Ethereum - Doomsday machine or not?

hi all,

Ethereum - Doomsday machine or not?

Well... if it gets really bad we should be able to coerce the miners. But
what can we do short of that?

Can we stop malicious autonomous contracts if we really want? I think we 
can - by banning anything that delivers true anonymity.

Let the mafia contract be a contract that threatens a random 
person/organization with a DDOS attack. If the recipient does not pay the 
small protection fee, the contract will use a part of its balance to attack.
Any profits only serve to make further threats more intimidating. The contract
cannot be controlled or changed by anyone.

Ethereum seems to be designed so that there is no way to stop a contract from
doing things in the blockchain. Contracts can create other contracts and code
can be obfuscated so that detecting or tracking malicious contracts - even
those that are known - becomes very difficult. Code in the blockchain can even
have secrets:

I think we can stop the mafia contract at the gateway to the real world by
blacklisting it, everything it creates and any known "proxy" service in the
blockchain it could use to hide. The contract now does have to rely on humans
creating arbitrary contracts to bypass the blacklist. Requests to create
arbitrary contracts would look quite suspicious so those humans would know 
that they are probably breaking the law. How are they going to spend any
profits they got from helping the mafia contract? By banning mixing services 
or any funds coming out of them, the incentive to help the mafia contract
could be reduced to a minimum.

Does this sound feasible?

So my expectation for the future of blockchain technology is that it will
never be allowed to deliver true anonymity.


Michael Brunnbauer

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Received on Friday, 3 April 2015 10:58:14 UTC