Ethereum (ETH) Version 2 Testnet is Chugging along Smoothly Despite Hurdles
Ethereum developers have been meticulous in the development and testing of ETH2 over the past few weeks. They do not seem to be affected by the huge daily requests of enthusiasts which is due to the congestion on the network. The congestion has led to huge transaction fees. The road to proof of stake for Ethereum has been with many hurdles and many unexpected turns. But these hurdles have made it stronger and better.
Being in haste to push a very big update like ETH2 might be very disastrous if there is a flaw in the code. September 1, 2020, Ethereum Developer’s blog published a development update and progress report on ETH2. The update hit a striking point. Each problem encountered opened the eyes of the developers to new ways to secure the network more.
Eth2 Medalla test net ran into spiraling failures that lasted five days from August 14 because of an error with Prysm client. One of the roughtime cloud time servers the client relied on reported a wrong time thus preventing a proper time-sync for validating nodes. According to an update from Prysmatic Labs explaining the scenario:
“Almost immediately after the incident started, users noticed their Prysm node reporting their clock was off and they were seeing blocks from the future… The 6th server in the list is reporting a time which is 24 hours further than the other 5 servers. When the roughtime client took the average of these results, it thought that the correct time was Fri, 14 Aug 2020 22:20:23 GMT… a 4 hour offset with 6 servers”
Couteracting this error, the team pushed an update to the client which led to an even worse problem:
“In releasing this fix, we accidentally removed the initialization of all critical features for our eth2 beacon node to function, making the problem infinitely worse.”
Rolling back the update after it had been corrected created confusion in the community of test net validators.
The error impacted the testnet greatly because the network was dominated by the Prysm client. This drove home the fact that using multiple clients will ensure the smooth run of the network even if any had downtime due to any form of error or failure. Danny Ryan, an Eth2 researcher stated in the update:
“…the incident on Medalla was significantly amplified by the failure of the dominant Prysm client, and as we move toward mainnet, we, as a community, must consciously seek to remedy this… Client diversity not only makes the eth2 consensus more robust, but also helps protect you in extreme scenarios: due to the anti-correlation incentives found in eth2, the more your negative behaviour is correlated with that of others, the more you stand to lose.”
The date for ETH2 is not set yet, but there is an assurance that it is still on schedule.
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