A $50 million heist calls a new virtual currency into question. What should Ethereum do about it?
Jessi Hempel

This will most likely serve in the future as a classic example of “humans are the weakest link” or PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair) for smart contract developers — as after all smart contracts can be only as smart as their creators.

With this in mind, I would insist more on the fact that the recent fiasco resulted from bad code/coding (“The” DAO) rather than bad tech (Ethereum) as some people still don’t understand this crucial distinction from the articles published so far on this topic.

Leaving aside the funds lost and how they were lost, I think one of the most regrettable things that followed this “attack” is the division formed inside the Ethereum community when it comes to what to do next.

If we would look at communities as a sort of collective organisms, like with the majority of organisms found in nature, you have two main states in which they can exist: “growth” or “defense”.

Until this event the Ethereum community was obviously in a “growth” mindset and that can be clearly observed from the number of initiatives and positive announcements across the ecosystem before this event.

Now the mindset has changed from “growth” to “defense” and that is only natural. For short periods of time this is a positive thing as it builds up the “immunity” of the organism/ecosystem, creating in the process best practices moving forward.

However, if we’ll remain for too long in the “defense” state I believe that everyone will be negatively affected as this ethereal organism will enter in a sort of “cancer-like” death spiral which cannot end up well.

The good news is that we still have about 3 weeks to decide as a community what to do.

My hope is that we will do it in this time frame and move on as Ethereum is way more than one single smart contract running on it. Better yet, I think we still haven’t even scratched the surface of what can be done with a world computer like Ethereum.

The faster we can get past this drama, the faster we can get back to co-creating and exploring the exciting fractal of possibilities opened by this technology.

If we can pull through this, a new “growth” stage awaits us and it will probably surpass the previous one as the Ethereum community and ecosystem will grow stronger than before thanks to what’s happening now — and that is something to look forward to in itself.