Following an update on the Ethereum blockchain to resolve some problems regarding consensus on older versions of Geth, a split in the chain was created.
Older geth-versions contained consensus-flaw(s) which were hit today on mainnet. The "change introduced" was actually fixing those issue(s). This is a reminder to keep your node(s) up to date! https://t.co/oZatRUgENS
— M H (((Swende))) (@mhswende) November 11, 2020
Many people blame whoever is responsible for not informing the community of the upcoming update since, even if it was just a fix, this was so important that it could have fallen into the category of hard forks.
The blockchain was materially divided at block 11234873 and this means that since then several protocols have started to work badly or even not working at all.
However, after a few blocks, the problem returned, as one of the two chains was abandoned and became obsolete, while the other was accepted as the only one considered valid by all nodes.
This problem may also have been the cause of Infura’s downtime.
Why did the split of the Ethereum blockchain occur?
At first, some Geth nodes were created that started to follow the new network, while the old ones were not updated.
Other nodes, such as the Parity nodes, didn’t have this kind of problem, since the update only concerned the Geth nodes.
Many people said that if a huge problem like this happened with only one blockchain and therefore on only one chain, it could intensify with the PoS version of Ethereum, since in that case the shard breaks the chain and creates multiple ones.
It is worth noting that also in the future there will be other updates for the system to integrate PoS into Ethereum and this means that if everyone does not update, the damage would be worse than today and the whole network could crash.
Surely not spreading the news didn’t help to solve the problem, passing it off as an inferior update, which instead turned out to be fatal.
In the meantime, at least for the moment, the price of Ethereum (ETH) has not been affected by the split.