Early this morning a hacker stole $50 million worth of digital currency called Ether from the DAO:
"Bad news….apparently The DAO is under attack and is leaking eth in huge amounts. Yet Vitalik proposed a solution to rescue the funds." -The DAO
At this point you might be asking yourself, "What is The DAO? And Ether? Is this some kind of science fiction thing?" Well, no, but it's pretty new, so this new digital currency trend might have passed under your radar.
Let me explain: digital currency is called cryptocurrency and it's not dependent upon any centralized or national control. In the future, it's poised to become a mainstream digital world currency, but plenty of people are earning and spending cryptocurrency even now.
Cryptocurrency got its start with Bitcoin in 2008 when a mysterious person who goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto invented the concept. Bitcoin operates on a decentralized network and has recently shot up in value. There are now many different kinds of cryptocurrencies popping up. Digital currencies are on the rise as value is increasingly created by digital communities and assets. Remember SECOND LIFE? Much of our world is defined by digital assets and it appears this trend will just continue to pick up steam in the future.
[Image Source: Ethereum logo Wikimedia]
"Let me take a moment to share my credentials on the subject of DAOs. The first two words of DAO, Decentralized Autonomous, entered the crypto-currency lexicon after a discussion between my father and I back in 2013. I introduced the concept that a blockchain can be viewed as a DAC. It was because of these articles that Vitalik Buterin, one of the founders of The DAO, started exploring the concepts in a three part series ." -Daniel Larimer
So this morning, it looks like a hacker began siphoning off the digital currency and many cryptocurrency exchange sites have temporarily halted exchanging Ether. There are measures in place to stop the hacker and this situation is unfolding right now. You can get updates directly from Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin's blog. The hack led to an Ether dump on the market as holders of the currency started panicking.
If you're not familiar with Ethereum, check out this video that explains what the decentralized blockchain is:
[Image Source: Wikimedia]
Leah Stephens writes under the pseudonym, Stellabelle. You can find out what she's up to here.
Written by Leah Stephens