The Ethereum ecosystem had a rude awakening late last night when all network nodes started to fail and go offline. Without network nodes, it is very difficult to broadcast transactions or have pending transfers confirmed. As it turns out, there is a block on the network that is causing all Ethereum nodes to run out of memory and eventually crash. Poor coding, or is something else going on?
Ethereum Geth Nodes Run Out of Memory
When running any cryptocurrency network node, it is not unlikely the device used will run out of memory anytime soon. That is only normal, as this is a process that requires constant monitoring and processing of data. Particularly older or cheaper devices may run into trouble later on, although that is not an issue to worry about until a few years from now.
Outdating hardware is not the only reason why network nodes can run out of memory, though. Everyone in the world who is running a Geth node for the Ethereum ecosystem will have gone through this issues in the past few hours. According to a blog post, it appears, network block 22834169 is the culprit for making all network nodes crash.
A solution has been provided by the developers, as they cobbled together an emergency update for the Geth client. This newer version should solve the problem, albeit a lot of damage has been done. According to the release notes of the new Geth client, it addresses a “network DOS attack. It seems like a rather strange explanation, and the lack of more specific information is not helping much either.
What is rather worrisome is how this issue occurred in the first place. Ever since the launch of Ethereum – after multiple years of development – there have been some critical issues along the way. The first few weeks since the release was riddled with wallet private key issues, and mining being very difficult to set up on other operating systems but Linux.
Later on, there was the smart contract code bug which caused The DAO to ultimately become worthless. Plus, there was the replay attack caused by hard forking Ethereum, which was done to bail out DAO investors after the hack. This massive network node failure is yet another problem along the way, which goes to show the Ethereum ecosystem continues to struggle.
Some people even start to wonder if and when the developers even tested the code that has been released to the public. For a project that raised several millions of dollars, the number of issues and dubious decisions poses a lot of questions, while very few satisfying answers are provided.
Source: Ethereum Blog
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