Ethereum failed to finalize transactions for 25 minutes but avoided full outage
Transactions were only partially processed for a period of 25 minutes.
The Ethereum blockchain failed to finalize transactions for slightly less than half an hour, developers said on May 11.
The incident lasted for approximately 25 minutes, and Ethereum contributor terence.eth said that the issue has now been solved. He wrote:
“Mainnet has been finalized, and we are investigating the incident now. More to come!”
Ethereum contributor Superphiz said that although Ethereum’s beacon chain stopped finalizing, the blockchain is “designed to be resilient” against such issues. The chain continued to partially process transactions during the incident.
Though the cause is still unknown, Superphiz suggested that the issue may have resulted from a lack of diversity of clients. He said that loss of finality could have been avoided if no client had more than one-third dominance over the network. He added that the blockchain avoided forking because no client had a supermajority.
Currently, two consensus clients — Lighthouse and Prsym — dominate Ethereum, each with 38% dominance. Only three other clients have a notable presence.
Ethereum has experienced other outages in the past: it experienced a DDOS attack in 2016 and saw partial Infura-related outages in November 2020. In 2016, an attack on The DAO also greatly affected Ethereum.