Unfreezing of Parity Users’ Funds May Require a New Ethereum Hard Fork
Against the background of the discovery of one of the largest vulnerabilities in the Ethereum eco-theme, CoinDesk interviewed a number of experts and found out what they think about this..
After removing part of the code, all Parity multisignature wallets created after July 20 were frozen. Users cannot access their money, and the total amount of frozen funds, according to some estimates, is more than $ 150 million.
For example, one research team found that at least $ 154 million were frozen. They analyzed the contract that caused the freeze and found similar contracts..
In dollar terms, the damage from this bug is almost 3 times the damage caused by the infamous DAO hack, during which about $ 60 million in ETH was stolen..
Although this event does not have an impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole, some believe that its consequences will continue to affect Ethereum for a long time..
Vulcanize developer Rick Dudley stated, “I think we as a community need to be more serious about the extent to which we’re going to forgive. When are we going to kick people out for security miscalculations? ”
At the same time, the developers note that the problem lies in smart contracts that are developed on the basis of Ethereum, and not in Ethereum itself..
“We were once again convinced that we already knew. Writing smart contracts is difficult, we should learn the best practices, but the risk of bugs will remain, “said Jez San Obe, founder and CEO of FunFair..
The problem is that the execution of the smart contract code in the blockchain cannot be stopped if it is provided for by its terms. Although this feature is considered one of the key advantages of blockchain, if such a bug is found, then it too cannot be stopped. Last time, Parity users had to pay $ 30 million for this. How much they will pay this time is still unclear.
Ethereum developers and researchers have done a lot to avoid repeating the history of The DAO, however, as practice shows, this is not enough to talk about bank-grade security.
Some question the Parity team’s ability to tackle such problems.
“The situation clearly does not raise hopes that their next update will fix this vulnerability,” said Eximchain CEO Hope Liu.
In turn, the Parity team claims to have audited the code before launching it..
“We adhere to very high standards in our designs, including the help of users. We have a bug bounty program, with which we involve the community in testing, ”said a representative of Parity.
However, not everyone will agree with this opinion. Some believe the vulnerability was the result of Ethereum’s fundamental problem.
So, the creator of Litecoin Charlie Lee calls Ethereum “a hacker’s paradise”.
“The Solidity language for writing Ethereum contracts is one of the worst languages for creating bug-free code,” says Lee..
According to Lee, pseudonymous developers should not have access to parts of the code that are directly related to users’ money..
Bitcoin Core developer Johnson Lau calls smart contracts “dumb contracts”, implying a low degree of platform reliability.
Others believe that in this case there is not a technical, but primarily a moral issue. After The DAO hacked last year, Ethereum developers made a controversial decision to return money to the rightful owners.
One of the possible solutions to this problem is the same hard fork. However, last time a disagreement between the developers and the community led to the emergence of a new cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic. This time, not all support such a blockchain change either..
Localethereum asked its Twitter followers a question: “Should there be another Ethereum fork?” 59% were against.
In any case, some believe that a hard fork is the most appropriate way out of this situation. Lau said he expects developers to go this route..
The company itself is in no hurry to come up with solutions yet. “It’s too early to make a decision,” said a Parity spokesman.
In addition, other developers may come up with better suggestions..
“It’s too early to tell whether white hackers can find a way to extract user funds. You should not write off geniuses who can find a solution, “Obe said..
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