Purse.io CTO: Ethereum ‘Not Learning from History’


Purse.io CTO: Ethereum ‘Not Learning from History’

Purse.io CTO Chris Jeffery has stated Ethereum “is not learning from history” while ignoring the threats to its stability that Bitcoin solved many years ago.

Also read: Ethereum Miners Back Buterin’s Soft Fork

Learning From Bitcoin’s Mistakes

Chris Jeffery
Chris Jeffery

In a blog post, the developer requested Ethereum’s developers to “learn from the mistakes, just like bitcoin did.”

The post was made in the wake of the DAO hack, in which the equivalent of around $55 million was compromised and sent the value of both Ether and DAO tokens plummeting. Reactions to security and Ethereum architect Vitalik Buterin’s choice of measures to remedy the situation have been hugely varied.

“Dear Ethereum devs / contract devs / DAO devs, before you write a contract, do a soft fork, a hard fork, or roll a new currency, watch the bitcoin blockchain sync a few times,” Jeffrey continued. “Look at the weird transactions, read up on the history of them.”

The post contains a technical evaluation of the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum, particularly how each resolves the problem of unspent transaction inputs (UTXOs).

Jeffrey acknowledges Bitcoin’s suffering of security flaws many years ago, such as the int64 overflow bug in 2010. However, he suggests that these were crucially resolved before it was released and value was minimal.

“Bitcoin was lucky to have this disaster early on. And even luckier that it wasn’t deployed before this issue was discovered. Bitcoin learned from this incident and made the proper adjustments,” he commented.

Familiar Comparisons

The robustness of Bitcoin has despite this come under fire from a different perspective during the block size debate. Solutions such as so-called Segregated Witness have spent a long time on the discussion table, and opinions commonly surface criticizing the slow speed with which changes to Bitcoin’s core protocol are made.

SegWitJeffrey however sees this as the preferable option to acting too quickly. He describes developer Amir Taaki’s opinion that he “prefers slow and steady with the protocol rather than moving hasty” as “wise words.”

Regarding the DAO hack, he nonetheless disagrees with comparisons being drawn to Bitcoin’s 2010 attack. While not naming names, Jeffrey appears to criticize Buterin’s action plan and liken it to Mark Karpeles’ response to the Mt. Gox disaster.

Jeffrey summed up:

“I don’t think it is a logical comparison for a few reasons:

  1. No funds were stolen there.
  2. Satoshi didn’t blacklist an address or artificially reclaim funds.
  3. This was a bug involving an int64 overflow that Satoshi would have fixed anyway, hacker or no hacker.
  4. Satoshi didn’t tell exchanges to stop trading and single-handedly control the market.
  5. This was in 2010. There was a lot less at stake back then.

And finally, Satoshi did not rewrite history. He fixed a bug. Bitcoin users, including miners, upgraded and began to reject the blocks exploiting the bug. The bad chain was eventually reorg’d and overtaken by the new main chain.

There’s a much more obvious comparison to be made here…”

Do you agree with Chris Jeffrey? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tags in this story
Bitcoin Block Size, DAO Attack, Ethereum, Purse.io

Images courtesy of stamford.edu, huffingtonpost.com

William Suberg

William Suberg is a freelance digital tech journalist who has written extensively about Bitcoin, the blockchain and the evolving cryptocurrency ecosystem for a variety of publications. He has been writing for Bitcoin.com since January 2016.

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