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Ethereum network suffered a minor fork this morning with Geth issue

By Inkarias - 2020-11-11

Earlier today, the Ethereum network was " victim" of a hardfork related to changes made live by Ethereum developers. Following the first warning brought by the community across the globe, many reports emerged about outages and irregularities on infrastructure providers Infura and Blockchair. Despite the first analyzes this morning which suggested that these suppliers were involved and mainly Infura, the incident did indeed occur directly on the Ethereum blockchain. Infura is a hosting service used by some exchanges and service providers to interact with the Ethereum network, independent node operators. On the same manner, Blockchair, the reputed block explorer, reported a discrepancy between the blocks after block 11234873 at 7:08 am UTC.

For the case from this morning, many users using metamask services could hardly interact with services and operations on-chain as the frontend via Infura was inaccessible. During the incident, key actors in the crypto trading sphere like Binance halted withdrawals, preventing any issues following the chainsplit. However, various other nodes were available to interact with the system.

The problem in more details

Peter Szilagyi, lead for major Ethereum node software Geth has implemented a Geth upgrade to fix the issue. He stated that:

“Infura is using an ancient version of Geth, and thus could have suffered from a similar synchronization problem”

Simply, the latest release pushed live led to a consensus issue and an unplanned hard fork and anyone who did not upgrade to the latest version was thrown off the rest of the network. Either way, two parts of the network were unable to talk to each other, which caused significant albeit temporary issues for a majority of investors but also many third-party providers. The issue was completely solved earlier this afternoon after few hours of hard work from each side to restore the full services

All the details regarding this hardfork can be read at https://status.infura.io/