Oftentimes in the crypto world, truth is stranger than fiction. It’s got speculative meme tokens, gaudy multi-million dollar monkey non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and North Korean hackers stealing crypto to fund the country’s nuclear weapons program. But beyond the obviously absurd, the immutable nature of the blockchain makes for plenty of blunders that leave investors scratching their heads. OptiFi is making for a great crypto horror story this week as it inadvertently shuts down its main network.
Since even the early years of crypto, developer blunders have made for painful mistakes. Luckily, many of these had been fixable, though. Take Binance (BNB-USD), for example. A programming error on the world’s largest crypto trading platform led to it suspending operations for two days before correction. A Bitcoin (BTC-USD) upgrade in 2013 made the entire network unusable, forcing users to go back to the previous version.
But other times, these errors can be much more detrimental. They can even force developers to jump ship entirely. Ethereum (ETH-USD) had one of the most infamous stories when its decentralized autonomous organization (or DAO) was hacked. A coding error allowed a hacker to drain assets from the DAO fund. The aftermath was a very torn community, with one side hard forking to the Ethereum we know today, and the others staying on what would become Ethereum Classic (ETC-USD).
These more permanent errors come as a result of the immutability of the blockchain. Blockchain is immutable, meaning the code written to run these networks is unchangeable once programmers execute it. This is to make the networks less centralized, as somebody can’t go in at will and change the fundamentals of the code. This leads to some very unfortunate moments, though, as the OptiFi news shows.
OptiFi Developers Accidentally Permanently Close Main Network
OptiFi, a decentralized finance (DeFi) decentralized application (dApp) on the Solana (SOL-USD) network, is the newest victim of the classic blockchain coding error.
Monday evening, OptiFi developers tweeted a thread announcing a dire error had been made. While preparing for a main network upgrade, a developer made an error that accidentally closed down the entire OptiFi main network. Once executed, the code is immutable. This means the programmer essentially deleted any access to the network.
Over $661,000 worth of USDCoin (USDC-USD) was held on this network and, as a result of the error, cannot be accessed. Luckily for investors, almost $630,000 of these funds were developers, meaning the loss wasn’t so detrimental. The network promises to reimburse all users.
A post-mortem report gives more details into what occurred. It also sees the company advising developers on what not to do when upgrading. This upgrade comes from a single developer. This leaves no second opinions or devil’s advocates to prevent such an error from occurring. It also advises developers to keep capital pools and main network contracts separate. This ensures that funds are not lost in the event of such an error as this one.
The report closes with a call to Solana developers to implement warnings when a developer may be closing a network. Such a warning would have prevented this accident from taking place.
In the wake of the news, users on the Solana GitHub page are proposing changes to prevent this from happening in the future. One proposal made just hours after the OptiFi error calls for Solana to implement a function for recovering closed programs.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.