Copycat attacks threaten survival of ethereum cryptocurrency

A debate has arisen as to whether to update ethereum's software to allow a so-called soft fork.
A debate has arisen as to whether to update ethereum's software to allow a so-called soft fork.

Ethereum, a rival to bitcoin, is under seige after follow-up attacks continue to siphon funds based in the cryptocurrency.

The DAO, a collective of investors that maintains its currency in ethereum, was originally robbed of $50 million-plus on June 17. But, following several copycat attacks, the system is said to be floundering, according to an Ars Technica report.

The original attacker exploited two software bugs in the open software platform's blockchain technology which allowed him to manipulate transactions and transfer tokens. 

A debate has arisen as to whether to update the software to allow a so-called soft fork of the ethereum protocol; in effect, "rolling back the blockchain in a way that would invalidate the stolen ether," the report said.

However, because the DAO consists of a decentralized body of stakeholders, getting a "yes" vote from 51 percent to alter the technical protocols could be an unwieldy process.

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