In what some may consider an incredible show of leadership and quick response while others may criticize as a dangerous precedent, Ethereum developers are proposing a soft-fork to be followed by a hard-fork.
In a Critical Update regarding the DAO hack posted on Ethereum’s foundation website, Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, stated:
“The development community is proposing a soft fork, (with NO ROLLBACK; no transactions or blocks will be “reversed”) which will make any transactions that make any calls/callcodes/delegatecalls that execute code with code hash 0x7278d050619a624f84f51987149ddb439cdaadfba5966f7cfaea7ad44340a4ba (ie. the DAO and children) lead to the transaction (not just the call, the transaction) being invalid, starting from block 1760000 (precise block number subject to change up until the point the code is released), preventing the ether from being withdrawn by the attacker past the 27-day window.”
This will later be followed up by a hard fork which will give token holders the ability to recover their ether.
Stephan Tual, one of the creators of the DAO, stated on the DAO slack channel:
“In summary, a hardfork will retrieve all stolen funds from the attacker. If you have purchased DAO tokens, you will be transferred to a smart contract where you can only retrieve funds. Since no money in the DAO was ever spent, nothing was lost.”
He further stated that the DAO would be “transformed” into a basic contract where token holders can simply withdraw their ether and then do with them whatever they wish.
He further confirmed that:
“The DAO will be winded down completely and transformed into a simple contract where you can only withdraw. It’s shutting down but as no ether was stolen and no ether was spent, nothing was lost.”
There will certainly be time to discuss all the aspects of these shocking developments, including the many things that went wrong. For now, as the attack is on-going and developing, the primary focus is on resolving the situation. According to the Critical Update on the DAO hack:
“Miners and mining pools should resume allowing transactions as normal, wait for the soft fork code and stand ready to download and run it if they agree with this path forward for the Ethereum ecosystem. DAO token holders and ethereum users should sit tight and remain calm. Exchanges should feel safe in resuming trading ETH.”
The entire ecosystem therefore, especially miners, have a monumental decision to make in a very short space of time. Should Ether Hardfork to deny the hacker his ill-gains for the first time in the digital currency space, or should the DAO and potentially Ethereum as well as maybe the entire digital currency space be left to crash and burn as $50 million or more are stolen?
Please give your opinions below.