Ethereum's Beacon Chain recently experienced a temporary issue, halting transaction finalization for roughly 25 minutes. Although new blocks could be proposed, a still unknown problem prevented them from being finalized.
A similar issue already occurred on the Goerli testnet version of Ethereum's "Shapella" upgrade earlier in March. The which was on the mainnet on April 12. The Beacon Chain, launched in 2020, represents Ethereum's original proof-of-stake blockchain. In September 2022, with the Beacon Chain, completing the network's transition to a faster and more eco-friendly proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
Finality refers to the guarantee that cryptocurrency transactions cannot be altered, reversed, or canceled after completion, ensuring that the executed transactions on the blockchain will not be lost. Blockchain protocols typically display probabilistic transaction finality, with transactions becoming "more and more final" over time as more blocks are confirmed.
Developers are still investigating the cause of the disruption on Ethereum's Beacon Chain. During the incident, the network's latency affected its finality rate, and validators encountered issues as the number of attestations received for Ethereum epochs 200,552 to 200,554 saw a sharp decline. The problem was resolved within 30 minutes, with transaction finality being restored.
Following the 25-minute pause, Ethereum core developer and Prysmatic Labs co-founder Preston Van Loon announced that "finality has been restored."
Finality has been restored. We do not know the root cause yet, but something happened to cause several client implementations to work really hard to keep up with the chain.— prestonvanloon.eth (@preston_vanloon) May 11, 2023
Data from blockchain analytics provider experienced a sudden decline in the number of attestations. Notably, Prysm was previously a supermajority client for Ethereum.
The issue's cause remains unknown, but Ethereum developers are investigating the occurrence to prevent future occurrences. Ethereum Beacon Chain consultant Superphiz highlighted the importance of "" in mitigating the impact of such issues, emphasizing that a more secure and robust network for validators could be achieved with no client having more than 33% control.
"Decentralization on all levels limits the impact of these events, regardless of what caused this we must continue hardening every vector," superphiz.eth .
While the root cause remains unknown, Ethereum developers continue to examine the situation to prevent future occurrences.
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