EOS Block Producers Crash After RAM Fault EOS Block Producers Crash After RAM Fault
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EOS Block Producers Crash After RAM Fault

EOS Block Producers Crash After RAM Fault

Photo by Rob Potter on Unsplash

Upland: Berlin Is Here!

Several block producers of the recently-launched EOS temporarily crashed after running into a RAM-related limitation. The network’s integrity remains unaffected, according to EOS New York.

Sounding the alarm on July 7th, 2018, top block producer EOS New York took to Twitter to explain the issue. While withholding the identities of the affected parties, the self-funded producer disclaimed their involvement in the error:

According to EOS New York, the issue occurred when the platform’s net RAM consumption exceeded 1GB — temporarily disabling a number of unnamed block producers. Theoretically, EOS block producers can support up to 64GB of RAM capacity collectively.

Where faulty hardware may have been responsible, it would appear human error was the root cause — EOS New York explaining the block producers failed to configure their nodes correctly.

Initially, EOS New York claimed that the error highlighted a violation of the blockchain’s reproducer agreement — a prospective block producer’s code of conduct. In a subsequent tweet, however, the New York-based outfit took the heat off their previous suggestion:

Stepping in to substitute the crashed nodes, standby nodes ensured the continued operation of the platform, however.

Block Producers and RAM: Conflict of Interest?

While this particular incident may have been more bureaucratic than technical in nature, RAM appears to have become a nagging concern for EOS — as an increasingly sparse resource that is integral to the platform’s expansion.

Hoarders Drive EOS RAM Market Prices Beyond Affordability
Related: Hoarders Drive EOS RAM Market Prices Beyond Affordability

Where EOS intends to challenge Ethereum with high-throughput decentralized applications (dApps), it would require large quantities of RAM to offer such performance. During times of heavy usage, that is, RAM becomes a commodity that is crucial to the growth and expansion of the platform’s dApps.

The mechanism responsible for maintaining this supply/demand flow is the EOS Dawn 4.0 system —whereby any token holder may ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ memory based on prevailing market prices. While such a speculative system may alone be responsible for creating a scarcity of RAM, the privilege of block producers — who directly control the commodity’s supply — may be equally problematic.

Several block producers have recognized such a potential conflict of interest, and maintain they will abstain from trading RAM. EOS New York, for one, writes:

“EOS New York will not purchase or sell RAM for speculative purposes. We believe that the resources available on the EOS platform are meant to be used for their utility, not their ability to generate gains. EOS New York will use RAM for development reasons, either for our own projects or the projects of others which we support.”

Block producer EOS Nation sees things differently, however. Upon being accused of “insider trading”  by one Reddit user, the community maintained their right to participate in the system, assuring users they would maintain full transparency around their movements.

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