Ethereum splits into two chains to weather a bug in the system

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On August 27, a network split occurred on the second largest crypto in the market, Ethereum. According to a report by Forkast news on August 30, the split was made after the older network nodes on Go Ethereum (Geth) failed to upgrade to the Hades Gamma patch, which was released on August 24 after a bug was detected on the 1.10.7 version of Ethereum’s network.

This failure to upgrade caused a fork between the mainnet and the older Geth nodes, splitting the Ethereum chain into two. Approximately three-quarters of Ethereum’s nodes are represented by Geth and version 1.10.7 represents 48% of the Geth nodes. This means that 35% of the nodes still haven’t been updated. 

The split became a concern for users and according to an email sent to Bloomberg on August 29 by Joseph Lubin, founder and CEO of Consensys Systems, and a co-founder of Ethereum, ‘This chain fork opened up a single minor vulnerability: a greater likelihood of perpetrating a double-spend and getting the money out of the system before it is corrected naturally by the protocol’. 

Lubin also mentioned that there has been an attempt to exploit the bug and that users shouldn’t worry since the issue is quickly being resolved by the Ethereum team making the needed upgrades. 

Go Ethereum’s official Twitter account updated its users regarding the situation and tweeted ‘A chain split has occurred. The issue was resolved in the v1.10.8 release announced previously. Please update your nodes, if you haven’t already!’

Crypto news site The Block reported on August 27 that more than half of Ethereum’s nodes might have run with the bug at one point or another. The report by The Block and a statement by Tim Beiko, Ethereum’s core developer, even identified a few addresses that exploited the bug and this included Binance who appeared to be mining on the wrong version of Ethereum. 

Founder and chief executive officer of Blockdaemon, Konstantin Richter, said in an email to Bloomberg on Saturday, August 30 that ‘This just underlines how all major public blockchains are non-linear, meaning they are run by an open-source community that needs to be majority aligned in principle and technically to ensure seamless chain performance.’

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