Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain experiencing reorg problem

The Beacon Chain of the Ethereum 2.0 network experienced a reorg to 7 blocks on May 25, raising suspicions that the Proof-of-Stake upgrade could be delayed further.

The Ethereum Beacon Chain, which will be crucial to the Ethereum Merge scheduled for later this year, today experienced a potentially high-level security risk known as a blockchain “reorganization.”

The Ethereum network is in the final preparations to merge two 1.0 blockchains, current Ethereum (using Proof-of-Work consensus) with Ethereum 2.0’s Beacon Chain (using Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism).

Currently, the Ethereum development team is testing this merge upgrade (called The Merge) on the main testnet of the Ethereum network, Ropsten. If all goes well, Ethereum will be able to perform The Merge on the main blockchain around early August 2022, completing years of development to officially switch to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm.

However, on May 25, Beacon Chain suddenly recorded a reorganization that lasted up to 7 blocks, something that has not happened with Ethereum in many years. Reorg simply understands the problem that nodes on the blockchain network lose sync with each other, resulting in the recording of 2 parallel blockchain versions coexisting. Reorg can be caused by a technical error, or the network is under 51% attack.

Co-founder of DeFi Gnosis platform Martin Köppelmann, the first prominent figure in the Ethereum community to speak out about the reorg, said that the ETH team still has a lot of work to do.

According to the Twitter account terrence.eth, a member of the Beacon Chain development team, the recent reorg incident took place because of a mechanism called “boost,” which allows blocks to be formed according to the weighting schedule votes in the Proof-of-Stake mechanism. However, since this is not a required change, not all clients (software running nodes) integrate boost, resulting in differences between nodes.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin himself chimed in to add some weight to a theory that the problem was caused by miners running outdated versions of mining software.

As of the time of writing, Ethereum has not yet released an official statement on the incident, resolution as well as an assessment of whether it will affect the August deadline of The Merge upgrade.

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