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Ethereum Network Just Witnessed an Unexpected Chain Split; Exchanges Suspend Withdrawal

In the hours leading up to press time, the Ethereum network witnessed an unannounced chain split starting from block 11234873. The chain split resulted in some exchanges, blockchain data providers, and wallet services temporarily pausing withdrawal for ETH and other ERC-20 tokens.

Binance, Crypto.com, Bithumb, and Upbit are some of the exchanges, that paused withdrawals while users have also experienced challenges with popular Ethereum browser Metamask.

Why Was Their An Ethereum Blockchain Split?

The Ethereum blockchain split has been isolated to be a result of Ethereum developers rolling out a code change that some companies were not aware of.

Data tracker, Blockchair, and widely-used Ethereum API gateway, Infura, were some of the companies that are were unaware of the code upgrades. Their services, however, are widely used by exchanges and the mainstream Ethereum community.

The fork means that some clients were isolated on the minority chain which had mined only 30 blocks in 2 hours, in stark contrast to the majority chain that mines black in approximately 13 seconds.

A fix as recommended by Blockchair lead developer, Nikita Zhavoronkov, would be for affected companies to upgrade their Ethereum Geth client and then run debug.setHead(11234872). These will allow the client to sync with the last valid block on the majority chain, and restore services back to normal.

Update: Some exchanges have now restored withdrawal options.

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