The Ethereum Beacon Chain experienced a temporary interruption in finalizing on Thursday, May 11.
The incident took place around 4 pm ET, as confirmed by tweets from superphiz.eth, a pseudonymous individual.
An unknown cause to the interruption
The temporary interruption in the process of finalizing blocks, or “non-finalization,” refers to the condition where blocks on the Ethereum blockchain were not validated and added to the blockchain in the usual manner.
This interruption could impact the confirmation and settlement of transactions on the Ethereum network until the issue is resolved and the finalization process resumes.
In contrast to claims on Twitter that the beacon chain “halted,” it is important to clarify that such information is misleading.
In reality, the finalization process experienced a delay of approximately 19 minutes.
Unfortunately, the exact cause of this interruption is currently unknown. However, the design of the Ethereum proof-of-stake blockchain incorporates resilience mechanisms to address such situations.
Prysmatic Labs co-founder Preston van Loon also informed the public that developers were “investigating current mainnet issues… Will post an update once we learn something.”
Roughly an hour later, at 5:40 pm, the developer wrote:
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.
These incidents arise amidst ongoing discussions among Ethereum developers regarding block validity criteria and an upcoming hard fork named “Dencun.”
The planned upgrade, incorporating Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4844, or “proto-danksharding,’” is anticipated.
The importance of EIP-4844 lies in its potential to address a major challenge faced by Ethereum: scalability.
As the popularity of Ethereum grows and the demand for decentralized applications (dapps) increases, scalability becomes crucial to ensure a smooth and efficient user experience.
By introducing sharding through EIP-4844, Ethereum aims to significantly improve its capacity to handle a higher volume of transactions, enhance network performance, and minimize the number of interruptions that may occur in the future.
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