PayPro, a fintech startup with offices in London and Barcelona, has admitted that it has lost all the proceeds of its ICO. Its coin offering took place in November, registered through Gibraltar, and managed to garner 1,000 ETH.
However, due to a “programming error” the ETH was transferred to a wallet that is inaccessible by the team. In fact, the public key in question has never been used, so no one has access.
PayPro is refusing to take responsibility for the error, instead pointing the finger at the company they employed to program the smart contract, and against whom they are now bringing legal proceedings. “We have everything documented,” said CEO Pablo Ruiz, and “we will prove it before a notary [judge]“.
The subcontracted software house, NineBells Networks SL of Madrid, claim that the code was fine, but was deployed incorrectly by PayPro. Prior to the ICO the codebase was audited by a Consensys-accredited auditor who identified no problems.
Blockchain lawyer Cristina Carrascosa says that if the code was at fault then responsibility would lie with the programmer or auditor. However, in this case, “the error was in the deployment of the contract”, and though “we do not know who made it” it is clear that “the code was correct and the problem was in the ‘translation’ from one language to another in the deployment”.
PayPro is one of several competing companies describing itself as the “first decentralized bank” and plans to create a financial marketplace “where any Decentralized Application (dApp) will be able to offer its services”. To get there they plan to build a “universal wallet”. However, they now find themselves without the necessary capital.
PayPro have gone back to their community explaining the situation and asking them to both join the lawsuit, and contribute once again to the project. Its founders have also written to the Ethereum Foundation explaining their problem in the hope that they can find “a way to avoid this to happen again in the future”.
“What happened is not good for the sector” says Ruiz, “but now we will focus on trying to fix it”. He vowed to “make PayPro work” and “continue in blockchain”.
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