The DAO: An Analysis of the Fallout

Michael del Castillo, Coindesk, Jun 19, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Not long ago I linked to and described the DAO, a bockchain-based corporation employing a system called Ethereum to create 'smart contracts' to crowd-source startup funding. This week the system was hacked barely weeks after being launched, with millions of 'ethers' worth $US 50 million drained from its accounts. Today a second attack drained even more money. More. Now, maybe - maybe - the transactions can be rolled back. "A 'soft fork' in the code that would essentially blacklist the address with the 3.6m ether in question; a 'hard fork' that would actually return the funds to their state prior to the attack; or do nothing and let the system sort itself out." If this works, the overall result could actually be good for Ethereum - you can't profit from hacking if it can simply be rolled back? In the short term, though, the value of Ethereum currency is collapsing. Related: transcript of an interview with the alleged attacker.

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