Hard forks to reset a cryptocurrency to a previous state can be very contentious, tearing apart communities of supporters into warring factions. Ethereum already underwent such a scenario after the DAO debacle, creating a precedent, and now Parity is asking for a hard fork.
You Need a Fork to Squash a Bug
The team behind Parity Technologies, the developers of the Parity multi-signature wallet, have called today for a new hard fork of ethereum in order to solve the consequences of a recently found bug in the code.
In a blog post about the subject, the Parity team mentioned past issues that plagued ethereum, and tries to cast their recent incident as just another example. They fail to mention that more than half a million ether, worth over $230 million in current prices, were involved in this particular case.
They write: “All of these funds are provably non-recoverable without a change in the blockchain’s state, opcode upgrades or consensus rules modification….No one should be under any illusion that unlocking these stuck funds would be anything other than a rescue operation – and would only be possible with a hard fork.”
The Parity teams lists three possible courses of actions at this point in time. The first would allow private key holders affected by certain issues to withdraw their ether as suggested by Vitalik Buterin. This approach, they say, will not cover the funds frozen in the Parity wallets because the relevant contract still contains code.
A second solution would be an address-specific recovery. They explain that this focuses on capturing as many edge cases as possible but is not tightly defined.
The third solution, suggested by Parity, is a change to the protocol which would allow the revival of ‘suicided’ contracts. They anticipate that this proposition will lead to a lot of disagreements but hope that the community will eventually get behind it.
Is a hard fork a legitimate solution to hacks, bugs and other issues? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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