Tech

Ed Drake

Parity rejects Ethereum split proposal to recover lost $320M in ETH

It’s back to the drawing board for those who were seeking to recover the more than $320 million worth of frozen ETH funds, after Parity Technologies announced that it has “no intention” to split the Ethereum blockchain.

A glitch in a multi-sig wallet smart contract library last year was responsible for the funds being locked, a factor which had led some to speculate on a potential fork in the Ethereum blockchain to recover the money. However, Parity founders Gavin Wood and Jutta Steiner shot down proposals to force a split in the network. Wood was Ethereum’s former chief technology officer.

In a statement, the Parity founders said, “We have no intention to split the Ethereum chain. We plan to continue to work with the community to find a path forward. We have all dedicated a great deal of time and effort to developing the Ethereum ecosystem, and have no intention of harming what we have helped build.”

In spite of the decision to leave these funds in place, Parity continues to work towards the recovery of around 513,000 ETH which has been locked for over a year, after a bug allowed for the destruction of a wallet library contract, affecting some 600 different multi-signature wallets. Majority of the frozen funds belong to Wood’s Web3 Foundation.

“All of us at Parity Technologies are deeply sorry to the users who remain unable to access their ether as a result of a bug in our code,” Parity said. “We have been in constant conversation with affected projects and believe that those in the community who have stuck ether, either through the wallet freeze or, for example, issues such as those listed in EIP-156, have a case for attempting to recover the property.”

The issue of recovering funds locked by self-destructed smart contracts has been a topic of debate within the Ethereum community, which has thus far resisted calls for a fork or other standardised recovery process for reclaiming lost ETH.

In an attempt to circumvent these concerns, Parity recently submitted EIP-999 to restore only the specific Parity library affected by the glitch, as a means of recovering the funds. However, the issue remained in contention, and there were fears that this course of action would lead to a further split in the Ethereum blockchain.

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