The central theses

  • A bug in an old version of the Ethereum software client Geth caused a chain split in the Ethereum mainnet.
  • The Flexpool, BTC.com and Binance pools had reportedly taken down the older version.
  • Members of the crypto community have advised users to avoid transactions on the network until the problem is resolved.

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The Ethereum blockchain split due to a bug in the older version of Geth.

Failure leads to Ethereum fork

A bug affecting the older version of the Ethereum network client Geth causes nodes to split off from the main network. There is a risk that the bug could lead to double-spending attacks and loss to users making transactions.

A chain split has occurred in the Ethereum mainnet. The problem was fixed in the previously announced version 1.10.8. Please update your nodes if you haven’t already!

– Go Ethereum (@go_ethereum) August 27, 2021

While the bug has been fixed in Geth version v1.10.8, it is believed that many nodes are running the old, unpatched versions.

Tim Beiko, part of Ethereum’s “AllCoreDevs,” suggested that the Flexpool, BTC.com and Binance pools had mined on the older version of Geth.

The consensus error also affects chains other than Ethereum, including Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, xDAI, and others. Rumors are circulating on Twitter that the bug may already have been exploited by both Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain.

Polygon tweeted that most of the validators on its network have already updated to the latest Geth / Bor version.

Fortunately, the majority of Ethereum miners are running the updated version of the Geth client, which means there is no hard fork risk. As for the non-mining nodes that are running older versions of Geth, they are effectively barred from accessing the main network.

Now that the exploit is in the wild, it can be played on other networks like Polygon, BSC, xDAI, Görli. Be careful, try not to enter into any commercially significant transactions until things are cleared up.

– banteg (@bantg) August 27, 2021

As a precautionary measure, members of the crypto community have advised users against making any significant transactions on Ethereum and other chains until the problem is resolved and the majority of nodes are updated to the latest version of Geth software. “Stay off Txs for a while until confirmed, unless you are sure you are sending yourself to the latest geth file,” wrote DeFi developer Andre Cronje. “Take a walk outside, we all need that.”

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this role was owned by ETH. Andre Cronje is a shareholder in Crypto Briefing.

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