Ethereum developers poised to pay a price for its fast-moving technical culture

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

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Editor's note

The original promise of Ethereum was to create a decentralized platform for unstoppable smart contracts. Its virtual machine ambitiously touted as its main language Solidity, which in 2016 was lambasted by a Cornell researcher as a language which was "introducing security flaws into contracts that were not only missed by the community, but missed by the designers of the language themselves."

This week, research done by a group of computer scientists discovered security flaws in 34,200 smart contracts currently live on the Ethereum network.

This week's news recap

Monday: Why technology entrepreneurs are fascinated with decentralization right now
Tuesday: Bitfinex and Coinbase announce SegWit support
Wednesday: SEC flies into action over 6,000 BTC theft, charges exchange with securities fraud
Thursday: Researchers discover 34,200 buggy ETH contracts; over $6 million USD up for grabs
Friday: Almost half of last year's ICOs are already dead

Further readings this week

Crypto vs. fiat: the battle is on
(AIER, by Jeffrey A. Tucker)

"The end of the government money monopoly will result in some highly strange goings on: currency competition, forks in the fiat, a loss of the power over monetary policy, a possible abandonment of fiat in favor of a government-backed crypto, the end of monetary policy as a tool of politicians, a migration of many institutions from government money to private money, and the gradual depreciation and obsolescence of old-style monies to new forms."

Information technology market cycles (a brief history)
(By Joel Monegro)

"Those who own the platform ultimately win. Like PC software companies 20 years ago, it’s tough being in the web business today. We can’t afford competing with GAFA. They’ve already won this game. Let’s play a different one."

Off to the races: best decentralized storage solutions (Storj, Sia, Filecoin, Maidsafe)
(CoinCentral, by Bennet Garner)

"The idea behind decentralized storage is allowing ordinary people to rent an unused portion of their hard drive space in a peer-to-peer network. The different platforms we’ll discuss in this article accomplish this task in slightly different ways."

Crypto innovation spotlight: Schorr Signatures
(By Spencer Bogart)

"To start, Schnorr signatures are appealing because they’re easy to compute and considered highly secure. However, the main benefits of Schnorr signatures actually derive from their aggregation capabilities."

Algorithmic impact assessments: toward accountable automation in public agencies
(AI Now Institute)

"While these systems are already influencing important decisions, there is still no clear framework in the US to ensure that they are monitored and held accountable. Indeed, even many simple systems operate as 'black boxes,' as they are outside the scope of meaningful scrutiny and accountability."

Technology Manifesto for a progressive State Government
(By Mark Essien)

"Technology is innovation — that means that ground-breaking and new technologies have to be developed. To achieve this, the state will create two new centers — a science innovation center and a technology innovation center."

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