Shortly after Ethereum’s network upgrade, Berlin, went live a popular Ethereum software client started malfunctioning, which impacted a number of crypto companies.
According to GitHub reports, the OpenEthereum software client — previously known as Parity — experienced syncing issues only 294 blocks after the Berlin hard fork was executed, which transpired on block 12,244,000. The issue with the client resulted in an outage on Etherscan block explorer, which shows block 12,244,294 to be the last one mined. While the website will remain unusable until the issue is fixed, the Etherscan team assured its users the OpenEthereum team was working on it. The website said in a message:
“The OpenEthereum team and core developers are aware of the syncing issues facing the OE client and are working to diagnose and fix”
While the Ethereum blockchain continues to operate correctly, many services that use OpenEthereum appear to be impacted by the issue. Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase — which recently went public — was forced to disable ETH and ERC-20 withdrawals, and warn its users that deposits could also be delayed. Wallet provider Ledger was also affected by the disruption, and said its users’ ETH balance might not update and that new transactions will not be shown until the issue was resolved.
The Berlin upgrade incorporates new EIPs that will adjust Ethereum gas prices and allow for new transaction types. EIP-2565, for example, will reduce the gas cost for specific transaction types, while EIP-2929 increases gas costs for “op code” transactions. EIP-2718 will make make all transactions “backward compatible”, while EIP-2930 introduces a new transaction type that allows users to create templates for future transactions.
The network upgrade is considered a stepping stone to the much bigger London hard fork, which will likely be activated in July. The London upgrade is expected to bring the controversial EIP-1559, which will change the Ethereum structure to potentially reduce miners’ profits.