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Lessons from the DAO incident

... and some insights into RSK design.

One of our goals at RSK has been to focus on real-world applications of the smart-contract technology. Although we are excited to see radical new approaches to very old trust problems such as DAOs, we think that Bitcoin, the blockchain, smart-wallets and crypto-assets hold enough disruption potential so that just with these innovations we can achieve truly financial inclusion. Most what’s needed to succeed is using simple and concise smart-building blocks which are easy to analyze, to reason about, to audit.

Last months we were a witness to the creation of The DAO with a crowdfunding campaign that surpassed 200M USD. However, I’m doubtful if The DAO authors were prepared to protect such amount of money, as the DAO was and still is and untested experiment. In this post, I will show you why the DAO experiment failed and which were the main reasons for such failure. Then we’ll analyze the RSK design and show how we’ve been working towards the minimization of such risk factors. Our main aim in RSK has been to provide layered security: where the failure of one layer does not imply a total collapse. Ethereum will survive the DAO fall. It will even get stronger. But it suffered. I hope the lessons are learned...


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Mardi 13 Septembre 2016