On July 20, the Ethereum network completed its first successful hard fork, in an attempt to recover drained ether from the DAO. 10 days later, the hard fork has led to more controversy than the initial DAO fiasco.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and his supporters essentially executed the hard fork as solution to a short term issue presented by the DAO, arguably the largest platform built on the Ethereum network to date.
The issue was, investors lost nearly 90 million ether from the DAO attack, due to the vulnerabilities and bugs of the DAO platform. Buterin and the rest of the foundation reached a “consensus” to alter the entire network for benefit of some investors of the DAO, disregarding the viewpoint of the rest of the Ethereum community.
The Ethereum hard fork was a success and investors’ funds were restored. However, the Ethereum foundation received heavy criticism from the network, for overlooking the fundamental purpose of a hard fork and the network’s principles.
In the cryptocurrency community, a hard fork must be carried out for the benefit of the network as a whole, not for the well-being of third party organizations or platforms that are unrelated to the network in theory.
The DAO for instance, is merely a platform created on the Ethereum network by indepdent group of developers and entrepreneurs that are not associated with the Ethereum network. Thus, the Ethereum foundation’s decision to execute a hard fork to save an external platform was philosophically incorrect.
Charlie Shrem, an American entrepreneur and bitcoin advocate explains, “long term blockchain integrity is more important than short term problems.”
— Charlie Shrem (@CharlieShrem) August 1, 2016
If the Ethereum foundation would have left the network as it is, disregard the 90 million ether and admit that the cause of the attack was the underlying vulnerabilities of the DAO platform, the entire catastrophe involving split chain, two cryptocurrencies under a single network, and controversial conflicts amongst members of the community could have been avoided.