Turns out he destroyed a library responsible for accessing all Parity’s multi-sig wallets created after July 20th.
The funds are not moved anywhere – they are just locked in these multi-sig wallets. The wallets are very often used by ICOs and other fundraisers – where several parties need to authorize access to funds for safety reasons. Now the funds are as safe as they can be – these are the “ultimate hodl wallets” as per one Twitter joke.
Last time a problem of the similar scale occurred (the “DAO hack”) Ethereum was forked, gathering accusations of totalitarianism (the fork interpreted by some as proof Ethereum can and will be changed any time the main devs don’t like something). Will it fork this time? Most of the online commenters sure hint at that, especially the “parity account” of the “developer who accidentally killed it”:
So, we hard forking or what?
— devops199 (@devops199) November 8, 2017
All of that brings up a very valid point that spreads way beyond the Ethereum infrastructure, the point being best formulated by Sjors Provoost:
Ethereum’s move fast and break things attitude is useful for quick innovation, but also makes you appreciate bitcoin conservativeness.
— Sjors Provoost (@Provoost) November 7, 2017
This argument is extremely valid for defending the Bitcoin core against the Segwit2x fork, which will not only shake the Bitcoin landscape but also might put users funds at risk.