The Merkle

Parity Will Not Pursue Hard Fork to Unfreeze 500,000 Ether

Ever since the recent Parity bug, people have been wondering how their frozen funds will be rescued. It is evident there is no easy solution to this problem, as the earlier proposal of hard forking Ethereum to roll back the incident has been rejected by the community. This will make it a lot more difficult to come up with a solution everyone can agree on. For now, there is still no solution in sight, but the team is still searching for a way to resolve this issue.

Frozen Parity Funds Remain in Limbo

On one hand, it is good to see the Ethereum community being so outspoken about another Ethereum hard fork to reclaim frozen funds. The network set a dangerous precedent when the community approved a hard fork-based rollback of all stolen funds belonging to the DAO. That has always been a controversial decision, even though there were no other viable ways of dealing with the problem at the time. 

In light of the recent Parity bug that caused over 500,000 Ether to be frozen in certain company wallets, it is evident a solution has to be found. After a few possible options were outlined around a week ago, the community immediately rejected all of the ideas. Every option required another Ethereum hard fork to undo the damage and introduce another rollback of sorts. It is not an acceptable method of dealing with this problem, according to the community, and the Parity team has taken this feedback to heart.

The positive aspect of this development is that there is no hard fork to contend with and no further controversy that could affect the Ethereum network as a whole. On the other hand, it also means there is no way to recover the 500,000 Ether still frozen in wallets. A few ICO projects were affected by this Parity bug, and they will have to wait for a proper solution until the situation can be rectified. Nevertheless, the Parity team is not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Although a hard fork seems like the most convenient solution, going down that road would have severe repercussions. After all, the DAO hard fork has brought us Ethereum Classic, which goes to show how controversial such rash decisions can be for the network as a whole. Although it is doubtful we would see a third version of Ethereum created in the process, one could not dismiss the possibility. Moreover, it would set another dangerous precedent by turning a blockchain into a mutable ledger.

It is good to see the Parity team take community feedback to heart in this regard. Resolving this matter is still their top priority right now, but it will require some creative thinking to get everything working again. Until further notice, the 500,000 Ether will remain locked in some wallets. It is not an ideal situation by any means, but we will have to deal with it for now. Going the hard fork route is not acceptable, as the Ethereum community doesn’t want the Parity funds to receive any “special treatment”.

How the Parity team will eventually resolve these problems remains to be determined. Considering the team knows best how the bug was created and how it could have been resolved before someone took advantage of it, there’s no doubt they will find a solution sooner or later. We can only hope this matter is resolved quickly, as this bug has been present for quite some time now. Moreover, the people whose funds are currently in limbo are slowly running out of patience.