Consensus is not just about reaching agreement, but about changing things.

Time:2022-2-24

Consensus is not just about reaching agreement, but about changing things.

Consensus is not just about reaching agreement, but about changing things.

“If we don’t stop relying on infra, Ethereum’s vision will fail.” This is the description of infra, one of Ethereum’s most popular and controversial technologies, by Afri schoedon, Ethereum parity client release manager, on twitter in October 2018.

Infra handles about 10 billion code requests a day, providing developers with a way to connect to the Ethereum network without running a full node. Yesterday, infra’s downtime caused by geth’s silent upgrade soon affected the entire Ethereum community, which was the most serious service interruption in its four-year operation. The affected products include major exchanges and metamask wallet, an important entrance to defi.

The resumption of this matter should not be limited to a single technical problem or the analysis of infra. Instead, we should see that this is an opportunity reflected in the development of a pioneering system:

  1. Patching groundbreaking systems: the biggest performance of a zero start system into the middle stage is the emergence of various patching opportunities, such as our previous article “summary: new overseas defi projects in October, more asset management strategies!”, And eth technical team: phase 0 of eth2, it’s time to start. They are all fulfilling the promises made by the system, such as faster chain speed, safer clearing, better def revenue
  1. More convenient infrastructure: infra will still be the most popular node provider tomorrow, because they do make users feel more comfortableConvenience。 Developers prefer to use the graph rather than write their own smart contract data analysis; Compared with running an eth2 0 verifier, users prefer eth2 0 one stop revenue service. Please refer to the two articles “the graph decentralized Google + AWS, processing 4 billion times / month requests for uniswap and others” and “eth pledge mining is coming! Eth 2.0 user pledge operation manual”.

On November 11, Ethereum network had problems due to the defect of consensus mechanism.

The node running the old version of geth service will become an isolated chain, which brings a chain reaction to all applications that rely on such nodes.

Most users only know about this problem when the infra API goes down. Infra is the largest node provider on the Ethereum network. They are some of the most commonly used Web3 0 applications and exchanges (such as metamask, uniswap and binance) provide tools and infrastructure.

The service degradation of infra indicates that binance either depends on infra or has to run outdated nodes. Neither of these nodes is suitable for such a large transaction volume.

Although it seems strange that infra does not run the latest geth version, it makes sense that such a large-scale operator does not directly enter the latest version. Because if there is no hard bifurcation, there is no urgent reason to switch from stable code to unknown code.

Consensus is not just about reaching agreement, but about changing things.

Blockchair, a search and analysis engine, also encountered problems and posted the following tweets:

Our Ethereum Explorer has encountered a problem and is being repaired. It seems that a chain is splitting, and some nodes (including our nodes and some miners’ nodes) are stuck in the split few node chain.

Consensus is not just about reaching agreement, but about changing things.

Nikita zhavonronkov, CTO of blockchair, reported the following errors received:

/########## BAD BLOCK #########/
/<…>/
/Error: invalid merkle root (remote: 57cc91ee8b91b956592a27b14386abc2aba723b5f4f9e5d3181ace6b5d3cd433 local: 1f9ee59bfa683a25c7a15b626995a3ad7c58c571b40df96eea31e5c5eed9732d)/

Two serious vulnerabilities were found in geth network, both of which were discovered by John youngseok Yang (software platform laboratory), who won 20000 on the list of Ethereum reward program.

In order to avoid attacks, GitHub did not discuss the issue of consensus defects, so the specific details of the vulnerability are not known. For those who want more technical details, mhswende said:

“It will be explained in an article or speech in the future.”.

In order to minimize interruptions, Ethereum developers decided to hard fork. As P é ter Szil á gyi wrote on Twitter:

This is an “undeclared hard bifurcation” (from bad chain to good chain). In other words, silently fixing a bug that has been dormant for more than 2 years is much less likely to cause interruption than raising awareness of it. We strive to reduce potential damage.

For those affected by infra interruption, this event should be a timely reminder to keep your node up-to-date. Because once you delegate your node to another party, they can decide how to do business. Infra has been transparent about the whole incident and is clearly trying to solve the problem.

Infra is now back online. The shutdown of infra has made many people realize how dependent we are on this single entity. This is a centralized service, acting as the gatekeeper of our decentralized system. Both individuals and institutions need to consider their future practices.

Large exchanges (such as binance and bithumb) were forced to suspend Eth and erc-20 withdrawals during the shutdown. We cannot rely on infra to this extent. Because metamask relies on the centralized node provider by default, the whole Ethereum network is momentarily desolate, and the gas is reduced to only 12gwei.

This proves an unhealthy dependence and clearly shows the potential harm that this dependence may produce. Do we want our numbers to reproduce the same mistakes in other societies, relying on centralized single points of failure?

We have set up a free network, but we have given it to a small group of centralized institutions – chrome, Safari, brave. We can’t let the same thing happen to cryptocurrencies.

David mihar wrote:

Today’s infra outage has users scrambling to find another RPC provider.

The failure of any consensus is a serious problem. This undeclared hard bifurcation indicates that these vulnerabilities, if not controlled, may cause great harm to Ethereum.

Fortunately, thanks to the keen eyes of bug bounty hunters and the hard work of Ethereum developers, there was no damage. As Nikita zhavonronkohov wrote on twitter, the repair looks very simple.

Consensus is not just about reaching agreement, but about changing things.

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