Ethereum Bulletin #6

Latest version of Nethermind -available to download, Ropsten TTD issue explained, 7 block re-org explained ,Validator acceptance rate increased, Immutable protocol fees is announced

Ethereum Bulletin #6


Latest version of the Nethermind client is now available for download

Nethermind Launcher is a self-contained app that means we do not need to install .NET separately to run it. As its latest version has been released we can expect the following things to be upgraded.

It will -

  • Provide Support for the merge with Ropsten TDD and hardfork support
  • Fix issue with corrupting JSON RPC state in some cases
  • Remove Armv8 dependency on pmull instruction to wider range of ARM hardware
  • Fix Network.MaxActivePeers config and override
  • Updated pivots for parallel sync

Ropsten TTD issue explained .Can it happen on mainnet?

Ropsten already hit the TTD on May 26 instead of June 8th at block 12308106 due to surge in hash rate before the Ropsten Beacon Chain Genesis so it was decided to increase the TTD on Ropsten to an incredibly large number for now: 100000000000000000000000 (~2x mainnet total difficulty) which will take almost 250 years to meet. Now users have to manually override the TTD to the new number. Document explaining how to do so for each client: .

As Ropsten has a low hash rate so it is easier for someone to increase it , it would have cost ~X00$/day to 20x the hash rate.The Ropsten miner had also reduced the gas limit on the network to ~21000 gas, so it was reasonable to expect they were purposefully trying to disrupt things, or, in their words, "STRESS TESTING ROPSTEN NETWORK TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE MERGE HAPPENED OUT OF SCHEDULE".

The current value update of TTD is temporary ~June 8, 2022, specific value will be chosen after Bellatrix activation on June 3, 2022.

For The Merge to happen, the following sequence of events needs to take place:

  1. The Beacon Chain is Launched
  2. The Bellatrix upgrade is activated on the Beacon Chain
  3. A Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) is hit on the proof-of-work chain

(1) has happened on mainnet a long time ago, but hasn't on Ropsten or Sepolia yet. (2), as "Bellatrix '' is when CL clients start listening for the TTD to be hit on the EL. Given that the hash rate is relatively stable on mainnet, it is easy to estimate a TTD value we will not hit before Bellatrix is activated on the CL.If a miner wanted to hit this TTD earlier, they would need to contribute a significant extra share of hash rate to the network, which is costly. For it to happen 2x quicker than expected, for example, this would require doubling the hash rate. At that point, a miner could simply 51% attack Ethereum.

Full article on the Ropsten TTD postmortem by one of the core devs can be read here.

7 block re-org explained , this situation is not what PoS is all about.

Barnabe Mannot from Ethereum Foundation has come up with a detailed article about the 7 block re-org that happened recently on the Ethereum Beacon Chain .

In a nutshell, the re-org is not expected behaviour of the beacon chain. It occurred due to an unhappy combination of three distinct causes:

  • A late block proposal split views of validators due to a recent fork choice update called proposer boost.

  • The proposer boost update was released as a soft fork, seen as a local change only that could be rolled out over the network at its own pace. This created a situation where some validators were using proposer boost, and some weren't, splitting the views.

  • A known, incorrect implementation of when the fork choice is expected to be run prevailed in some clients, leading to the persistence of the fault.

The re-org did not result in loss of finality. Finality was not even delayed. The following article explains the basics of Proof-of-Stake Ethereum and looks into how the re-org eventually happened.

Validator acceptance rate has increased

Superphiz, Ethereum Beacon Chain Community health consultant, took into consideration a report by Space Insider in which they said that "The validator acceptance rate has increased from 1125 per day to 1350 per day!" on a reddit post . The post made a few more points which are -

  • The validator acceptance rate has increased from 1125 per day to 1350 per day!

  • 900 from yesterday's number

  • It will take over 1 and a half days for this queue to clear

  • If the queue stays above 0, then in around 48 days (When there are 458,752 validators) the daily acceptance will be increased from 1350 to 1575

Immutable protocol fees is announced

RobbieFerguson tweeted saying "This is the final step before launching $IMX staking, and will allow the next generation of web3 games to reach planet scale with cheap, reliable and incentive-aligned pricing. "

Read more

Read more about Ethereum in previous Bulletins -Ethereum Bulletin

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