EIP-999: Latest Proposal to Recover Lost Funds in the Parity Wallet ‘Accident’

A new proposal – Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP-999) – has been published by developer and Parity Technologies communications officer Afri Schoeden, which could help restore the library code lost in November 2017 in the Parity wallet.

“I Accidentally Killed It”

Github user devops199 became famous when he accidentally killed a contract, which resulted in the loss of $264 million’s worth of Ether. There were two bugs in the Parity code: anyone could make themselves the “owner” of the contract and then they could delete the contract simply by using the kill function. The new ETH user was playing around with the code when he found this bug and killed the smart contract to see what would happen. Unfortunately for ETH holders, all the assets on the contract were instantly frozen.

The Possibility Of Restoring 513,000 ETH

Parity published a proposal that would change the protocol in the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to fix the problem. However, the majority of Etherereum users were not in favor of this approach and hence, the hunt for a better solution began once again. With the latest EIP proposal however, the code will restore the funds and won’t incorporate another kill switch.

The Ethereum protocol does not allow the restoration of self-destructed contracts. To implement this on the Ethereum blockchain, it is recommended to add the necessary state transition in a future hard-fork at a well-defined block number, e.g., CNSTNTNPL_FORK_BLKNUM for the Constantinople milestone which is supposed to be the next scheduled hard-fork on the Ethereum road-map.

Developer Nick Johnson is in favor of the latest update, according to his conversation with Coindesk, “I think simply recovering funds is both more technically sound and more honest than the original proposal to modify the self-destruct opcode.”

Since the code only targets the lost 513,000 ETH, Johnson believes that this may convince the community to support the decision. “Speaking personally, I’m in favor of helping people recover lost funds if the cost to do so is low relative to the funds being recovered, the owner is unambiguous, and the funds are definitively locked up. I think the case with the Parity multi-sig bug fits all three criteria,” said Johnson.

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