There’s no shortage of futurists, industry analysts, entrepreneurs and IT columnists who in the past year have churned out reports, articles and books touting blockchain-based ledgers as the next technology that will run the world.
In the middle of all this hype is a small fire that threatens to put some of those words to ash: The hijacking last month of around US$40 million of dollars worth of a cryptocurrency called ether – named after its blockchain platform, Ethereum — from The DAO, a crowd-sourced investment vehicle that has so far raised over US$100 million in the digital currency. Instead, the DAO has become paralyzed and on the verge of collapse.
Briefly, on June 17 a hacker was able to create a second fund in the DAO, and, leveraging a vulnerability in the software-based smart contracts used to execute transactions, sent just over 3.64 million ether there.
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