Again, a bug in the popular Crypto Wallet Parity causes trouble: an apparently large number of ethers is stuck in multi-signature wallets and can not be moved.
Again Parity is affected by a fatal programming error. All Ether units in multi-signature wallets created with the application since July 20 are currently unavailable, according to Parity Technologies. Multi-signature refers to the feature that every transaction from a wallet must be acknowledged by multiple parties, that is, signed by their respective private keys.
The problem: The multi-signature functionality of the application depends on the message from a code library, which in turn is stored as a multi-signature contract on the Ethereum Blockchain. Apparently it was possible through sloppy implementation that even unauthorized people take control of this contract without much effort. Specifically, you could probably transform this Smart Contract into a normal multi-Sig wallet and appoint yourself as their owner.
A user did this – supposedly unintentionally – and then triggered a so-called suicide function, a self-deletion of the entire contract including the code library. Now all parity-generated multi-signature wallets will not work properly anymore.
And now again a hard fork?
Which sums are frozen in the affected wallets is still unclear. Cursive estimates say half a million ethers, which could translate into more than 126 million euros at the current ether price. The Ethereum project Polkadot has already announced that it is among those affected. According to the Techcrunch report, nearly 60 percent of the 429,000 ethers recently raised in an initial coin offering are locked into a multi-sig Wallet.
It is unclear how now can be remedied. Parity Technologies said that the situation should be analyzed and more information published at a later date. On Reddit, the community is already debating whether a hard fork could help the Ethereum blockchain – greatly simplifying a kind of account reset. This was already done during the spectacular demise of the blockchain project DAO – with the success that the currency Ethereum classic split off because not all users wanted to support the measure.
Already in June, Parity got talked about, because a bug in the implementation of the multi-signature function made theft possible. 150,000 ethers could be so stolen. The patchy current implementation was supposed to be the patch for the problem at the time.