Blockchain Smart Contracts Need a New Kind of Due Diligence

As a software consumer, your “due diligence” is fairly straightforward because an error correction process is built into the software license. When (and not if) something goes wrong, you have some hope that someone is trying to solve the problem.

But smart contracts are not ordinary software. A smart contract is supposed to automatically implement a real-life contract: an actual agreement between two (or more) parties. After the negotiating parties agree to the terms of a deal, those terms are converted into a smart contract – eg: given to a computer programmer to create smart contract code. So how do the parties know if the terms agreed upon were correctly programmed?

Source: Blockchain Smart Contracts Need a New Kind of Due Diligence – CoinDesk

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Blockchain platform Ujo Music opening up in early 2017

Ujo Music was the startup that worked with musician Imogen Heap in 2015 to release her track “Tiny Human” on the Ehtereum blockchain. Now the company is preparing for a full commercial launch of its platform for other artists and labels to use. “Soon, Ujo Music will be open to the public. We’re targeting early 2017,” explained the company in an email sent out to its mailing list yesterday.

“We are building a service that allows you to manage your artistic identity, your music and licensing on your own terms. We are starting small, with music, onboarding eager, forward-looking artists to empower sustainable creativity,” explained the company.

Source: Blockchain platform Ujo Music opening up in early 2017

The blockchain future is here. And it needs a few good names

Although the term blockchain might sound like a torture device, you might know it from another source: Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is the foundation and principal innovation of bitcoin, the dark web’s infamous cryptocurrency. Blockchain is also the foundation of Ethereum, which some see as a successor to bitcoin.

So this quick decoding not only reveals that The DAO is a venture capital fund that tracks its money via a blockchain technology — a database — named Ethereum. It also shows how the meanings of these three names are at best confounding and at worst unnerving, evoking big government, immateriality and darkness both individually and as a group.

Source: The blockchain future is here. And it needs a few good names. – Recode

AVC: The Golden Age Of Open Protocols

screen-shot-2016-02-24-at-10-42-13-am-728x369Open protocols are at the heart of many of the most important systems that we have. The Internet works because of TCP/IP. The web works because of HTTP. Email works because of SMTP. These are open systems that developers can build applications on top of. There are plenty of proprietary protocols out there too. But proprietary protocols tend to lock in users and drive value to the owners of the proprietary protocol, like Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.

One of the problems we have had in tech is that there aren’t large monetary incentives to create and sustain open protocols. If they are open they cannot be easily monetized by traditional means. However, that is changing with the emergence of blockchain technology and crypto-tokens.

Source: The Golden Age Of Open Protocols – AVC

Breaking: “Pause Ether, DAO Trading”, Ethereum Founder Buterin Tells Exchanges 

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has asked digital currency exchanges to “pause” ether and DAO activity following a hack of the DAO smart contract address.

The ongoing hack and possible theft, deemed as an “attack” on the DAO by Vitalik Buterin, has the co-founder of Ethereum issue a plea seeking digital currency exchanges to pause ether (ETH) and DAO transactions.

Source: Breaking: “Pause Ether, DAO Trading”, Ethereum Founder Buterin Tells Exchanges – CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News

The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum

Over the last two years, as Ethereum has evolved from concept to code, so too has the mystery surrounding Buterin. The resounding chorus of the people working on Ethereum is that he is to be admired and adored, and they are more than willing to contribute to Buterin’s colorful, often hilarious hagiography. I’ve been told by various people that Buterin learned to speak fluent Mandarin in just a few months, that he’s an autistic wunderkind, that all of his worldly possessions fit into one suitcase, that he once ate an entire lemon without removing the rind, that he’s an android powered by the Ethereum network.

Even those who have worked closely with Buterin seem mystified by him, as though this person is meant to be observed but not really understood.

Source: The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum — Backchannel

Blockchain’s big opportunity for lawyers

Technology lawyers say the growth of Ethereum, a public blockchain platform upstaging Bitcoin, could change how lawyers operate and force them to widen the breadth of their skills. But blockchain’s distributed ledger system also offers infinite opportunities for growth in an industry seeking stimulus.

Ethereum’s key attraction is its ability to go beyond virtual currency to facilitate transactions and binding financial agreements or smart contracts purely using applications and without the need for human intermediaries.

Source: Blockchain’s big opportunity for lawyers | afr.com