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Fat finger error locks up $280 million worth of Ethereum cryptocurrency

Fat finger error locks up $280 million worth of Ethereum cryptocurrency
Ethereum valued at $280 million has been frozen after someone made a mistake. An unknown user deleted the code library of Parity Technologies, a large provider of cryptocurrency wallets. The code gives access to wallets.

As the company reported in a security advisory, no funds can be moved out of the multi-sig wallets due to this issue. Multi-sig wallets usually contain large sums of money. They are typically owned by startups or large groups to prevent someone from running away with the money. Multi-sig wallets are a favorite way of keeping cryptocurrency raised in initial coin offerings, or ICOs.

What is more, the accidentally deleted code was actually part of the fix released to patch up a bug found during a hack in July. Then, the company’s coding error let hackers steal $32 million from Parity’s ethereum wallets. Now, all multi-sig wallets created after July 20 are paralyzed.

The individual who triggered the lockdown claims to be new to cryptocurrency, and was worried what would happen to him in a forum:

“We are still working on the final number and do not want to release any speculative figures. No ether has been stolen,” Parity said in a statement.

Investors in ethereum are worried the technologies are so vulnerable at the moment that a single newbie can paralyze millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. In other words, one person's error has deprived users of a pile of money, and there is no guarantee they will get it back.

Ethereum is the second biggest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, and slid about one percent on Wednesday, dropping below $300 on the news.