Buterin Hints at No Fork

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Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s inventor, has made a no comment, comment, on the fork debate in ethereum’s ecosystem regarding an accidental freezing of some 500,000 eth which affects at least two projects, Polkadot and Iconomi, and may affect others.

Quit in contrast to Buterin’s suggestion of a fork after the DAO hack last year, with the proposal made just two hours after the event, this time Buterin stated:

“I am deliberately refraining from comment on wallet issues, except to express strong support for those working hard on writing simpler, safer wallet contracts or auditing and formally verifying security of existing ones.”

Since forks are pro-active, doing nothing means no fork. The comment, moreover, can be read as criticism of Parity by implying they had not been “working hard on writing simpler, safer wallet contracts,” even though Buterin of course did not catch the bug in question nor did any other coder.

Moreover, Geth has faced plenty of problems of its own, with the client DDoS attacked last year, bloating the blockchain. Again, they were quick to fork, to clear up the bloat, facing criticism of re-writing the blockchain.

What differentiates these situations is not clear, especially as Buterin stated just two days ago, prior to the hack, that “serial fork policies are the same as they were.”

A potential fork of ethereum to unfreeze 500,000 eth has been somewhat controversial, but an objective token holders vote has not been held on the matter.

The easily manipulable Reddit platform was on show last summer when reading comments you’d think most were against the DAO fork, even though in fact the vast majority supported it.

Ethereum’s price then went on to rise some 20x, courting the support of global multinationals who used it as the platform of choice for blockchain projects.

But the unaddressed hack might change perception as smart contracts might start being considered unsafe, with hundreds of millions easily lost, without any redress even in obvious cases.

Developers thus might stop working on them as years of hard work could be wiped out by one bug that no one could find except for some noob randomly trying commands.

In which case, they might as well go to bitcoin, or form their own project where such obvious mistakes are addressed to incentivize innovation and experimentation.

 

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