The Ethereum Beacon Chain, which serves as the consensus layer for the Ethereum network, experienced technical issues on May 11th and 12th, causing it to stop finalizing blocks. The issues were caused by nearly 60% of validators being offline, resulting in a loss of finality. This caused around 3.68% of daily slots to be missed, and 253 blocks were not proposed on time.
Despite the finality issues, end-users of the world’s largest blockchain network were not impacted and were able to transact on the network due to client diversity.
The finality issues followed increased activity and staking rewards rates on Ethereum due to the memecoin season that triggered a massive jump in gas consumption on the network, with fees hitting a 12-month high.
This highlights the importance of client diversity within the Ethereum network. If Ethereum relied on a single client, the entire network may have gone down during this issue. However, because other clients like Lighthouse, Nimbus, and Geth continued operating normally, the Ethereum network was still able to process transactions and propose new blocks, even if finality was delayed.