Ethereum Smart Contract Error Costs Cryptocurrency Exchange $14 Million

A Canadian digital currency exchange is out as much as $14m worth of the cryptocurrency ether.

According to social media posts and a subsequent statement from Vancouver-based QuadrigaCX, the issue had to do with a previously used “splitter contract” which was utilized to separate incoming ethers and classic ethers (another cryptocurrency that arose from a blockchain split last year).

Yet a recent ethereum client software update, according to QuadrigaCX, led to an issue with how the smart contract functioned.

The exchange said:

“Due to an issue when we upgraded from Geth 1.5.3 to 1.5.9, this contract failed to execute the hot wallet transfer for a few days in May. As a result, a significant sum of ether has effectively been trapped in the splitter contract. The issue that caused this situation has since been resolved.”

Data from EtherScan shows that the contract in question currently holds 67,317.25 ETH – an amount worth roughly $14.7m at current ether prices.

The QuadrigaCX team stressed in its statement that the incident did not impact its solvency or ability to function, but rather “has unfortunately eaten into our profits substantially”.

“All withdrawals, including ether, are being processed as per usual and client balances are unaffected,” the exchange said.

Representatives for QuadrigaCX did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Image via Shutterstock


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