After temporary issues, Ethereum's Beacon Chain is up and running.
Ethereum's Beacon Chain experienced a short-lived hiccup on May 11th, causing a brief issue with transaction confirmation that lasted less than 30 minutes.
At 8:15 pm UTC, Ethereum developers flagged an unexpected problem. The Beacon Chain was producing new blocks, but for some reason, they weren't getting finalized.
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This situation was somewhat similar to an issue back in March when low validator participation caused a delay with Ethereum's "Shanghai" upgrade on the Goerli testnet. However, this upgrade was successfully implemented on the mainnet the following month.
After a tense 25 minutes, the mainnet resumed its block finalization process. Ethereum core developer and Prysmatic Labs co-founder Preston Van Loon confirmed that "finality has been restored."
Blockchain analytics provider Beaconcha.in recorded a sharp drop in attestations between Ethereum epochs 200,552 and 200,554.
Following the incident, an Ethereum consultant known as Superphiz highlighted the importance of "client diversity" in quickly resolving the finality issue.
He suggested that such a problem could be entirely avoided if no single client had more than 33% control, implying that a more diverse range of software clients leads to a more secure and robust network for validators.
At the time of writing, the exact cause of the glitch remains unknown, but Ethereum developers are investigating the issue to prevent its recurrence.
The Beacon Chain, Ethereum's initial Proof-of-Stake blockchain, was launched in 2020. In September 2022, the Proof-of-Work chain merged with the Beacon Chain, marking Ethereum's complete transition to a faster, eco-friendlier Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism.
While the incident highlighted that even the most robust systems can experience glitches, the swift recovery of Ethereum's Beacon Chain underscores the strength and resilience of its network infrastructure.