Ethereum developer Yoichi Hirai has resigned as one of the platform’s code editors, citing concerns that a contentious proposal may be in violation of penal law.
Named EIP 867, the proposal defines a method to better facilitate the return of lost funds on the platform.
Speaking on GitHub, the developer wrote:
“Some EIP editors look nonchalant about legal consequences of this draft, but I have warned them, and I have no capacities to do anything more than warn them … I resign from the post of an EIP editor.”
Writing his comments yesterday, Hirai said that the EIP may be in violation of a Japanese law named the “Unauthorized Creation of Electromagnetic Records,” stating “I have a doubt that, if the proposal is followed in practice, the process might constitute a crime.”
The law in question deals with cases of computer-based fraud, in particular the unlawful creation of data “with the intent to bring about improper administration of the matters of another person,” a legal document states.
Last week, Hirai blocked the proposal due to its failure to align with the “ethereum philosophy,” a requirement based on the code acceptance process, as detailed in EIP-1. The developer has since retracted those statements, writing: “I was able to ignore my interpretation of ‘the ethereum philosophy’ but I cannot ignore the penal code.”
Philfer’s proposal has sparked controversy among developers, with some urging the public to get involved with the debate. The proposal is also said to have accelerated efforts to improve the platform’s process for accepting code changes.
Prior to his resignation, Hirai was one of six ethereum developers with the rights to accept software changes onto the platform.
According to data on GitHub, Hirai was prolific in this role, with 5,219 contributions in the last year – a figure that tops the sum of all other editor contributions combined.