Blockchain News

Big Breath as Beacon Chain Stops Finalizing … and then Recovers.

On May 11, a problem on Ethereum’s Beacon Chain caused a problem with transaction finality for about 30 minutes. 

On May 11, at about 8:15 p.m. UTC, several Ethereum core engineers reported that the Beacon Chain was experiencing problems confirming transactions. New blocks could be offered, but some unidentified problem prevented them from being approved

Low validator participation rates on March 15 delayed the Goerli testnet implementation of Ethereum’s “Shapella” upgrade, which was carried out successfully on the mainnet on April 12. 

The Beacon Chain, the first proof-of-stake blockchain for Ethereum, was introduced in that year. The network’s shift to a quicker and more environmentally friendly proof-of-stake consensus method was completed on September 15, 2022, when Ethereum’s pre-existing proof-of-work chain “merged” with the Beacon Chain.

After 25 minutes, the mainnet resumed finalizing blocks, with co-founder of Prysmatic Labs and Ethereum core developer Preston Van Loon declaring that “finality has been restored.”

Ethereum epochs 200,552 to 200,554 saw a sudden and dramatic fall in attestations, according to data from blockchain analytics service

A period of 32 “slots” known as an epoch is used by validators to propose and attest for blocks. Typically, an epoch lasts six minutes and 24 seconds. Although the root cause of the problem is still unknown, Ethereum developers have stated that it is being looked at to stop it from happening again.

After the incident, anonymous Ethereum consultant Superphiz pointed out that “client diversity” was one of the primary causes for the loss of finality’s brief existence. However, he added that if no customer had more than 33% control, the loss of finality might have been completely prevented.

The variety of software clients available to network validators is referred to as client diversity, and more client diversity results in a more stable and secure network for validators.


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