Ethereum Client Update Issue Costs Cryptocurrency Exchange $14 Million

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

Jun 2, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:24 p.m. UTC

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 arose through its use of a "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 a contract execution problem on their end.

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.

Update: This article and its headline have been updated for clarity. 

Image via Shutterstock

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