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User ‘accidentally’ could have wiped out millions in digital currency

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While regulators debate the pros and cons of bitcoins, the rising real-world value of this digital currency inspires the question: What makes money, money?
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While regulators debate the pros and cons of bitcoins, the rising real-world value of this digital currency inspires the question: What makes money, money?

A user of Parity, a digital currency wallet provider, locked up millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency by accident, the company said in a security alert released Tuesday.

The user apparently “accidentally” triggered a flaw that allowed the individual to effectively take over multiple users’ wallets on Monday and then deleted the library code, essentially freezing all funds with associated accounts, according to Parity’s alert.

“This means that currently no funds can be moved out of the multi-sig wallets,” Parity said.

Many people store their ether currency with Parity – as much as 20 percent of the Ethereum network, according to Fortune and Business Insider.

Early estimates put the amount of the locked up funds at between $150 million and $280 million, Fortune reports. According to Parity’s estimates, 584 wallets are affected and 573 owners are affected.

Parity has not released an amount, saying Tuesday on Twitter, “Update: To the best of our knowledge the funds are frozen & can’t be moved anywhere. The total ETH circulating social media is speculative.”

The issue affects users who created a multi-signature Parity wallet after July 20.

If you believe you might be impacted, Parity says to visit a website that the company created listing affected accounts: https://affected.parity.io/.

The company says it is in touch with those affected, but you can reach Parity at community@parity.io.

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