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End of Ethereum? Here's What Finality Issue Is Really About

Mon, 05/15/2023 - 09:19
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Arman Shirinyan
Ethereum had rough time on market after majority of validators dropped support of network
End of Ethereum? Here's What Finality Issue Is Really About
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Recently, on the 11th and 12th of May, a curious situation arose within the Ethereum network. A significant majority of the network's validators, which comprise over 60% of the total, unexpectedly halted their operations. The abrupt cessation of these activities led to a curious phenomenon known as a loss in finality. But what exactly does this term mean, and why is it such a crucial aspect of the Ethereum network?

In the realm of blockchain technology, "finality" signifies a state where a block and its associated transactions have been confirmed and accepted by a supermajority, or two-thirds, of the total validators. Once finality has been achieved, these transactions are deemed permanent and cannot be retrospectively modified or erased from the blockchain.

During these unexpected events, the Ethereum network's performance was noticeably hampered. A total of 3.68% of daily slots were left unattended, and the proposal of 253 blocks was notably delayed. Although these figures might appear insignificant, they led to unforeseen complications on the network.

As a result, certain systems were required to retrieve and verify older states, while simultaneously managing the influx of new attestations. This unexpected workload resulted in system malfunctions due to overheating​​.

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Interestingly, despite these unusual occurrences, the day-to-day users of the Ethereum mainnet were not impacted. Transactions continued to be processed as per usual. However, the second event triggered a mechanism known as the "Inactivity Leak" for the first time. This mechanism is a fail-safe designed to restore finality on the Ethereum Beacon Chain during emergencies.

While these events do not necessarily signal the "end of Ethereum," they serve as a wake-up call for the crypto community about the realities of blockchain technology and the importance of finality in maintaining network integrity.

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About the author

Arman Shirinyan is a trader, crypto enthusiast and SMM expert with more than four years of experience.

Arman strongly believes that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain will be of constant use in the future. Currently, he focuses on news, articles with deep analysis of crypto projects and technical analysis of cryptocurrency trading pairs.