The Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) that led to the resignation of an EIP editor over his personal legal concerns has been closed, but an identical proposal has been reopened on Github to relatively negative fanfare.
The original EIP proposal #867 was introduced by Musiconomi developer Dan Phifer as an option for how to more easily modify the Ethereum (ETH) Blockchain to redistribute address balances in the circumstance of lost funds.
EIP editor Yoichi Hirai had criticized the draft for what he saw as its violation of a Japanese law about the creation of electromagnetic records, as well as it being “at odds with Ethereum philosophy.”
When the original proposal was closed, the Ethereum Reddit community responded positively in a thread that congratulated the community, one user calling it a “big win for the Ethereum community and network.”
Comments on Github on the opened version of proposal #867 showed the polarity of users’ views on standardizing lost fund recovery.
User oxidizer called the proposal a “Trojan horse for Ethereum,” writing that “adding a recovery mechanism, no matter the amount of refinement and "safeguards" put in place, weakens the protocol.”
User Aribo went into more detail about the functions of the Ethereum philosophy, stating that fund recovery is not the responsibility of the system’s developers:
“Instilling the recovery of funds as a necessary function of the system is IMO misunderstanding the function of the system. Ethereum is not a bank or a private company that has profits/losses and investments. If someone loses money in the economic system created within Ethereum is at its own peril, and it never should be the function and responsibility of the system, and thus its developers, to allow the recovery of these funds and, even less, build the rules/standards for this to happen.”
Implementing a standardized method for returning lost or stolen crypto has long been a contentious point of debate in the crypto community, for some view any such action as going against the values of Blockchain’s supposedly inherently immutable nature.
The Ethereum community has already been divided once over such a dispute, when a hard fork was implemented in the aftermath of the DAO hack, leading to the split between Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) -- with ETC maintaining the Blockchain with the stolen money still with the hackers.
By Molly Jane Zuckerman