Infura’s infrastructure solution in the Ethereum ecosystem turned out to be unavailable this Wednesday, which caused some services to experience interruptions in updating prices for ETH and ERC20 tokens.
Against this background, the Binance exchange disabled the ability to withdraw ETH and ERC20 tokens. We’ve also noticed a problem with the popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask, which uses Infura by default..
“Currently, our Ethereum mainnet API is not functional. The team is studying the problem and is working to restore the functionality of the service, “wrote the developers of Infura.
“We have brought additional resources online for the affected components and are continuing to investigate the original cause of the failure. The work on restoring the system continues, “they added later..
As noted by The Block analyst Larry Cermak, fees on the Ethereum network have dropped sharply, as many MetaMask users apparently do not know that they can switch from Infura.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said they were forced to restrict withdrawals due to a “possible split in the Ethereum chain” that could have occurred at block 11234873. He explained that blockchain observers Etherscan and Blockchair show different chains.
Infura has long been a topic of discussion in the Ethereum community. The convenience of the service means that many companies and developers avoid the need to run their own nodes. At the same time, the network is becoming more centralized, as it relies on one infrastructure provider instead of many distributed nodes, which, in turn, results in situations like today.
“We love to talk about decentralization, but Infura is the [public cloud] Amazon Web Services of the Ethereum ecosystem. Thousands of projects are using Infura to fetch data from the blockchain, including exchanges and MetaMask, ”wrote Carbano founder Raul Marcos.
Cermak also reports that problems have been reported on Bithumb, Upbit, Huobi, Crypto.com and many other platforms. Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino expresses bewilderment that major exchanges don’t use their own nodes.
The status of “major failure” in Infura as of 12:45 Moscow time was assigned to HTTPS JSON-RPC API, WebSocket JSON-RPC API, logs, filters and archived data of the main Ethereum network.
At 12:47 pm, Infura developers announced the identification of the root cause of the problems and the preparation of a fix to restore the functionality of the service.
At the same time, the Ethereum rate is stable at about $ 455. “If ETH does not plunge to around $ 440 amid news about Infura, I would consider it a bullish signal,” says one trader..
Cermak reports at 1:08 pm that Binance, Upbit and possibly some other platforms appear to have reinstated withdrawals. “It is becoming increasingly clear that the problem was not only with Infura, but also with some Geth nodes,” he writes..
Zhao also confirmed information about the resumption of the input / output of ERC20 tokens.
Reasons for failure
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, according to Chinese media reports, denied information about the network split. He also noted that the problem may lie in older versions of Geth nodes, so services that did not update their software could experience interruptions today..
At the same time, the lead developer of Blockchair Nikita Zhavoronkov writes that there was a split after all. “At some point, the Ethereum developers implemented code changes that led to today’s split at block 11234873 (10:08 UTC). Those who didn’t update (Blockchair, Infura, some miners, and many others) were stuck in a smaller chain (30 blocks in two hours). This was technically an unannounced hard fork. Something similar happened on the bitcoin network 7 years ago when the database was updated. Solution: update Geth and run debug.setHead (11234872) “.
“If so, then the situation is much worse than I thought,” says Cermak. – How could it be that the largest infrastructure provider did not know about a change in the code that could lead to a chain split? It’s almost impossible to believe it. “.
Geth developer Martin Holst Svendé explained that older versions of the client had problems in consensus that surfaced on the mainnet today. “The implemented change was actually aimed at fixing these problems. This is a reminder that the node software needs to be kept up to date, “he wrote..
Ethereum lead developer Peter Siladyi confirmed Zhavoronkov’s version and explained why it was decided not to report problems to Geth: “Technically, you are correct that this was an ‘unannounced hard fork’ (from a bad chain to a good one). Still, the chances of major outages occurring when a hidden bug fix has been inactive for 2+ years is much lower than when awareness is raised about it. We strive to minimize potential damage “.
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