Friday, December 22, 2017
"The most prominent and largest smart contract to date, an investment vehicle called the Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO), enabled its members to invest directly using their private cryptographic keys to vote on what to invest in. No lawyers, no management fees, no opaque boardrooms, the DAO 'removes the ability of directors and fund managers to misdirect and waste investor funds.' And yet, due to a software bug, the DAO 'voted' to 'invest' $50m, a third of its members’ money, into a vehicle controlled by very clever programmers who knew a lot about recursion issues during balance updates. Some said this was a hack or an exploit because the software had not functioned as intended, while others said that there was no such thing as a hack — the whole point was that the software made decisions autonomously and there were no two ways to interpret it, and if you didn’t understand how the software worked you shouldn’t have participated. In the end, everyone got together and voted to retroactively amend the software contract and move the money back to its original owners. What’s the takeaway? Even the most die-hard blockchain enthusiasts actually want a bunch of humans arguing about the underlying intention behind a contract, rather than letting the software self-execute."

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