The Juno cryptocurrency’s creators intended to deposit $36 million worth of tokens to a community-controlled wallet. It was sent to an unreachable address due to a human error.
The immutability of the blockchain is one of its main selling points: A transaction cannot be reversed once data has been processed. One of the most vexing aspects of the blockchain? It is unchangeable. Reversing a human error that results in anything being sold for the wrong price or money being delivered to the wrong location can be difficult, if not impossible.
That is the unpleasant situation in which the Juno cryptocurrency’s developers find themselves. A community vote had ruled that around 3 million Juno tokens, valued at approximately $36 million, be taken from an investor considered to have obtained the tokens through malicious means. The monies were to be transferred to a wallet owned by Juno token holders, who would be able to vote on how they were used.
However, as reported by CoinDesk, a developer unintentionally copied and pasted the incorrect wallet information, resulting in $36 million in cryptocurrency being transmitted to an inaccessible account.
Andrea Di Michele, one of Juno’s original developers, told the publication that he supplied the right wallet address, as well as a hash number, to the developer in charge of the transfer. Hashes link blocks on the blockchain together, and hash values can resemble wallet addresses at first glance. The transfer’s coder unintentionally copied and pasted the hash number instead of the wallet address.
Di Michele told CNET that the fact that none of the network validators spotted the issue was far more upsetting than the human error. To be added to the blockchain, “validators” must validate each transaction, which is encoded in “blocks.” Di Michele explained that this transaction had 125 validators, but none of them were examined.”This is a wake up call for validators,” he said.
Juno is a blockchain that aims to be more scalable and efficient than Ethereum. It is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain, which is more efficient than Bitcoin and Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work consensus process. PoS systems validate transactions by having token holders vote to accept them, whereas PoW chains rely on solving computationally difficult cryptographic issues – which is why those systems require so much more power.
Blockchain infrastructure is primarily intended to improve decentralization by allowing a global network of people to execute payments rather than centralized entities such as banks. The disadvantage of decentralization is that no entity can rapidly correct human faults. Someone sold their Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT for 0.75 ether instead of 75 ether in December, earning $3,000 instead of $300,000. Fat finger mistakes are not rare.
Developers have developed ways to reverse transactions in the past, but the solutions aren’t straightforward. When a hacker exploited a smart contract in 2016 and stole $50 million in ether, Ethereum developers had no choice but to “hard fork” their blockchain in order to recover the funds. This meant creating a copy of the existing blockchain that was identical in every way except that the stolen funds were transferred to a recovery address. It was a divisive episode. Some members of the community believed it went against cryptocurrency principles, thus they continued to run Ethereum Classic on the original blockchain.
Because Juno is a Proof-of-Stake chain, the problem may be easier to fix for its engineers. Juno operates on a governance model, according to Di Michele, in which token holders can vote to change blockchain transactions, so changing direction needs a majority vote and then a software update.
“Funds will flow to the correct location in one week or whatever,” Di Michele told CNET. “It’s horrible, but it can be rectified simply.” “Another upgrade will restore funds by adjusting the chain state. PoS chans are different from Bitcoin in that they are governed. Even state changes can occur if the government says so.”