Tech 26 June 2018Gerald Fenech
Technical errors, security scare hound Nano wallet launch
Shadow of technical glitches and security scares continues to hang over Nano, the cryptocurrency that promises fast and fee-less transactions—and the latest launch of its wallet was certainly no exception. The latest problem is that developers found a bug which threatened the security of user’s funds.
June 21 saw the official launch of the long-awaited Nano wallet. The launch of the wallet caused it to skyrocket to the front pages of app stores. It immediately achieved ‘trending’ status on the Google Play Store and garnered over 10,000 downloads, while other users expected similar numbers on their download platforms.
However, a mere five hours after the official announcement, developers encountered a security flaw in the code of the Android version of the wallet. The Nano team then posted a message on Twitter to inform users about the problem.
*ATTENTION* ANYONE WHO GENERATED A SEED USING THE ANDROID WALLET, IMMEDIATELY MOVE YOUR FUNDS TO ANOTHER WALLET DERIVED FROM A DIFFERENT SEED. *ATTENTION*
— Nano (@nano) June 21, 2018
The bug only affected the Android version of the wallet, according to the Nano team, which also advised users to move their funds to a secure wallet. The original version of the wallet had issues generating unique and random seeds, a problem the dev team referred to as “Wallet Seed Migration.”
In a Reddit post, Nano communications chief Troy Retzer confirmed that an “update is coming that will force users to change seeds using correct cryptography.”
The problem was reportedly fixed the following day, with the Nano team issuing another update to the Google Play Store. The glitch, however, didn’t end there—developers found another bug in the updated version.
Work on Android is temporarily disabled while we fix a bug.
— The Nano Wallet Company (@nanowalletco) June 23, 2018
The term “work” refers to the proof-of-work (POW) system that Nano uses to compute blocks. With Nano, it’s the wallet users that “mine” the transactions, meaning the user’s computing power are allocated to the wallet. This also means that the “temporary” pause on the Nano wallet’s system resulted in a forced shutdown of any outgoing transactions made on Android devices.
Details are still foggy on how the Nano team is addressing the issue. In a Medium post, Retzer said the team “will work on identifying and incorporating better engineering practices that will help us deal with a wider class of failures in the future.”
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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