EOS Blockchain dApp Trybe has Airdrop Token Fiasco Occur via Backdoor to Access Wallets


Trybe, a blockchain-powered content ecosystem, has come under fire for botching an airdrop. The company distributed too many tokens to the users via the airdrop and then used a backdoor to retrieve them directly from the wallets of the users in a reverse transaction.

The error of the developers was to give about four times more tokens to 100 EOS wallets. Russle “Castle” Meakim reported that he was surprised when he saw so many tokens on his wallet. He saw that he had 8,740 TRYBE tokens on his account. Surprised, he did not decide to sell them, however.

Developers “Solve” The Problem

Trybe’s problem was solved by the developers by using a smart contract code that removed the tokens and charged them back. It was not a hack, however, as this feature was made by design in the EOS chain.

While the Ethereum smart contracts, for instance, are immutable, the ones from EOS allow chargebacks and all smart contracts on the platform can be edited, updated and changed after deployment. Nobody needs to wait or to give notice to do it.

This way, it is entirely up to the users to find the protection that they need from malicious updates on previous EOS contracts and they may need to audit the codes themselves, which can be a problem if they are not very tech-savvy.

Trybe’s developers have confirmed that they reversed the transaction on Reddit. The founder of the company, Tom Norwood, admitted that the had frozen all token activity of the platform and accessed the wallets of the users to take the funds back.

“We Are Comfortable With Our Decision”

While Norwood admitted to be negligent and causing the problem in the first place, he did not seem to care too much. He stated that this is a new software and that bugs are very common. Also, he has affirmed that people can attack or the EOS blockchain, but that they are very comfortable with their decision.

Rather than leaving a huge amount of tokens to a few people’s wallets, they just took it back, which they argued that is a good feature of EOS.

This Happens a Lot On The EOS Blockchain

It is important to put this into perspective when analyzing because this happens all the time in the EOS blockchain. If people have a function, why would they not use it? Many block producers have frozen EOS accounts without any type of approval in the past. A total of seven EOS wallet was illegitimately accessed in order to retrieve “stolen” funds in the past.

Nathan Rempel, Trybe lead developer, argues that this is why it is important to have some sort of centralization in the network. According to him, centralized control is not always a bad thing and the entire community can be a part of it.

There is an important debate to be made on whether companies should or should not centralize their systems more. While removing the ability to edit smart contracts can create a protection, it also creates problems in some cases like when millions of dollars in ETH were stuck into a smart contract-powered wallet called Parity.

For Ethereum, decentralization is worth more than millions of dollars. For the Trybe developers, however, it’s worth about $60 USD.

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