After EOS Blockchain ‘Halted,’ Block Producers Scrambled for a Fix

After EOS Blockchain ‘Halted,’ Block Producers Scrambled for a Fix

The EOS mainnet, launched on June 14th, wasn’t live for long before a major woe ensued, as the crypto’s Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) blockchain unexpectedly paused in the early morning hours of June 16th. EOS block producers scrambled for a fix and were able to release one within hours. In the aftermath, the cryptoverse has been divided along predictable lines as to what actually happened. 

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‘The EOS Mainnet Halted’

According to the design of the EOS blockchain, its network paused in the early morning hours of June 16th to mitigate a hard fork in the wake of a “deferred transaction” issue that led to a consensus break. The EOS mainnet had officially gone live only days before.

When the breakage occurred, “All block producers were halted” upon the detection of the consensus failure, per EOS New York, one of the community’s top 21 block producers. In comparison to strict proof-of-stake (PoS) or proof-of-work (PoW) crypto projects, the EOS blockchain is a delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) system depending on 21 active nodes — block producers — which are routinely voted on by EOS hodlers.

As EOS New York conveyed in its many updates on the episode, the project’s top block producers quickly collaborated to find a fix.

Tracking the Response

In updates signed off on by “the Top 21 Block Producers and Standby Nodes of the EOS Mainnet Blockchain,” the community’s leaders broadcast the responses to the blockhain’s pausing in real time:

“AT 9:56 UTC the EOS Mainnet halted. At 10:01 UTC Block Producers and many Standby Nodes joined together on an international conference call to identify and fix the issue.

[…] At 10:57 UTC The choice was made that all Standby Block Producers would stop their nodes and backup any information that could helpful in diagnosing the problem.

[…] At 11:02 UTC, a method to unpause the chain was formulated and is currently underway. Normal EOS chain functions should be available within 3 to 6 hours from the time of the publication. Incoming connections to the network are not being accepted while the work is taking place. Please wait for an update from the Top 21 Block Producers before attempting EOS mainnet transactions.

[…] At 13:09 UTC BlockOne is issuing a patch in tag 1.0.5 which will be rolling out in the next few hours.

[…] At 13:36 UTC Pull Request 4158:
The EOSIO software is designed in such a way that when an error of this type occurs the chain will pause to prevent a hard fork. All block producers were halted when they detected a break in consensus. A fix was written, and is being tested and will be rolled out by the block producers community.

[…] At 14:48 UTC the network went live. The Block Producers and Standby Nodes responsible for responding to this fix were able to work with Block.One, identify the issue, and merge a fix within 5 hours time.”

In the Aftermath, a Divided Response

There are those who see the incident as an expression of why and how the 21 Block Producer system works. For example, against charges of a catastrophic failure, r/eos user u/Keats_in_rome argued that the system at hand worked exactly as intended:

“Blockchains provide a trustless record of previous agreement… they don’t tell you what to do next if things need to change. But they all need to change. So every blockchain has a government structure: devs, miners, and community. Without explicit on-chain governance this mutability is controlled by the social consensus of this ‘soft government,’ which leads to contentious hardforks. It is governance by hardforks. By formalizing this governance process EOS puts the power back in the hands of the voters. It is the formalization of governance. It’s the formalization of trust.”

On the flip side, and unsurprisingly, many detractors have spoken out on the episode, saying the event betrays the mutability and centralization of the EOS project. Perhaps no one typified this latter response more potently than Satoshi Portal CEO Francis Pouliot, who called the project “shitcoinery” accordingly:

As an aside, Pouliot also conjectured that the bug at hand had been introduced in version 1.04 of the EOSIO software:

So both EOS proponents and EOS detractors seemingly feel vindicated over the response to the blockchain’s pausing. All eyes will certainly be on the crypto’s community in the days ahead to see if the project’s inaugural hiccups are finally behind them or not.

What’s your take? Are you with the proponents or the detractors on this one? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

Images via Pixabay

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