The Ethscriptions protocol, a groundbreaking platform for creating and sharing digital objects on Ethereum, has encountered a significant Ethscriptions setback. The protocol’s creator, Tom Lehman, recently revealed that the main marketplace for Ethscriptions fell victim to a hacking incident. This unfortunate event has raised concerns within the Ethereum community and has disrupted the progress of the protocol.
Ethscriptions, launched by Tom Lehman, who is renowned for his work as the co-founder and former CEO of Genius.com, offers a unique approach to creating Ethereum assets. Leveraging transaction “calldata,” Ethscriptions allows users to write non-financial data directly onto Ethereum’s blockchain. While the protocol itself and other applications utilizing this technology remain unaffected, a considerable number of Ethscriptions listed on Ethscriptions.com have been stolen, as stated by Lehman on Twitter.
Impact on the Marketplace and Protocol
The exact value of the stolen ethscriptions is yet to be determined. However, recent data from the NFT marketplace OpenSea reveals that some ethscriptions have been sold for as much as 5 Ethereum, equivalent to approximately $9,600, over the past month. Among the stolen ethscriptions, Lehman expressed his distress over the loss of Ethscription #56, emphasizing its rarity and historical significance.
Lessons Learned and Future Plans
This exploit is especially concerning for Lehman since the marketplace was meant to be a model for other platforms that support Ethscriptions. Unfortunately, this setback has hindered the initiative’s progress, falling short of its goal to build a thriving ecosystem. Lehman took full responsibility for the failure, acknowledging that the exploit was caused by a smart contract created by him and Michael Hirsch, co-founder of Indelible Labs. A code snippet allowed unauthorized withdrawal from the marketplace.
Lehman admitted the challenges faced by this new protocol. It is explaining that while it saved money by limiting smart contract storage, it required strategic considerations for use in marketplaces. He stressed the need to find alternative ways to provide smart contracts with information or eliminate their dependency on such information altogether.
To address the issue, the protocol will undergo necessary changes. The marketplace Ethscriptions.com is preparing for a relaunch. Lehman has been in contact with those affected by the hack and commended them. As “the earliest adopters” of the Ethscriptions protocol on Twitter.
Unlike traditional NFTs, these store within transaction-level data instead of issuing it. As tokens on Ethereum through smart contracts. Since its inception, a Dune Analytics dashboard has reported the creation of around 474,000 of these. Additionally, the emergence of the Ethrscriptions protocol follows the rising popularity of Ordinals. Which enable the creation of NFT-like assets on Bitcoin, ushering in a new wave of experimentation with the oldest cryptocurrency.
Further, despite the attention drawn to the exploit on July 14, the Ethscriptions.com marketplace remains impacted. As indicated by a warning urging users to withdraw their ethscriptions and refrain from creating new listings.