Not long ago, things were going great for Robert Leshner, the founder of Compound, which self-describes as, "an algorithmic, autonomous interest rate protocol built for developers." In 2018, Compound received an $8.2m investment from Coinbase Ventures. A subsequent round of investment, which included Bain Capital Investment, took the total raised to $33.2m. Leshner changed his moniker to "shadowy super coder."
Last year, Leshner took a step back from administering Compound himself, and allowed holders of COMP tokens to collectively decide how to administer the protocol. He was moving on to other things. This week, however, Leshner has had to get a little more involved again. - He's been writing begging messages to the Compound community on Twitter requesting that they return any Compound tokens they've received when they shouldn't have.
Compound allows users to lend and borrow cryptocurrencies overnight and algorithmically sets interest rates based on the supply and demand for particular crypto assets. When users deposit their crypto tokens into the Compound pool, they get a Compound (COMP) token in return. In recent days, a coding error has meant that up to $162m of COMP tokens are being awarded to users who don't own them. One user alone got an accidental $29m. These tokens are what Leshner has been trying to get users to give back.
He's had some success. Various Leshner tweets suggest people have been returning the tokens, but as has also been pointed out, they're under no obligation to do so. Leshner initially threatened to release the real names of the illicit COMP holders, but has more recently tried a softer approach with promises of magical NFTs. It appears to be working.
It's not over yet, though. The error that released the tokens was introduced last Wednesday following an upgrade. At first it wasn't noticed by users, and Leshner said it was hoped that a patch would be introduced before anyone took advantage of it (it's necessary to 'call upon the Reservoir contract' to get the COMP tokens). That seems to have been wishful thinking.
The problem now is that since it was the community of Compound developers that introduced the bug (which could apparently be as small as a single letter in the code), that same community has to agree upon a remedy, and getting this agreement takes time. Discussions are underway here, with some developers saying they're against the proposed patch because it will disrupt other elements of the system.
In the meantime, Comp tokens are still available to claim and some people have made many millions through doing almost nothing at all. It beats working in a bank or spending your free time monitoring the gyrations of bitcoin.
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