the “Ethereum devs,” which is a bunch of open-source developers who have no real connection to the network
So you’re saying all core devs own 0 ETH?
In this case, the “Ethereum devs,” which is a bunch of open-source developers who have no real connection to the network, issue a patch, and a bunch of “miners” voluntarily run it on their own machines, resulting in a “network” which people decide to call “The Ethereum Network,” although that is what they called a prior and unrelated ruleset that determines what “network” it produces (which is how names work in human society). Miners are free to run whatever “network” they wish to be in.
Except that its often bundled with a major feature update. Even if there is a flag to toggle EIP-999, what’s the default going to be? Who gets to pick that default?
This has already happened. It was called The DAO fix, and it was an unmitigated success.
I was not even around for The DAO fix and I’m still hearing about how contentious it was and how fragmented the community appeared to be as a result. That is not an unmitigated success. If you visit the Ethereum subreddit the consensus there is than an overwhelming majority of commentors are rejecting any selective arbitrary funds restoration such as EIP-999.
I literally answered that in my original post, even in a technical format.
Any time the cost C of fixing the issue by hacking a manual hardfork is lower than the benefit B to parties damaged by an event that is a clear-cut, provable bug, the network has an obvious moral duty to act and issue the simple one-line hardfork.
So now we can all just submit a pull request whenever we type in the wrong address? There are people with thousands of ether lost that would love to have that ability. How will core devs decide what is a “clear-cut, provable bug”? Do we need community consensus or should we have an arbitration panel and start implementing our own legal system for every case? When some people get rejected and others don’t and they sue core devs personally, who’s going to pay for the lawyers? Why would any core dev continuing working on an open source project when they could be sued for their participation? How is that in way scalable? What happens when the price of ETH changes?
You have not addressed the core issue: exceptions made for one that are not made for all in an economic system is a very quick way to devalue that system. It also brings a host of legal liabilities that as an international community we should be cognizant of.
You have used the scare-word “Regime” to describe open source developers and a network of volunteers;
The phrase I intended to use is regime uncertainty. It’s not a scare-word, its a technical term that describes a specific issue: ad-hoc, unpredictable rules and regulations scare off investors that must plan ahead and wait for their investment to pay off. It is why unstable governments lead to multinational corporations pulling out from entire countries. You need to approximate that cost per your own criteria.
You have reduced pro-social restoration of millions of dollars’ worth of actual existing people’s economic intention as something that may or may not “spook” some abstract set of people;
Your morality is not universal. If we talk in terms of morality then you must also achieve a consensus because everyone will have their own version of what is morally right.
You think hypothetical negative economic effects of massive economic restoration, i.e. doing the obvious right thing, is more worrisome than not doing the right thing. That is, you actually, seriously believe that confidence in an agreement platform increases if hundreds of millions of dollars of obviously, correctable damage are purposefully not addressed, while we even have a measure of that “impact” in
That abstract set of people is every member of the Ethereum network. Increasing the supply of ETH 1% will reduce the price of ETH 1-10%. The lost ETH is somewhere around 1% of the total supply of Ethereum. If every member on average lost 10% of their confidence in Ethereum from a selective restoration hardfork that they didn’t sign up for then no, the loss in network value is far greater than the funds recovered.
The greatest loss will be the number of current and future developers in the Ethereum ecosystem who have idealogical and economic objections to this proposal. I myself will walk away if this kind of EIP-999 is adopted in its current form because I believe the Pandoras Box this would open will lead to the eventual irrelevancy of mainnet.
You believe it is possible to write bug-free code if only people and organizations fear enough its consequences. You believe that so strongly that reverting hundreds of millions of dollars in accidental damage should not get in the way of soiling that precious cultural incentive;
I never said that. There are multiple ways to deal with this:
- Audit all contracts thoroughly
- Bug bounties
- Third-party insurance
- Builtin failsafe fund reversion method
There will be more as people innovate. I just listed some off the top of my head.
And last, but not least, you have actually linked to the Moral Hazard Wikipedia page as part of your argument. (Here’s a link to the Morality Wikipedia page.)
A moral hazard is a term and not its own form of morality. Excerpt from the wiki page: “A party makes a decision about how much risk to take, while another party bears the costs if things go badly, and the party isolated from risk behaves differently from how it would if it were fully exposed to the risk.” That is the too-big-to-fail mentality that pissed off many people and helped incentivize the adoption Bitcoin.
To have an immutable rules event history running on the Internet, you need to perform the impossible technical feat of placing the engine that executes those rules completely beyond reach from humans (in this case, the decentralized society of miners, not the “Regime” at the Ethereum Foundation), since humans are moral agents and not robots and are thus forced to act, even when it is extremely socially inconvenient for them to have to do so (“Ethereum devs” and “miners” are all rich, they can financially afford to be sociopaths and just not care, and avoid the social cost of debating morality with Market fundamentalists). If you oppose moral action then your quest for an immutable rules event history on the Internet requires you to scare those moral agents from taking action (which is what you’re attempting right now);
The economic problem isn’t modifying immutable state. It’s modifying it unpredictably according to political or social pressures on a very small set of people. That leads to regime uncertainty because you aren’t sure the rules of the game will be the same 5 years down the road.
If you really want to argue on the basis of morality and not the future of Ethereum then here’s my question: why are you concerned only with the morality of restoring funds for some number of users but completely ignoring the effect it will have on every other user of Ethereum in existence? If everyone else loses 10% of their ETH holdings’ value, is that not a moral issue? Or will “do the right thing” only be selectively enforced applied for possibly unknown benefactors?
My gut tells me you have some not-insignificant amount of funds lost in a wallet that would be saved by EIP-999. Perhaps you plan on dumping these hypothetical funds the moment they’re recovered and have no interest in Ethereum even existing five years from now. Now regardless of whether all this speculation is true or not it’s a reasonable enough thing for a bystander to ponder. Now imagine this kind of argument and suspicion–but for every mistaken funds transfer event ever–past, present, and future.
Full disclosure: I have no funds lost in the Parity wallet or any mistaken funds transfer or wallet bugs. I do have some amount of Ethereum I use actively and am developing projects that use Ethereum.