Why does it take 3 days to send a bank transfer? You might think it has to do with outdated technology. This is incorrect. The reason that bank transfers take 3 days is because bank transfers are reversible, and therefore banking institutions are on the hook for fraud and crime. Those 3 days are spent on due diligence and getting partner banks to sign off on transactions before they can be “finalized”.

Reversibility, often thought of as a feature, is more often a bug. If regulators realize you have the ability to reverse transactions, they will force you to reverse transactions they don’t like.

You know who understood this very well? Satoshi Nakamoto.

Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes. The cost of mediation increases transaction costs, limiting the minimum practical transaction size and cutting off the possibility for small casual transactions, and there is a broader cost in the loss of ability to make non-reversible payments for nonreversible services. With the possibility of reversal, the need for trust spreads. Merchants must be wary of their customers, hassling them for more information than they would otherwise need.

-Satoshi Nakamoto

Any entity capable of reversing transactions puts a big target on their back for regulators. My hope is that the Ethereum Foundation is wise enough not to do that.

“Thats really excellent how you froze the DAO attacker. Could you freeze these 1,000 accounts as well? Thanks!”

If we reject this fork, we show every regulator in the world that even when political pressure is immense and millions are on the line, Ethereum is indeed unstoppable.


blog comments powered by Disqus