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Crypto: Juno, the $36 million mistake!

A programming error led to the transfer of more than 3 million JUNO chips, or about $36 million, to the wrong wallet.

Big mistake for JUNO yesterday! 36 million dollars of JUNO chips were transferred by mistake, to the wrong wallet. The error was caused by a fat finger, but the person responsible for it has not yet been formally identified. No solution to access the wallet concerned by the transfer of JUNO tokens has yet been found, as the address is completely unknown.

Juno is a network of interoperable smart contracts that runs on the Cosmos blockchain. The transfer of the $36 million in JUNO tokens – which corresponds to approximately 3 million JUNO tokens – originated from the sanction of a whale. Specifically, Takumi Asano, a Japanese investor accused of fraudulently and illegitimately acquiring the tokens he held.

As a result of these accusations, a community vote was passed by an overwhelming majority (“Juno 20 proposal“) to confiscate Takumi Asano’s 3 million JUNO tokens. Asano contested the decision, arguing that the funds he used “belonged to a community of individual investors“.

Juno, a programming error

crypto juno cosmos error
Juno Network

In any case, and despite the explanations of the Japanese investor, the community revoked his JUNO tokens. It was expected that a code would move the funds from his wallet to another. This is when the programming error occurred, as the funds were transferred to the wrong address instead of the “Unity” address originally chosen to retrieve the funds.

This is the first – at least known – mistake made by a blockchain community in modifying the token balance of a user accused of acting fraudulently to obtain tokens.

The “Juno 20 proposal” passed in the community vote explains that the main person involved in the case, Takumi Asano, “ran an exchange service that should have made his wallets ineligible for the ‘Juno’ stakedrop, which gave JUNO tokens to stakers on the Cosmos Hub blockchain.”

It has been said, the person responsible for transferring the funds to the wrong address is not known. So, in this situation, it is very difficult to determine who is at fault: can we hold the validators responsible who did not notice that the address pasted was not “Unity” but an unknown address?

Daniel Hwang, one of the 120 validators of the protocol said:

“We screwed up. Developers can make mistakes… but at the end of the day, there should be assumptions of trust that can’t be relied upon. Validators should have done their due diligence to actually verify the code we run and use.”

Daniel Hwang

Fortunately, it seems that the funds can be recovered and the mistake fixed. Indeed, the founder of JUNO, Andrea Di Michele, reassured the community by saying that the error would be fixed within a week. Be patient!

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