Ethereum’s Bellatrix upgrade hiccups jangle nerves… but it’ll be right on the night

On Sept. 6, the Bellatrix upgrade to prepare Ethereum for the Merge was completed. However, concerns were raised about an almost one-in-ten miss block rate in the 600 last slots.

The Bellatrix upgrade was completed to update Ethereum consensus layer clients at the epoch 144896 of the Beacon Chain before the Merge, which is scheduled for next week.

Martin Koppelmann, co-founder of Gnosis, said that 5% of validators went offline during the hard fork. This contributed to the missed block rate of 9%. Some observers were hesitant to believe that the network was ready for the big switch to prove of stake.

Missed block rate for the 600 last slots: >9%. Historically, this rate was around 0.5%. This shows that Bellatrix has caused problems for some validators. While not dramatic, it is still something to be aware of.
— Martin Koppelmann (@koeppelmann) September 6, 2022

Koppelmann stated that the historical missed block rate was 0.5%, and the 9% figure was 1700% higher. The issue could be related to Ethernodes’ 25.6% client list that Ethernodes considers “not ready” for The Merge.

Percentage Ethereum clients that are Merge Ready Source: Ethernodes.

Adam Cochran, Cinneamhain Ventures Partner, said that he hoped the “big spike in missed blocks” would be debugged before Merge proper. He also stated that “we don’t want unexpected issues at this stage.”

Not everyone is worried. Anthony Sassano founder of Daily Gwei stated that only 5% validators were able to drop off the network, which is “an amazing result.” He also confidently stated that “there’s not really anything that can go catastrophically wrong” with the Merge.

“I think the worst case scenario would be for the chain to stop because the switchover between PoW and PoS didn’t work. This would require coordinated human intervention.

He said that if there were to be problems with validators, such as missed blocks/slots, or clients experiencing major bugs, it wouldn’t cause major concern. These things are easy to fix.

Let’s recap: Post-Bellatrix, here are some stats. – Network participation rate is 94.94%. – Number of active validators 403766. – Number of offline validators 17733. – Client diversity for consensus layer client page will be updated tomorrow, so we can verify again.
— Christine Kim (@christine_dkim) September 6, 2022

Related: 74% of Ethereum Nodes “Merge Ready” ahead of Bellatrix upgrade

The Bellatrix upgrade, which is one of the final steps before the Merge, allows Ethereum consensus layer clients the ability to execute transactions on Beacon Chain.

The Ethereum Merge will make the network more efficient, secure, and transparent.

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