‘Possible ETH Chain Split’ Forces Binance to Suspend Ethereum Withdrawals


The Ethereum blockchain infrastructure provider Infura is facing an unexpected outage that forced multiple crypto exchanges, including Binance and Bithumb, to suspend ETH and ERC-20 token withdrawals briefly.

At 08:12 UTC on Wednesday, Infura’s Ethreum Mainnet API faced a ‘service outage’ that created anomalies in the data feed of some of the top Ethereum-based platforms. Many exchanges and wallets halted their Ethereum service Infura being their default service provider.

Binance CEO Chanpheng Zhao suspected a possible chain split in the Etehreum blockchain as Etherscan and Blockchair were showing two different chains and data after block number 11234873.

A few miners also seem to be affected by the issue as at least 14 blocks of Ethereum were mined on the minority chain.

‘Unannounced Hard Fork’

In a little less than two hours, Infra identified the root cause of the issue and updated that it was due to an older version of a major Ethereum node software, Geth.

“The root cause was traced to several components within our infrastructure which were locked to an older stable version of the go-ethereum client which encountered a critical consensus bug at block 11234873,” Infura stated.

Blockchair’s lead developer, Nikita Zhavoronkov explained that that “at some point, Ethereum developers introduced a change in the code that led today to a chain split starting from block 11234873 (07:08 UTC).”

He called it an ‘unannounced hard fork‘ and pointed out that the Bitcoin network faced a similar incident seven years ago.

“This affected several Geth versions including 1.9.9 and 1.9.13. Components running 1.9.19 and later were unaffected,” Infura added.

Meanwhile, Binance resumed its affected withdrawals at 10:28 UTC.

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