‘In Ethereum, developers are more powerful than the miners,’ says Andreas Antonopoulos

In a newly released Q&A from his EthDenver talk, the author of Mastering Ethereum talked about setting a bad precedent in relation to the July 2016 DAO hack

Andreas Antonopoulos has claimed that in Bitcoin, the miners have the upper hand in consensus changes due to its “singular application platform”, whereas Ethereum is a multi-dApp ecosystem built primarily for creating “unstoppable” code and so developers have more control than miners.

Andreas believes the reason why Ethereum developers have so much influence comes down to them having to manage a “bigger ecosystem of applications and library framework developers who are trying to take the [core protocol] and make it work in a broad range of use cases”.

He says that if you break things for thousands of application developers, then you would “not hear the end of it”.

A ‘mulligan’

Talking about his retrospective views relating to the 2016 DAO hack, Andreas called the incident a ‘mulligan‘ moment in Ethereum. He said: “The DAO was a case where it was early enough, stakes weren’t that high, and there were two bad choices.”

“I think it creates a bad precedent. Every time it happens, it weakens the ability for people involved in those decisions or promoting those decisions to later say, ‘I can’t’. The can’t will sound more like a won’t.”

‘More humble when we see a stumble’

The Internet of Money author went on to say: “There are a lot of people in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are very smug about the DAO.”

“Every cryptocurrency will have crises, bugs, and problems. Bitcoin did. It had a moment where it issued a hundred billion Bitcoin in a single block.”

Bitcoin obviously came back from this moment back in August 2010. Since then, the protocol has matured after dealing with various attacks on the code base through its ability to allow major protocol changes to undo external threats to the exosystem, like major exchange hacks.

With that ability, Antonopoulos thinks that in Bitcoin we have “built unstoppable money” which Ethereum should see as an ally to its unstoppable code.

Terrorists, ISIS, child pornography, and drugs

In a fictitious example, Andreas role-played a centralised entity trying to stop an Ethereum dApp that was enabling “terrorists from ISIS trying to buy child pornography to trade for drugs”.

He said that through the process of trying to stop the dApp, they will try to stop the whole platform, then the network, then the currency, and finally the exchanges.

At this point, he said they will find out why Bitcoin is a very useful ally, “because it has built some unstoppable money for you”.

Andreas concluded that there are two lessons to be learned from the DAO hack: “Don’t put too much money in untested code” and ensure that this is the last ‘mulligan‘ for the Ethereum project as “the next one will carry consequences”.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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