Code != Law

by Dr Bryant Joseph GILOT Code is Cruel generated criticism and discussion which I read with great interest. Ethereum: What’s the fuss? shows my enthusiasm for the Ethereum Project. Below, I continue the conversation. The Current Situation The DAO was hacked on 17 June 2016.  The Ethereum Community voted for the soft fork proposed by the Ethereum Foundation only to abort it due to a denial of service vulnerability.  A hard fork is now widely viewed as the best approach to recover the ‘stolen’ funds.  The DarkDAO is subject to a 27 day holding period under the terms of the DAO Ethereum contract.  This will prevent the DarkDAO from being drained until 27 days after 17 June 2016.  I have not confirmed the exact moment

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DAO Dilemma: Hard Fork or No Fork

Why I changed my mind and now endorse a hard fork Introduction This post is inspired by a live discussion led by Andreas Antonopoulos on June 29, covering the most recent developments in TheDAO and Ethereum. This excellent discussion can be viewed in its entirety here. The opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the panelists or other researchers at CryptoIQ. In the spirit of full- disclosure, I own both DAO tokens and ether. Nothing here should be construed as investment advice. A Costly Experiment Shortly after TheDAO hack came to light, and it became evident there is an unintended flaw in the code, allowing an unscrupulous party to enrich itself at

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Code is Cruel

by Dr Bryant Joseph GILOT – 19 June 2016 Recent events at the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) are unfortunate. Despite the gravity of the consequences; we, the cryptocurrency community, must be certain to proceed in a very thoughtful, prudent and deliberate manner. A reactive and emotional response will have a long lasting impact on the entire cryptocurrency community, including Bitcoin. I wish to offer my condolences to all those who have been negatively impacted. What has happened has been perpetrated by a cruel individual or individuals, is unfair, and is not consistent with the true spirit of the DAO smart contract code. A vulnerability of the DAO contract code has been exploited causing the DAO, its courageous participants and the

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Decentralized Autonomous Organizations from a legal perspective.

Smart contracts are an idea that date back to the 1990’s [1]. Until very recently and practically speaking even now smart contracts are difficult if not impossible to create in practice. The implementation of a decentralized, trustless public ledger provided an important component for smart contracts to become practically viable. Some thinkers have taken the idea further and envisioned corporations or non-profit organizations structured as smart contracts. In 2014 a project called Ethereum [3][4] set out to create a platform devoted to smart contracts bringing smart contracts a step closer to reality. Ethereum went live on July 30 2015 [5]. It is now possible to create in code (or with visual tools) a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) [8] on the

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New Internet Technologies To Remedy The Unfairness of Clickwrap Contracts

“Courts do not enforce consumer-proffered online terms as enforceable contractual terms, but they also do not admit that this is what they are doing. Courts instead exclude the consumer preference from the four corners of the online agreement. What the company wrote is “the contract,” and the expression of consumer preference is simply not part of that contract. Courts manipulate the contours of the contractual agreement to exclude expressions of consumer preference in online agreements. If, however, consumers were able to somehow express their preferences unmistakably within the contours of what courts consider to be the online agreement, then courts would have no choice but to recognize consumer-proffered online contract terms. Instead of just clicking “I Agree,” consumers could actually

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Smart Contracts and Insurance on the Blockchain

Introduction Smart contracts are a new and exciting area in computing science. Their application in finance, gambling, e-commerce, and automation of various tasks that are currently performed semi-manually is very promising. Smart contract are computer scripts (software) that aid in the self-execution and self-enforcement of traditional contracts. For the first time in history money or more precisely digital tokens, like bitcoin, are native to these software contracts, opening up wide areas of possibilities. Having money as a native type available to a computer program is a big deal. It allows the removal of the whole complicated layer of payment processing that current websites, apps, and other software systems have to deal with. One area that might benefit immensely from smart

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Ethereum For Everyone

 Introduction Everyone should know about Ethereum—and this article will explain why. The goal here is to describe this groundbreaking software project in layman’s terms. A big-picture approach will be taken, analyzing Ethereum’s design and implementation with comparisons to legacy computer systems. Liberty will be taken to simplify some of the technical details, so emphasis can be placed on the fundamental architecture and socio-economic implications of this radical innovation. Ethereum is an ambitious open source endeavor that promises to change the world by revolutionizing the utility of the Internet [1]. There are far-reaching implications for engineering a better, more honest world. Ethereum is creating a “truth” protocol with unlimited flexibility, allowing anyone and everyone to interact peer-to-peer using the Internet as

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Ethereum: What’s the fuss?

The inspiration for Bitcoin has largely emerged from discussion and work based in the cypherpunk movement beginning in the 1970s into the 1990s and continuing into today[1],[2],[3].  The thought of digital currency entered into the collective consciousness via Neal Stephenson fictional work Cyrptonomicon[4] published in 1999.  However in 1982, David Chaum published[5] an article formally introducing secure digital cash.  Chaum went on to form DigiCash[6] in 1990 applying his ideas about digital currency. Bitcoin evolved beyond this original work by removing the need for a trusted third party.  This was achieved with the innovation of a peer-to-peer, consensus based public ledger (blockchain) cryptographically secured by digital signatures[7] and proof of work[8],[9],[10],[11] which eliminated the need for a trusted third party[12].  The token, bitcoin, is tracked

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Rootstock – Smart Contracts on the Bitcoin Blockchain

by Albert Szmigielski As a concept the Rootstock [1] platform is one of those ideas that once it is proposed it is obvious that it is a great idea. Essentially Rootstock aims to be what Ethereum is, a decentralized, Turing-complete smart contract platform. However, Rootstock aims to utilize the Bitcoin ecosystem rather than creating a new one from scratch. The way this will be accomplished is via the still not fully implemented sidechains technology [2]. This approach presents both advantages, and its own set of challenges. We will briefly outline what the Rootstock platform promises to offer and then will discuss the main points of the proposal. Smart Contract Platform Smart contracts are an active area of interest and research.

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