Parity Floats Fix for $160 Million Ether Fund Freeze

Work continues on a possible way to free up the more than $160 million worth of ether stuck in multi-signature wallets following a dramatic hack last week.

In a new update published today, the Parity software development team said that it is conducting a review of the incident and will be releasing a post-mortem report “in the next few days.”

The update indicates that there remains no immediate plan for addressing the frozen funds – although it’s been suggested that a network hard fork would be required to find a solution, perhaps as part of the “Constantinople” network upgraded planned for 2018. That said, the startup raised the option of EIP156 – a late 2016 proposal from ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin focused on freeing up money locked in certain types of contracts – as one possible approach.

“We have spent the last few days rigorously examining the events. While it is too early to decide on a fixed solution, EIP156 has been discussed for a significant time and has drawn support from various directions in the community,” the team wrote, adding:

“The team is working on a broadly accepted solution that will unblock the funds.”

As previously reported, a bug in the code for the Parity wallet software was inadvertently exploited by an anonymous developer, a move that “suicided” its code library and resulted in 513,774.16 ETH – an amount worth approximately $160.8 million at current prices – being locked within 587 separate wallets.

The situation raises the specter of The DAO, the ethereum-based funding vehicle that collapsed in the summer of 2016 following a debilitating code exploit. Unlike that situation, however, the frozen funds aren’t subject to theft by outside entities and, as it stands, remain in their respective accounts.

Ice cube image via Shutterstock

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