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This week a major potential risk to Ethereum was highlighted by a bug that surfaced in Nethermind, a minority execution client. While the bug was fixed quickly, it raised the question of what would happen to the blockchain if Geth, which is used by more than two-thirds of validators and so is considered a “supermajority client,” had a bug. The situation could potentially result in a catastrophic fork of Ethereum.

Ethereum developer Lefteris Karapetsas joined Unchained to discuss the different scenarios of what could happen, the potential impact of a supermajority client issue on staking services such as Lido, why he feels the incentive system is poorly designed, and what other solutions are out there to address the lack of client diversity.


Show highlights:

  • What a consensus issue is in Ethereum and what happened with Nethermind last weekend
  • Why it would be a big problem if a supermajority client had a bug
  • The potential impact on staking services such as Lido
  • Why Lefteris feels like he is reliving the historic Ethereum DAO hack all over again
  • Whether the largest entities running nodes will start pursuing client diversity
  • How the data on the prevalence of specific Ethereum execution clients is not verifiable or programmatic, making it less transparent and difficult to analyze
  • Why Lefteris believes that the incentive system is not designed to achieve client diversity
  • Whether there are developments in the works to try to solve the lack of client diversity

Episode Transcript

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