Ethereum Medalla Testnet Launch Suffers Block Finality Issue

The Ethereum Medalla testnet launch, scheduled for 1pm UTC, did not proceed as smoothly as expected.

While the network launched successfully and proposed a sufficient number of blocks at the supposed genesis time, participation rate was a mere 57%; much lower than the expected 80%.

This means that only 57% of the stake is being deployed to validate the network. This presents a significant issue as block finality cannot be achieved until the network begins slashing the validators who are offline. Finality means that the block history is set in stone, which is equivalent to the block confirmation threshold on Eth 1.0.

According to the developers, this may be due to many validators who signed up by depositing 32 ETH not running the validator software.

However, issues with Nimbus and Lodestar clients may account for about 10% of that participation gap, Ethereum Foundation’s Danny Ryan said.

The network is expected to solve the issue on its own as inactive validators are thrown out, but that may take at least a few hours to restore finality.

In the meantime, the developers are investigating the issues with the clients.

Update, 2pm UTC: Participation went up to 67% on Epoch 6, leading to the first finalization on the testnet.