Since the DAO and the BitFinex hacks, there has been an increasing need for more conscientious coding and design decisions. While most of these projects seem altruistic in nature, the individuals writing the code aren’t free from their own personal agenda or guilty of taking shortcuts. The Satoshi Oath is a proposition and declaration that highlights the social processes of writing code. “The oath is a response to numerous issues of governance, power, and authority both within the blockchain and without.”

B9lab calls for the Satoshi Oath and encourages developers to declare their commitment to these founding principles by signing the oath on the blockchain and incorporating those principles into their practices.


Read their full release:


PRESS RELEASE SEP 21, 2016 01:00 BST

B9lab today called for all developers in the blockchain community to consider taking the Satoshi Oath. The oath, proposed by Jaya Brekke (Durham University) and Elias Haase (Founder B9lab) highlights the social processes that are part of the infrastructure and asks developers to consider who or what is left behind by different design decisions.

London, UK, September 21, 2016 (Newswire.com) - B9lab today called for all developers in the blockchain community to consider taking the Satoshi Oath. The oath, proposed by Jaya Brekke (Durham University) and Elias Haase (Founder B9lab) highlights the social processes that are part of the infrastructure and asks developers to consider who or what is left behind by different design decisions. Said Brekke, “A decentralized computer network does not guarantee decentralized power, transparency does not guarantee legibility and finally, code and cryptography does not guarantee neutrality.”

The oath is a response to numerous issues of governance, power and authority both within the blockchain and without. While the infrastructure upholds central values of decentralization, immutability and neutrality as part of its technical architecture, these values do not always spill over into social and governance realities. The DAO hack and Bitcoin block size debacles illustrate the point clearly, in both instances, choices made by a few individuals had a huge effect on many other participants. Haase contends, “this effect will only increase as blockchain adoption grows.  As developers, we have a huge responsibility to ensure the assumptions and behaviors we encode in the network continue to uphold the founding principles.”

"this effect will only increase as blockchain adoption grows. As developers, we have a huge responsibility to ensure the assumptions and behaviors we encode in the network continue to uphold the founding principles."

ELIAS HAASE, B9LAB FOUNDER

Even in a supposedly neutral network there is a human being making decisions and writing code who has assumptions about what is important and who the infrastructure is for. The oath is a tool to help developers think beyond the code to how a project might relate to the people and environments that it affects, particularly those who may not be able to engage with the technology in the same way or who are entirely disenfranchised.

A full version of the Satoshi Oath can be found here.  Developers are encouraged to declare their commitment to these founding principles by signing the oath on the blockchain and incorporate the principles into their everyday practices.

B9lab company information:  B9lab provides training, advisory and research services on blockchain and decentralised applications.  Founded in 2014, the company aims to demystify the field by providing a range of training courses to prepare stakeholders for the changing technology and certify developers to aid that change.  Equally, they help companies, governments and institutions determine the best technological fit for their projects.

Brianne Rivlin

Brianne Rivlin has been writing within the internet field for over six years. For more than a year of that time, she has been heavily inundated with blockchain, virtual currency, and Ethereum technology. Read More
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