The Evolving Debate Over EIP-999: Can (or Should) Trapped Ether Be Freed?
In November 2017, a pseudonymous actor exploited a vulnerability in Parity’s multi-signature Ethereum wallet library that rendered half a million ether inaccessible to their owners. Ironically, the culprit, Devops199, was trying to patch another vulnerability that allowed hackers to steal $32 million from Parity’s multi-signature wallet accounts back in July of 2017. While tinkering with the popular service’s smart contracts, Devops199 blundered his way into complete ownership of the library that houses the entirety of Parity’s multi-signature wallet accounts.
Alerted to this mistake, he made another by killing the code he deployed. The fallout of this decision resulted in the library locking up roughly $150 million worth of ether, leaving the funds completely untouchable. Fast forward five months: The 514,000 inaccessible coins are worth over $320 million, and the community now has a few feasible options at its disposal to restore them to their rightful owners.