Ethereum developers decided to suspend work on the Berlin hard fork until August to reduce the network’s dependence on the Geth client and provide conditions for its stable operation.
The developers explained that this allows other clients to attract more nodes. According to Ether Nodes, the Geth client is used by too many nodes – 79%. Developers are concerned that an accidental flaw in this client may cause the entire network to temporarily freeze. The head of the Ethereum development team, Peter szilágyi, said that Geth is the most popular client for Ethereum. Any errors are not allowed, as they can lead to the creation of the wrong chain.
According to independent developer Alexey Akhunov, the Ethereum network needs to stop depending on Geth and avoid a situation where any error in this client will disrupt the entire network. Today, the load is too high, so the stability of Geth is crucial. Akhunov believes that the developers made the right decision by suspending most of the work, as you need to make sure that everything functions correctly.
Ethereum developers have reason to be concerned. For example, in 2016, after the activation of the “False Dragon” hard fork, problems appeared in the Ethereum network due to a bug in the Geth client – a consensus violation occurred between the Geth and Parity clients, which led to the creation of a false chain.
In addition, in December last year, the Ethereum client Parity stated that it does not have enough resources even to support its own software. The Parity codebase was transferred to a decentralized Autonomous organization founded by Gnosis. Now Parity works under the name “Open Ethereum”. According to Web Archive, since December 2019, Open Ethereum has lost about 60% of nodes, and the Geth client has lost 14%. Gnosis co-founder Martin Köppelmann believes that ideally, the network should work with different clients with a node share of no more than 33%.
Developer Greg Colvin also believes that one of the main tasks of Ethereum is to gain independence from Geth and attract nodes to other clients. However, the difficulty is that projects will use alternative clients if Geth is not able to meet their needs.
Recall that the launch of the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork was also delayed due to security problems, and the Istanbul update was postponed due to the Parity developers who did not have time to implement all the EIP.