Ethereum: Stick a Fork in It

Squabbling and infighting rage in the crypto world. Ethereum is at the heart if it today.

Ethereum appears to be at a notable crossroads on technical direction.

At least, that was the mood at a meeting of top ethereum developers late last week where a discussion on a controversial code proposal called EIP 999 led some to speculate the scenario is now a possibility. Indeed, it's now believed the proposal, which which seeks a technical fix that would return $264 million in lost funds, is so contentious, some users may chose to defect to a new version of the code.

Those in favor of the proposal point to the frequent losses of ether due to buggy contracts, arguing that the platform should ensure against such avoidable mistakes. But on the other side, many warn that editing code after deployment could damage not only the security but also the integrity of the platform.

"It's clear no matter where you stand that the issue is contentious enough that if [EIP 999] goes forward and implements then it will generate a contentious hard fork," developer of ethereum's Mist browser Alex Van de Sande, said during the dev meeting on April 20.

"It's unavoidable that it will create a split," he continued.

Another Fork

Each split is another fork in the road.

While Bitcoin remains the top dog, it's important to note that it has numerous scalability and other issues.

The other top cryptos supposedly exist to fix flaws in Bitcoin. While doing so, they introduced new flaws.

Flawed Top to Bottom

The entire crypto setup is flawed from top down.

That does not necessarily mean the top is in, but I believe it is.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (19)
No. 1-19
Bam_Man
Bam_Man

Virtually an entire nation of compulsive gamblers/speculators.

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

This will not end well.

Axiom7
Axiom7

Crypto is the self-driving truck of commerce. There will be accidents but the cost-cutting potential across all types of commerce is so huge that these issues will be fixed eventually. In the meanwhile the valuations will be hugely volatile.

Seb
Seb

Splitting a crypto or printing dollars... what’s the difference here? People are at least trying to improve a potential problem for the world economy. Economists and bankers would like nothing more than for the system to never change. Gold won’t replace anything. If it was flexible enough to fix the world economies it would have 100 years ago. Instead robber barons and rothschilds hoarded it at the expense of the system. Now it’s the opposite. Currency has been debased at the expense of the system. Only cryptos have the potential to meet the flexible needs of a printed currency with the tangible needs of a hard currency. Yes you can hold crypto.

xil
xil

likely not limited to a single nation

Greggg
Greggg

Just wait till the banking system gets into the act with a crypto currency of their own. It won't be a self driving truck... it'll be a world wide prison.

Stuki
Stuki

Crypto isn’t going anywhere. The more official-currency transactions are being spied on, taxed and otherwise used as a basis for officially sanctioned theft; and the underlying currencies are being debased, the greater the demand for getting around those hurdles.

Bitcoin’s promise was always tied to publicly known and predictable amount in circulation, low friction transactions across political entities, and anonymity. The latter turned out to be a bit premature. But with more recent developments in crypto math, that’s becoming just an engineering problem. Meaning, a problem that will see ever improving solutions arise.

Which will, over time, make crypto useful for more and more transactions and actors. It has already proven useful for some of those least favored by local Juntas who would otherwise want to harass them (dope dealers, hackers-for-profit, those moving money past artificial “borders” etc….). As the technology, infrastructure surrounding it and understanding of and comfort with it grows, so will the currencies’ reach. Very possibly first in countries where the Juntas’ ability to enforce bans, are the weakest. And then usage will spread from there.

bradw2k
bradw2k

The techno-libertarian movement is niche and will stay niche for the foreseeable future. Most people don't really care about privacy. See Facebook. And most people not only do not mind if the government regulates the economy, they downright demand that it do so. See any election. Whatever the next form of money may be, this culture will be damn sure that it is the government's game.

Realist
Realist

Such polarized views! Is there any middle ground here? I would not dismiss crypto currencies. In fact I would lean towards their eventual acceptance, though I have no idea how it will all shake out. If you are dipping your toe into crypto, make sure it is money you can afford to lose. Very risky at this point in time.

