On March 10, 2023, the Aave decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) passed a proposal called “Rescue Mission Phase 1 Long Executor” to allow Aave developers to recover mistakenly sent tokens from certain Aave contracts and send them back to their original owners automatically. This proposal only affects lost AAVE, LEND, Tether, UNI, and staked AAVE (stkAAVE) tokens that were mistakenly sent to specific contracts. The team is authorized to upgrade the smart contracts to initialize a new implementation for these contracts, and the lost tokens will be sent automatically to a separate AaveMerkleDistributor contract, where they will then be sent to their owners.
It is important to note that the proposal’s text emphasizes that only tokens lost in the past will be recoverable, and future tokens mistakenly sent to these addresses may be permanently lost unless a new proposal is passed in the future.
This proposal is significant because losing tokens by mistakenly transferring them to a token contract is a common problem in the crypto community. Crypto transfers are supposed to be immutable, so even if mistaken transfers can be reversed, attempts to do so are sometimes controversial. The DAO, an early version of today’s DAOs, was exploited for $60 million worth of ETH in 2016, and the majority of Ethereum validators implemented a hard fork to reverse the exploit transaction. However, some validators rejected this move, creating Ethereum Classic in the process.
The Aave DAO vote to rescue lost tokens was not nearly as controversial, as the proposal passed with more than 99.9% of the vote. Only one user voted against the proposal, using a single AAVE token to do so.
In summary, the Aave DAO’s “Rescue Mission Phase 1 Long Executor” proposal allows developers to recover tokens from certain Aave contracts and send them back to their original owners automatically. While this proposal is only for lost tokens from the past, it is still significant for the crypto community as it addresses a common problem and showcases the benefits of decentralized autonomous organizations.