Ethereum has been able to keep its head above the waves of the tumultuous start of the year for cryptocurrencies in general. It rose above a thousand US Dollars and has stayed above that landmark for a very impressive length of time – leading most people to believe it will stay that way forever. However, we can’t assure if this will be the case or not. I mean, bitcoin hit $19,000 and everyone was speculating over $20,000 for it by the end of last year, and yet here it is struggling not to choke beneath $16,000. After crossing the great $1,000 reef, ethereum kicked out Ripple’s XRP to once again become the second largest cryptocurrency. But this performance alone by ethereum is not enough to win over some more “critical” investors.
Just as the price of ethereum has increased, many technical faults have also surfaced lately – but it looks like ethereum’s price performance is sparing the blockchain developers’ the blushes of making the headlines in a bad way. Actually, the only places that seem to be talking about this problem are platforms like Reddit and Twitter.
First of all, these problems aren’t anything new to blockchain networks as a whole, as one writer describes them as “most relate directly to the most basic operations of blockchains”. Let us take a look at a few of the identified problems with the blockchain network lately.
Issues with Blockchain Synchronising
Most of the developers of the blockchain network have been facing real problems with getting network nodes to sync well with the blockchain. It has been only two frustrating results so far; either a failure or an unusually long waiting time. This issue seems to have been around for quite a while, matters only got out of hand in the last two weeks. One node facing this problem is “Stepping back”.
Bitfly’s Peter Pratscher stated that this problem is due to what is known as a failure of “warp sync” because of the presently large size of the ethereum state. This “warp sync” failure causes “new nodes…to do a traditional sync of the ethereum blockchain, which requires quite some time (in the range of several days).”
Just as any productive service provider would, ethereum’ developers are looking to coming up with a solution that seeks to minimize the present size of the ethereum state. Pratscher added that he hopes “the dev teams will get ahead of the issue and provide some improvements in this regard.”
Abnormal Cost of Transactions
One other pressing issue is the currently inflated cost of transaction on the ethereum blockchain network. Most users are being made to “overpay” the actual transaction cost by as much as 70%. One of ethereum’s developers, Nick Johnson, said that considering the fact that the network had been able to handle rises in transactions, this time around “something odd has been happening with the estimated gas price”.
Nick stated that the network’s gas oracle calculates the cost of a transaction using the fees that were paid in any recent transactions. But at a point “the oracle started returning increasingly high estimates.” This problem they found out to be as a result of most of the users voluntarily paying more just so they could use the blockchain, in turn boosting the calculations of the gas oracle.
Griff Green of Giveth says that he noticed the same issue and is expecting the ethereum developers to come up with a new algorithm that would save the day.
Setbacks with Testnet
This could initially be written off as a smaller issue as it is only affecting a test network on the much larger ethereum network – Casper. Casper is finding difficulties in having its nodes connect to the main ethereum blockchain probably due to the pressure laid on ethereum to scale its network.
One of the very notable developers of the Casper network, Karl Floersch confirmed in a speech that the problem being faced wasn’t as a result of the Casper code breaking down. Rather, it was an issue from the main blockchain network. He asserted this when he said that the Casper network was “working exactly as expected with no hiccups.”
Speaking of Casper under the ethereum network, and how it has becoming a bit dormant in recent times, most developers have made some suggestions as to how the network could be revived.
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