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

Since we obviously have some software programming experts on this site, I would think you would offer inputs to improve the only alternative to our debt-based system that I am aware of. I have asked multiple times what the alternative is when the current system implodes (in less than three years), and all I hear is crickets. BTW, I know you so-called experts are idiots on the subject, because you have no idea how fast things are progressing in the space, and how much major corporations are investing in utilizing the benefits of the blockchain. The crypto space optimizes creative destruction, which is the heart of free market capitalism, that has been destroyed by govt largess.

First they came for the brain-dead social media followers who think they have nothing to hide and will gladly hand over their freedoms and privacy, then they came for currency alternatives that neuter govt power, then they try to come for the guns, then they start a civil war…

The historical ignorance in this echo chamber will render its followers helpless for what govt has in store for you. Do you really think govt is going to downsize when the interest expense on the debt starts consuming everything, or will they think you still have some flesh to offer? Adios amigos, its been fun.

KidHorn
KidHorn

Gold and silver have been used for currency for thousands of years. And it worked very well. Gold and silver are only made during supernova explosions. We can't make it. Or at least can't make it in large quantities and without it being highly radioactive for thousands of years. It's something that can be divided ad infinitum, can be visibly seen and held, doesn't degrade, is easy to understand, has no inherent transaction costs, and has a use. All huge advantages over any cryptocurrency.

Stuki
Stuki

@JonSellers

There’s nothing baked into crypto about how it “pays for transactions.” Bitcoin allows for coin creation by miners, the number of which which goes towards zero over time, but also allows for inducing miners by offering transaction fees. But besides being a model that seems to work (as in, it induces miners to mine, and transactors to fund the miners’ costs), there’s nothing set in stone about it.

As long as whatever mechanisms employed for transaction verification and recording allows the coin to retain anonymity, global/borderless reach, verifiable scarcity and durability, it’s one heck of a candidate for a proper currency. Ensuring someone will bang away at it, until it start gaining acceptance and use by some. Then some more. Etc….

It’s not as if the currently fashionable theft, extortion and harassment vehicles being passed off as currencies score particularly high on any of the above metrics. Nor as if people, if given a choice, would prefer their currency to 1)allow others easier access to spy on them, 2)restrict who they can pay and accept payments from, 3)give them weaker guarantees wrt some a-hole down the street just printing up a stash of it unrestricted, and 4)make it easier for some aspiring Modiot to, out of the blue, declare that the money in their wallet is now worthless, just because he can…

@sebmurray
I have a bit of a hard time envisioning much use for distributed Blockchain technology outside of the realm of currencies (aside from the, usual nowadays, mindless hype by and for the usual, pliable and well-indoctrinated into the pathologies underpinning financialized dystopias, mindless…).

It’s a technology allowing for self(or community)-enforcing bearer instruments. Bypassing the need for a privileged Massa who can, and will, ban them and/or twist them for his own benefit. And as such, is only all that useful in realms where the instruments themselves don’t need further enforcement. No amount of blockchain recording of a real estate deed, is going to prevent Genghis from running you over and taking your house away if he feels like it. Nor Trump-the-guy-with-nukes from turning it into a bomb crater on TeeVee, if he feels it will improve his ratings amongst the dumb set.

Perhaps the one thing that is more important to a currency than the 4 properties I mentioned above, is that it is being used by others. Which does make the first steps very hard. But just as tiny trickle eroding just the tiniest amount of a dam, will inevitably, and seemingly out of nowhere, eventually turn into a massive flood, so will use of a superior tool for the job. Any job. So, all that is ultimately required of a crypto currency, is that it is a better tool than some theft and debasement joke. Which isn’t exactly a tall hurdle. Nor one that is getting any taller with time, as the totalitarians abusing the latter get ever friskier and more desperate.

Seb
Seb

It’s the first iterations of this technology. Technology takes time to work out the kinks. You are as bad as millenials with the instant gratification bit.

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

So far, ETH is up 28% since your infamous call. You are a better contrarian indicator than Dennis Gartman.