Ethereum developers suspended work on hard fork Berlin


Ethereum developers decided to suspend work on the Berlin hard fork until August in order to reduce the network’s dependence on the Geth client and provide conditions for its stable operation.

The developers explained that thereby giving other customers the opportunity to attract more nodes. According to Ether Nodes, too many nodes use the Geth client — 79%. The developers are worried that an accidental defect in this client may lead to a temporary freeze of the entire network. Ethereum team leader Peter Szilágyi said Geth is Ethereum’s most popular client. Any errors are not permissible, as they can lead to the creation of an incorrect chain.

Today, Ethereum works with clients using different languages: Go, Solidity, Java, JavaScript and Python. This means that Ethereum developers can join various projects: from small startups to international corporations. A variety of clients has a positive effect on network performance. However, programming languages have their own nuances, and when Ethereum developers make updates, these nuances can lead to serious violations.

According to independent developer Alexei Akhunov, the Ethereum network needs to stop being dependent on Geth and prevent a situation where any error in this client disrupts the entire network. To date, the load is too high, so Geth stability is crucial. Akhunov believes that the developers made the right decision, suspending most of the work, as you need to make sure that everything is functioning correctly. 

Ethereum developers have reason to worry. For example, in 2016, after activating the False Dragon hard fork, the Ethereum network experienced problems due to a bug in the Geth client – a consensus violation occurred between Geth and Parity clients, which led to the creation of a false chain.

In addition, in December last year, an Ethereum client Parity said that he did not have enough resources even to support his own software. Parity’s codebase was transferred to a decentralized, autonomous organization founded by Gnosis. Now Parity is working under the name “Open Ethereum.” According to Web Archive, since December 2019, Open Ethereum has lost about 60% of nodes, and the Geth client has lost 14%. Gnosis co-founder Martin Köppelmann believes that ideally the network should work with different clients with a share of nodes of no more than 33%.

Developer Greg Colvin (Greg Colvin) also believes that one of the main tasks of Ethereum is to gain independence from Geth and attract nodes to other customers. However, the difficulty lies in the fact that the projects will use alternative clients in the event that Geth is not able to satisfy their needs.

Recall that the launch of the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork was also delayed due to security problems, and the Istanbul update was postponed due to Parity developers who did not manage to implement all EIP.

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