A user’s mistake of accidentally deleting some code in cryptocurrency wallet introduced by Parity Technologies may have frozen approximately $280 million in ethereum, mostly affecting “multi-sig” (multiple signature) digital wallets deployed after July 20, according to CNBC.
Multi-sig wallets are used for large amounts of money, usually by startups or businesses afraid of a team member stealing funds, requiring multiple permissions when a person wants to move funds out of the account.
Digital wallet company Parity confirmed that “a user suicided the library-turned-into-wallet, wiping out the library code which in turn rendered all multi-sig contracts unusable since their logic (any state-modifying function) was inside the library.”
It’s unclear how much cryptocurrency has disappeared exactly, as the company hasn’t released an official statement on numbers. French hacker Matt Suiche speculated that the code deletion could have affected over $280 million worth of ethereum, information based on CoinDesk’s data that one token’s current worth of $291.
In response to speculations from a number of researchers on the internet, the company announced on Twitter that “the total ETH circulating social media is speculative.”
This is not the first time Parity is dealing with coding errors. In July, one of the multi-signature wallets was breached, hackers getting away with almost $30 million in cryptocurrency.