Not all oracle answers will be well received by network users. In the case of the Question Oracle, there could be at least two potential issues.
The first negative scenario might unravel if the oracle will make a decision that is clearly incorrect due to the incompetence of reporters or their desire to compromise the network. For instance, by placing a huge bet on Hillary Clinton winning the presidential election.
The second negative scenario is possible in case the smart-contract included an incorrect wording of the question in the first place. Take the BP example. It might just happen that BP’s end of year market cap will be higher than 150B on some exchanges, but lower than that on others, while the contract didn’t specify the exchange. The experienced market players understand the importance of correct wording, but sometimes it’s impossible to foresee such situations.
When it comes to the Governance Oracle the conflict of interest is even easier to imagine, with a deliberate attack on the network attempting to halt its development and growth being the worst-case scenario. In order to prevent attacks, Amoveo developers are planning on making the governance system more complicated by creating a full-fledged decision market (DM) — a particular prediction market (PM) used for changing the network’s variables through the Governance Oracle. The current Governance Oracle mechanism and the coming reforms are described in detail in a separate article about decision markets and futarchy.
To ensure the system’s flexibility, Amoveo users can see current bets before the oracle closes the question. If a user sees that their bet is on the losing side, they can double the stake. If the network is under attack from a single participant, all the other users can also double-up on their bets.
Moreover, in an extreme scenario, users can opt to fork (split the network in two) as it happened with Ethereum in 2016 in light of The DAO scandal. Due to the contract’s vulnerability, many Ether holders lost their assets, and therefore a decision was made to split the currency in two: Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). In ETH, the blockchain blocks accounting for a loss of hacked funds were deleted while ETC remained unchanged. The users were given a choice of which blockchain they wanted to proceed with.
Similarly, in case of a conflict that can’t be resolved otherwise, some users may elect to go a different direction by creating a new version of the blockchain that would be “rolled back” to pre-conflict state. Obviously, the success of a fork is never guaranteed, as everything will depend on how active the users will be within the old and the new networks. In case of Ethereum, the modified version of ETH became more popular, because the consensus was that the hack and loss of funds was detrimental to the network.