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On the "burned" example*, do those burnt tokens go back to being available from the reserve and to be rewarded back to circulation or are they locked and lost forever ?

If so, then is it correct to assume that poorly written smart contracts could potentially lock people's assets when a bug is found say... years down the road ?

  • (can't find the link now, sorry)

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No, since the Redeemer can never succeed, those funds are locked in the script address forever and can never be redeemed.

Yes. This emphasizes the importance of audits of smart contracts before they're used on mainnet.

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    In addition to what @Samuel said. It is also wise to never send funds without a datum to a smart contract address. The ledger rules will not validate transactions that consume such UTxO's as scripts always expect an datum. This ledger implementation can change in the future, while a bad script that locks funds can not be fixed.
    – Fermat
    Jan 25 at 7:59

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