The cryptocurrency industry grew exponentially within the last year, but those who had been associated with it for a few more years would remember the infamous DAO incident, of how it led to a heated debate within the then-green Ethereum community, and how it led to a hard fork of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
The hard fork allowed users affected from DAO to get their funds back, and those who supported this action went to Ethereum, while those users who were against it went to Ethereum Classic.
Since then, Ethereum’s governance has been quite peaceful under the leadership of Vitalik Buterin, one of the co-founders who also spearhead’s the development team of Ethereum.
However, it seems that the peace is getting disturbed.
Welcome EIP 867
Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 867, a proposed code change, will allow any users who have lost their funds to theft, code errors, or any other possibility due to which they have lost access of their funds without their consent, to submit a retrieval request to Ethereum Foundation developers, who could then look into the request and start working on retrieving the lost or stolen funds for the user.
The concept seems eerily familiar to the DAO incident once again, as it asks for developer actions to retrieve lost funds.
While this would seem simple enough to pass considering Ethereum’s decision in the past about such an incident, people who are against the proposed code change think that this does not only constitutes as a bailout but violates the very concept of cryptocurrencies by involving a mediator in case of a transaction gone wrong.
Propagators of the bill present the community’s stance by mentioning that the decision had actually been taken when DAO ICO happened, and the people who were not in favor of the principle of returning lost funds should go to Ethereum Classic.
It has been almost a month since the recovery proposal had been submitted, and since then, the threads for Ethereum on almost all platforms are ridden with passionate comments about the issue. The debate has grown heated to the point where intense words are freely used, but the team of Ethereum developers has not been able to reach an agreement.
Buterin and other core developers are not unaware of how crucial this decision will be for the community, with Buterin tweeting a link to the EIP to draw attention towards it.
“To those who thought that the DAO fork set an unbounded slippery slope and lasting precedent, I encourage you to see the reactions on this thread.” He wrote.
The EIP is still in its “draft” mode and has not been merged or implemented, but it has started having tangible effects on the Ethereum team structure while still being in stages of discussion.
Due to the EIP and the changes it proposed, one core developer on the EIP team left to work in another capacity within the platform, citing risk management regarding not wanting to be liable for potentially breaking the law.
What is the way forward from here?
Speaking to the team of core developers, Buterin mentioned that the draft would remain under consideration for now. It was further mentioned that it has neither been approved nor denied.
However, seeing the influence that this change embodies, other drafts are also being considered to be merged under EIP 867 to address the concerns of all users.
Once such draft is the Immutability Enforcement Proposal, which would allow a standard set of conditions to be followed when fund retrieval proposals are submitted, this would allow the developers to follow standardized steps when processing these requests.
That being said, the picture remains unclear, and the debate continues to grow.