact that it has changed my life more than Facebook ever could. Certainly I am one data point but to discard the entire technology just because one doesn't see the value in it seems self-centric and hasty.

> I live in a country with backwards financial laws; no PayPal and ridiculous credit card regulations. Bitcoin has been the only way I could purchase stuff/ pay for books/servers online.

What country?

IP block


Obviously important?

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.

Instead of just posting 'Tunisia' you made hundreds, maybe even thousands of people waste their time looking up an IP range in Google. That's just inconsiderate.

If people had minded wasting their time they wouldn't have wasted it in the first place. My comment makes perfect sense without the word 'Tunisia', hence, I didn't make anyone waste their time. But if I did, I am glad those who won't get my comment now have yours to save them those precious seconds. sigh

But it's funny, I try to be polite by not ignoring a comment, I get called "inconsiderate". You really can't please everyone.

I don't know about the political situation there, but that's just one of the hundreds of possible reasons the poster might want to refrain from directly naming the country.

Not respecting their decision to do so is at least equally inconsiderate.

They posted the IP range of Tunisia. If they didn't want anyone to know they would not have done that.

Read my comment again, I specifically said "directly naming". "IP Block x.x.x.x/x" isn't exactly something you can search for, or even easy to understand for people outside of HN.

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.

Out of curiosity, how do you buy bitcoin?

I actually don't because I can't. I won 1 btc at a small competition on r/Bitcoin (Hidden private key kinda game) last year and been trading with it, I spend the profits.

Good for you! But that's not a success story for bitcoin. A succesful currency is one people get by selling goods and then use to buy goods.

Thank you! The profits I make are actually in bitcoin, I can only spend bitcoin so I have the second part covered. I plan on working for Bitcoin once I graduate.

Those sellers are located away from me and I am a student, the prices are way out of my budget.

It is just as much a feedback loop as PayPal or the Swift network. Bitcoin is very useful to those who transfer money internationally (I pay 6% on ATM fees in foreign countries), who pay online (no more 3% VISA/MasterCard fee!), who buy things the state does not approve, and anyone who believes money should not be based on debt like our current system is.

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).

Isn't it a bit like saying that the dollar is a feedback loop? If you never spend dollars, or trade them, indeed they're of no use to you…

Not at all. Dollars are required to be accepted for all debts, public or private, within the United States.

Bitcoin certainly provides a plenty of value to many people, I can't remember the last time I wasn't paid in bitcoin. And it's not because I don't accept other forms of payment, but because other forms of payment really suck when you need to instantly send larger amounts of money to someone.

This seems oddly controversial, I guess the downvoters didn't see the original comment.

Giving oneself a nice starting position is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a Ponzi scheme.

The creators creating massive wealth for themselves does not imply that the thing was necessarily a ponzi scheme that destroyed wealth. For example, the price of Bitcoin may never go down. See Moldbug's definition of money, as being essentially a bubble.

So the creator of bitcoin is just trying to cash in on a Ponzi scheme, but hasn't yet moved hundreds of millions of dollars from their creation addresses?

This person is Vitalik Buterin, right?

I get the impression that Etherium is really Vitalik Buterin, and the other names are window dressing. Is that correct?

Vitalik has said[1] that he has put 1500 ETH into TheDAO (0.3% of his ETH holdings).

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.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/4pgf03/fork_call_...

> This person is Vitalik Buterin, right?

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.

Welcome to the new financial overlords much better than the old financial overlords.

The gods of "libertarianism" must be laughing right now.

At least no one threatens to throw me in prison if I don't pay taxes to support Ethereum.

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.

You can always go and live in the jungle. Seriously, if you don't want to contribute to society then why don't you just leave? Nobody will force you to pay taxes from then on.

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?

Hey people who live under Sharia Law can go live in the desert so they have nothing to complain about.

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.

Because you rip the benefits of being surrounded by people that had an education paid by the state, that were allowed to live because they had healthcare paid by the state, because they had mobility paid by the state, and a big number if things paid by the state. Not only that but you most probably benefited from all those things paid by the state as well.

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.

I don't reap any benefits. The level of education would have been far higher if the state did not impose an income tax and did not provide government education or social welfare payments.

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.

It is a private individual at a private company - and his investment was already public knowledge:


OP is just concern trolling.


"interesting"? big heist? You must share.

well, everything I saw was right out there in the public record.

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.

Stop playing coy. What happened?

You can't just tease us like this, if you won't say it then don't make a comment about it!

It's like when kids run around saying 'I know a secret!'

Either say it or keep it to yourself.

disagree. but you disagreeing does not mean I should be downvoted below one, ha! ;-)

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.

Just say it, who cares if you're not 100% sure? You're not stimulating any useful conversation right now cause you didn't say anything of value. All you said is you noticed 'something interesting' which could literally be anything.

You didn't even link to any of the 'publicly available' bits of information you read.

> Just say it, who cares if you're not 100% sure?

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?

Why can't you link to the publicly available stuff you read online?

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.

man/woman/dude/whatever... seriously, just relax. I'm not obligated to do anything for you, or to conform to your world view. :-)

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.

Don't mind him, he's just been bullying people on this thread.

ok thank you for the kind words

for the record, my comment:

"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.

only on HN can I politely thank a fellow user, and for that social crime my comment is downvoted to oblivion, draining my karma. this site is unbelievably nasty at times.

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.

Only those with high karma accounts can downvote. For example I myself do not have the ability to downvote.

Stop the crocodile tears. It doesn't matter if you're polite. You're engaging in the worst kind of rumor and FUD spreading possible, and you deserve to be down-voted for it.

There are a million ways to talk about something without making strong assertions about it, e.g. "is this what it looks like? <link>".

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