Ethereum an immutable ledger that’s only immutable for as long as the community deems it to be.

Ethereum bailout complete. Long live Ethereum!

Izabella Kaminska

Jul 20 17:02

In our inbox just now from Stephan Tual, Founder & COO, of Slock.it, somehow related to the DAO and Ethereum by way of an unquantifiable number of revolving doors between respective blockchain projects/cabals:

Ethereum fork successful, all DAO token holders to be made whole

The title says it all – end of the hack that never was.
On Ethereum, Code is Law. It’s the network’s participants that determine its evolving rules, voting by way of updating their software. Today, they’ve done just that to nullify an exploit found in the DAO, proving their capability to self-govern effectively.
https://blog.slock.it/what-an-accomplishment-3e7ddea8b91d#.kznb3sjbx
Happy to chat at anytime on stephan.tual over skype.
Cheers!

So it’s a joyous day for Ethereum and a final proof that a blockchain is indeed no different to any other monetary or financial system which has hailed before it. We can all prosper in the knowledge that once again the financial security of those who have the ear of the central bankers — a.k.a the distributed banks which maintain the ledgers, these days known as miners — can decide who gets to be made whole and who does not when things go wrong by way of consensus action.

The bailouts of 2008 were an equally impressive feat. The banking system also managed to prove its capability to self-govern and nullify an exploit found at the heart of its system which may otherwise — in the opinion of its harshest critics — have revealed it was bust.

Though, of course, now that it’s been made clear that the secret to smart-contract efficiency is human governance not the immutable logic of code… which (like the real law) suffers and always will suffer from loophole syndrome….we’ll be interested to see how claims that blockchain can cut back-office costs by removing humans from the process will measure up.

None of this is a surprise of course. The concept that something written on an immutable ledger trumps common sense, people power, arbitration or our ability to amend laws which turn out to be unjust (to the disadvantage of the law’s beneficiaries) was always plainly stupid. But now that we’ve established this, can we stop pretending that the blockchain somehow offers something new to the table of finance? It doesn’t. It never did.

Let’s face it, any suggestion that commerce can benefit from an immutable ledger that’s only immutable for as long as the community deems it to be immutable is about as useful and risk mitigating as any other contract that’s ever been written to date.

The real question: how much real-world money has been wasted on making this obvious state of affairs so obvious? And could that money have been better spent by sending Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s boy genius founder, to law school?

For the back story to the DAO saga see here.

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