A critical bug in the popular Ethereum wallet Parity has left 500,000($150 Million) Ether frozen. As soon as the news came out, everyone has turned their attention to the Ethereum foundation of whether it will Hard Fork again to save its investors or will it just let it go this time.
Bug in Parity Wallet
On July 20, parity wallet released a new wallet to fix a previous wallet vulnerability that was responsible for the theft of $30 Million. This wallet introduced another bug in the code which allowed someone else controlling Parity Wallet’s Library contract. After the user was in control of the wallet, he sent the commands kill and destroy to the library’s contract which wiped out the entire contract code and all subsequent contracts using this library became unusable. This has made an estimated $150 Million worth of Ethereum unmovable.
Ethereum’s History of Saving Investors
In 2016, the infamous DAO(Decentralized Autonomous Organization), a smart contract that was meant to operate like a decentralized venture fund, was announced. DAO was able raise $150 Million by a total of 11,000 investors. DAO was meant to be backbone of Ethereum and a validation of its technology.
But everything went wrong and someone managed to withdraw Ethereum from DAO’s smart contract. It wasn’t a hack but a bug in DAO’s code. While it was against the principles of immutability to reverse any transaction on a blockchain, Ethereum took the decision to reverse it. Ethereum decided to fork and move all the hacked funds to a new smart contract which was later used to reimburse the investors. This also marked the end of DAO.
Why is it different this time?
During the DAO fiasco, the market cap of Ethereum was around $1 billion but now Ethereum has come way beyond and its current market cap is $28 billion. DAO was supposed to be the first validator of Ethereum’s technology but since then thousands of smart contracts have already been implemented so Parity’s hack does not hold any importance to Ethereum’s network now. Therefore, it can be debated that a Hard fork is unneeded.
But some people have suggested that Ethereum don’t need to Hard fork specially for parity but instead the code to unfreeze the funds can simply be included in the upcoming Constantinople fork. Also there is no ethical barrier this time since the funds are not moved from one account to other rather they are just unfrozen.
Ethereum has set such a bad example in the past that everytime any hack occurs, investors will ask for a hard fork. Shutting down an entire network to save investors destroys Ethereum’s claim of 24/7 super computer. While, it is still unknown what is going to happen to the frozen funds, the price of Ethereum has still not moved.
Let us know what you think about the parity hack and will ethereum fork to save its investors again?