[Cryptography] Code is Cruel -- The DAO

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Tue Jun 21 21:05:39 EDT 2016

On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 9:25 PM, <g3upa9y4t9 at snkmail.com> wrote:

> News Story : Code is Cruel  --  The DAO
> > 5000 views on medium.com. Comments on reddit.
> https://medium.com/@CryptoIQ.ca/code-is-cruel-a23ece319aa1#.bq3vczjcz
> https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/4owp0w/code_is_cruel/
> http://blog.cryptoiq.ca/?p=512​

​Hacking and design are very different mindsets.

Designers have to be able to break systems. But the very best breakers are
very rarely good designers. To be a good breaker you have to be really
comfortable with complexity. To be a good designer you have to be the sort
of person who finds complexity ugly, something to be eliminated wherever

​Sure building javascript into the Web did allow for some Web site effects
that weren't possible before. But it took over five years for the
javascript implementations to become stable enough to be minimally useful.
The first version of Javascript would crash the browser if there was the
smallest bug in the code - or no bug at all.

So building Javascript into a payments system was really the sort of thing
that was too clever by half. It was clearly doomed from the start.

Only these guys have a billion dollars of live cash in their system. And
they are currently changing the system code to claw back money that they
consider ill gotten. So they are in effect rewriting the rules book without
any consideration of the legal implications of doing so.

If people are going to design cryptocurrencies they really need to start by
considering what the law says rather than assuming that math trumps law. It
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