• Ethereum’s Beacon Chain recently experienced a 25-minute disruption in transaction finalization.
• The issue affected the network’s finality rate, and validators encountered issues as the number of attestations received for Ethereum epochs 200,552 to 200,554 saw a sharp decline.
• Developers are still investigating the cause of the disruption on Ethereum’s Beacon Chain.
Ethereum’s Transition to Proof-of-Stake
Ethereum began its transition from its existing proof-of-work consensus mechanism to a faster and more eco-friendly proof-of-stake blockchain in 2020 with the launch of its Beacon Chain. This process was completed when Ethereum’s pre-existing proof-of-work chain “merged” with the Beacon Chain in September 2022. Finality refers to the guarantee that cryptocurrency transactions cannot be altered, reversed or canceled after completion, ensuring that 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.
The recent issue on Ethereum’s Beacon Chain caused a 25 minute halt in transaction finalization. Although new blocks could be proposed, an unknown problem prevented them from being finalized – similar to an issue that occurred earlier in March on the Goerli testnet version of Ethereum’s „Shapella“ upgrade which was successfully executed on mainnet on April 12th. During this incident, latency affected finality rate and validators encountered issues as there was a sharp decline in number of attestations received for Ethereum epochs 200,552 to 200,554 The problem was resolved within 30 minutes and finality was restored. Data from blockchain analytics provider beaconcha showed this sudden drop in attestations during these epochs – notably Prysm had been previously a supermajority client for Ethereum at this time
The cause of the disruption is still unknown but developers are actively trying to investigate it so as to prevent future occurrences. Superphiz (an Ethereum beacon chain consultant) highlighted client diversity as necessary for mitigating such issues – emphasizing that no client should have more than 33% control over a secure and robust network for validators
To conclude, although it remains unclear what caused this disruption on Etheruem’s Beacon Chain leading to a temporary halt in transaction finalization – steps are being taken by developers to investigate it further and ensure similar incidents do not occur again by implementing various measures like client diversity etc., thus maintaining stability and security within their network .