Ethereum's Beacon Chain is updated after finality issues

Ethereum’s Beacon Chain is updated after finality issues

In response to a problem affecting block finalization on the Beacon Chain, Ethereum core developers have issued patches for both Prysm Labs and Teku clients.

Within a span of 24 hours, Ethereum core developers swiftly responded to two Beacon Chain finality issues by rolling out patches for Prysm Labs and Teku clients. The Beacon Chain holds a crucial role as the consensus layer for the Ethereum network.

On May 11, the Ethereum development team detected anomalies in transaction confirmations on the Beacon Chain. While new blocks were being proposed successfully, an unidentified obstacle hindered their finalization. The disruption persisted for approximately 25 minutes. Subsequently, a similar incident occurred on May 12, causing a block finalization delay lasting over an hour.

According to a statement by the Ethereum Foundation relayed through a Twitter post by an Ethereum consultant, the occurrence resulted in the failure to achieve finality for 3 and 8 epochs. The Ethereum Foundation attributed the issue to high load experienced by certain Consensus Layers clients, which stemmed from an exceptional scenario.

Approximately thirty minutes ago, the Beacon Chain encountered a halt in its finalization process. The exact cause of this disruption is currently unknown. However, it is important to note that the chain is designed with resilience in mind, ensuring that transactions continue to operate normally. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the finalization process will resume as intended. Here is a tweet by superphiz.eth providing an update on the situation:

“The beacon chain stopped finalizing about thirty minutes ago. I don’t know why yet, but in general, the chain is designed to be resilient against this. Transactions will continue as usual, and finalization will kick in when the problem is resolved.”

Despite the inability of the network to reach finality, users, both live and end, were still able to carry out transactions on the Ethereum network. This resilience was attributed to the diversity of client implementations, as not all clients were impacted by the exceptional scenario causing the finality issues. Consequently, users could continue their normal transactional activities, leveraging the unaffected client implementations during this period.

Client diversity refers to the availability of multiple software clients for network validators. A greater diversity of clients contributes to a more robust and secure network infrastructure.

In response to the beacon chain issues, both Teku and Prysm have released upgrades that include optimizations aimed at preventing excessive resource consumption by beacon nodes.

A similar incident occurred on March 15, leading to a delay in the deployment of the “Shapella” upgrade on the Goerli testnet version of Ethereum. However, the upgrade was successfully implemented on April 12. It is worth noting that Ethereum’s pre-existing proof-of-work chain merged with the Beacon Chain on September 15, 2022, facilitating the network’s transition to a more efficient and environmentally friendly proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

The recent surge in trading activity of Memecoin has resulted in increased Ethereum network activity and staking rewards rates. On-chain data indicates that validators earned $46 million in the first week of May, equivalent to 24,997 Ether. This represents a 40% increase compared to the previous week, during which rewards totaling $33 million, equivalent to 18,339 ETH, were distributed to validators.

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