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Status ICO Clogs Up Ethereum Blockchain?

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM

It appears that yesterday’s Status ICO is causing headaches for the rest of the Ethereum network.

According to one Redditor, it’s entirely the fault of Status :

I assume that (unlike all the price discussion here which is totally offtopic) you are referring to the transaction issues which have led several exchanges to pause ETH withdrawals. Here is what happened:

The badly designed Status ICO clogged up the network yesterday with a huge number of high gas fee transactions, most of which are failing but still filling up the blocks and preventing normal tx’s from getting in.

In addition, dwarfpool and perhaps others have set bad defaults on their client software that both actually cost themselves money and also prevent the network from automatically adapting to larger gas volumes the way it’s supposed to.

Furthermore, evidence is accumulating that f2pool was actively manipulating transactions bound for the Status ICO, which they participated in themselves, exacerbating the problem. Experts explained weeks ago that bad ICO designs are vulnerable to such attacks, but this appears to be the first time it was actually executed in the wild.

So now, even though the Status ICO is over, there are still a huge number of transactions clogging up the network and the only way to get transactions in is to pay huge fees (which most of the exchanges probably don’t want to do). Until it clears out, people are going to be missing ENS auctions, unable to withdraw from many wallets and exchanges, etc. etc. etc.

There are clearly a few important points brought up in this seeming tirade:

  • Some miners do not want to implement changes that would help the network. (Sounds familiar.)
  • Smart contract authors have the ability to do damage to the network, which is a problem.
  • Ethereum is not quite ready for high rates of congestion, apparently.

It will be interesting to see if any approach is taken by The DAO in order to limit such things from happening in the future. In the meantime, it can now be said that both Bitcoin and Ethereum have experienced blockchain congestion issues. Sometimes for a system to reach a point where it is working as intended, it must be used by people as it was not intended to be used, so that its problems can be worked out in advance. This may be the type of correction we’re seeing with both Ethereum and Bitcoin. Ethereum did suffer minor losses today, but overall maintains a unit price of more than $300.

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