• Beacon Chain is Ethereum's original proof-of-stake blockchain
  • A similar issue took place on March 15
  • Ethereum merged pre-existing proof-of-work chain with Beacon Chain in September 2022

An unidentified problem on Ethereum's Beacon Chain resulted in issues with transaction confirmation on the Ethereum mainnet for about 25 minutes Thursday.

Multiple users of the blockchain reported that while their transactions were going through, they were not able to make the final transaction on the Beacon Chain due to a malfunction at around 4:15 p.m. EST on May 11. During the 25-minute span, they also faced risks of being altered.

Some Ethereum core developers confirmed the blockchain wasn't finalizing over Twitter, adding that they were investigating the outage, CoinDesk reported.

According to an Ethereum health consultant, even though Ethereum's beacon chain wasn't finalizing, the blockchain is "designed to be resilient" against such issues.

"The beacon chain stopped finalizing about thirty minutes ago. I don't know why yet, but in general the chain is designed to be resilient against this, transactions will continue as usual and finalization will kick in when the problem is resolved," Twitter user Superphiz, whose bio reads "Ethereum Beacon Chain community health consultant," posted on social media.

It was a brief period of non-finalization for the Beacon Chain. After about 25 minutes, the mainnet began finalizing block transactions again.

Developers said they will continue to investigate the situation to determine the cause of the malfunction, according to CoinTelegraph.

"Finality has been restored. We do not know the root cause yet, but something happened to cause several client implementations to work really hard to keep up with the chain," Ethereum core developer and Prysmatic Labs co-founder Preston Van Loon tweeted. "Investigating current mainnet issues... Will post an update once we learn something."

While the issue behind the malfunction is being investigated, Ethereum health consultant Superphiz stated that "client diversity" can be one of the reasons the loss of finality was short-lived for less than half an hour. He also hinted that the loss of finality could've been avoided "if no client had more than 33%."

Two consensus clients, Lighthouse and Prsym, currently dominate Ethereum, as per CryptoSlate. With each of them having 38% dominance, only three other clients have a prominent presence on the network.

A similar issue took place on March 15 in which low validator participation rates resulted in a delay on the Goerli testnet version of Ethereum's "Shapella" upgrade.

Other outages experienced by Ethereum in the past include a partial Infura-related disruption in November 2020 and The DAO attack in 2016 that gravely impacted the blockchain.

First launched in 2020, Beacon Chain is Ethereum's original proof-of-stake blockchain. Ethereum merged pre-existing proof-of-work chain with Beacon Chain on Sept. 15, 2022. It facilitated the conclusion of the network's transition to a faster and more environmentally friendly consensus mechanism.

Illustration shows representation of Ethereum