- The Ethereum network experienced a second incident of its sort in less than 24 hours.
- During a 25-minute period on Thursday, blocks were proposed but not validated.
Ethereum is the second biggest blockchain in terms of total cryptocurrency market capitalization, but it had a technical snag on Friday that prevented its network from finalizing blocks for almost an hour.
According to the Ethereum Foundation, a block cannot be changed or deleted from the blockchain without burning at least 33% of the total staked ETH, a process that takes around 15 minutes and guarantees finality.
Blocks Proposed But Not Validated
On Friday at noon, the network experienced what looks to be the second incident of its sort in less than 24 hours. During a 25-minute period on Thursday, blocks were proposed but not validated. Many in the crypto world have taken to social media to speculate on the source of these outages, but so far, no answers have been provided.
Prominent venture capitalist Adam Cochran stated:
“ETH beacon chain finality has now failed for over an hour, we’re at inactivity leak time and there is no denying this is now a liveness fault. Hoping that this is just an implementation issue for a single client to fix and not a larger protocol issue… either way, not good.”
However, other people just aren’t worried. Eric Conner, a key developer on the Ethereum project, tweeted that the network “did not go down,” but rather that there was a fault in certain clients that has now been rectified.
Regardless of when or why it arose, the finality debate will never settle. It may be possible to reorder or even ignore transactions that just seem to execute but never really do so. As of this writing, the network is back up and processing blocks normally, however, users and developers should still be wary.