A mishap in cryptocurrency Ethereum’s blockchain has resulted in a freezing of digital tokens worth more than $150 million, at least. According to reports, a developer accidentally locked a wallet containing ether, the digital token, in an online wallet, while attempting to solve a bug. The bug was a result of the fix that Parity, a cryptocurrency wallet provider, had implemented for the theft of $30 million from three multisig wallets back in June.
In its fix to secure against future theft, Parity discovered a flaw in its code that allowed hackers to take control of wallets that did not belong to them. While correcting the flaw, a user “devops199” accidentally deleted lines of code that transferred ownership of wallets. As a result, the funds are now locked in the multisig wallet.
“We are analyzing the situation and will release an update with further details shortly,” Parity stated in a security alert. While social media accounts put the worth of digital tokens stolen at $300 million, the company disputed that figure. It said that that figure was “purely speculative” and added that the money was “frozen” as opposed to “lost”.
As a consequence of this mishap, developers have ratcheted up calls for a hard fork in the cryptocurrency’s blockchain. Ethereum underwent a hard fork two years ago after a similar theft from an app, DAO. "At this time, the only method we are aware of to "unfreeze" tokens held by vulnerable smart contract would be to create a new 'hard fork' Ethereum client that deploys a fix. This would require every full node on the full Ethereum network to upgrade by the date of the hard fork to stay in sync, including all miners, wallets, exchanges. etc." said Dominic Williams, CEO of DFINITY,a blockchain firm, in an interview with The Guardian. (See also: DAO Hacker Donates Funds To Ethereum Classic Dev Team).
Investors, however, did not seem to be bothered by the news as the cryptocurrency climbed to a three-week high this morning. On an overall basis, ethereum has jumped by more than 3600 percent since the start of this year. At 20:14 UTC, the cryptocurrency was trading at $326.04, an increase of 2.64 percent in the last 24 hours. (See also: Ethereum Price Surges Following Bitcoin Gains).