Highlights of Ethereum Consensus Layer Meeting 93

In the last CL call the developers talked about the Goerli Merge, Terminal Blockhash updates, placeholder for CL and EL clients and Mainnet Bellatrix epoch and TTD.

Highlights of Ethereum Consensus Layer Meeting 93


Merge Updates

Merge Updates

Goerli merge

The merge happened about 12 hours before the CL call. In the beginning, it was not a smooth sail;

  • One of the things which were prominent this time was that there were two terminal blocks one of which was produced with a difficulty of 1 and another one with a difficulty of 2.
  • The attesting miner's participation prior to merge was 90% which later had a steep fall to about 70% post-merge with a couple of epochs below the minimum threshold of 66% too. There were 4-5 epochs that ultimately didn't get finalized.
  • A couple of nodes were either offline or went into their own forks.
  • There were a couple of client issues-
    • Nethermind - it was processing pre-merge and post-merge blocks differently because as there were multiple terminal blocks, this became hard for them to fix, the fix is known and has been deployed as a test on other client nodes which will be deployed on Nethermind in the next release and after testing it if all tests went well then there will be no such issue further.
    • Erigon - had a transition block on top of a side fork and once it got stuck on the side fork and the 128 blocks were done (this 128 block gap gives the network enough time to process the changes and finalize correctly) it kicked into optimistic sync and fixed itself. Rocketpool had an issue with syncing the Lodestar - Erigon node; there is no clear picture on the issue yet but the client teams are working towards it
    • Hyperledger Besu - was incorrectly replying to the Teku client
    • The other client combinations are also working towards the issues they faced while contacting each other

In the last 12 hours, one thing that helped the network was that Nimbus and Lodestar nodes were able to take the network to about 81-84% participation which could have gone higher but there were some issues there too. A couple of Nimbus and Lodestar nodes were having some conflicts - either there were un-updated EL nodes or they might not have configured the nodes with the current network requirements. As of now, the nodes are back online and it was not a client incompatibility issue as the Ethereum Foundation was also running those client combinations and there were no issues reported from their side.

The Goerli/Prater merge turned out to be a great exercise before the mainnet merge as all the clients got to know about some major or minor loopholes in their nodes which will be corrected soon by new version releases of the respective client teams, this is exactly what was needed to work from the last testnet merge as it serves as a practice before the mainnet merge.

Terminal Block Hash update

EL clients on terminal block hash override - Client teams are working on it no update yet

Same placeholder TTD for CL and EL clients

Paul Hauner argued that allowing the successful exchange of the transition config values before the TTD is known allows users to set up their EL+CL today. This helps ensure the network is Ready For The Merge™ and helps with Testing The Merge™. As of now, the CL clients do have a placeholder TTD value while there is no equivalent placeholder value in the EL specs. Geth presently returns a TTD of null and Nethermind a value of 0.

So, he proposed to apply the same specification that exists for CL to EL as well. There will be more discussion on the topic but if this issue is relevant to you then you can comment under the pull requestwith your thoughts.

Mainnet Bellatrix epoch and TTD

Tentative mainnet TTD, to be confirmed on ACD call 145 which will happen on 18 August after exceeding the 5GB threshold of DAG (+ the size of the block hash) size by the miners. The TTD estimations are taking time because the devs want to see how much the participation rate falls after the DAG size exceeds. There was a rough discussion about keeping the TTD at 58750000000000000000000 which will hit on mainnet on Sept 15, but this is not confirmed yet. You can see the estimations here.

The proposed Bellatrix epoch is 144896, slot 4636672 as it aligns with the historical block root accumulator well, as of now this is scheduled on Tuesday, 6 September at 11:34:47 UTC.

Mainnet shadow forks will continue to after the Bellatrix too until the merge. The developers are planning to do it every week after the Bellatrix.

Read more about Ethereum in previous Bulletins -Ethereum Bulletin

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