The Ethereum blockchain network suffered issues Wednesday morning, with knock-on effects at related service providers.
In a service announcement soon after 08:00 UTC, Ethereum infrastructure provider Infura said it is experiencing a service outage for its Ethereum mainnet API and it was investigating the issue.
Infura provides API access to the Ethereum network for other applications and services. The outage has prompted some Infura users to halt Ethereum-based services over the issue, including Metamask and Binance.
The problems at Infura look to stem from a problem with Ethereum client Go Ethereum, or Geth.
"At some point Ethereum developers introduced a change in the code that led today to a chain split starting from block 11234873 (07:08 UTC)," said Nikita Zhavoronkov, lead developer at Blockchair, on Twitter.
Calling it "technically an unannounced hard fork," Zhavoronkov added that third-party services need to upgrade to fix the issue.
Talking to CoinDesk, he said the changes may have been made some time ago but caused the split today. "Those who haven’t been upgrading their Geth nodes for a while (I presume several months at least) got split with those with new Geth versions," Zhavoronkov said, adding Infura's outage likely arose from the same issue.
The price of Ethereum's ether cryptocurrency is unaffected at press time, according to CoinDesk data.
10:37 UTC – Infura says its team has "identified the root cause and are preparing a fix to restore service functionality."
10:41 UTC – Added clarifying information from Nikita Zhavoronkov.
11:31 UTC – Infura says it is still implementing a fix, explaining, "The root cause was traced to several components within our infrastructure which were locked to an older stable version of the go-ethereum client which encountered a critical consensus bug at block 11234873."
13:21 UTC – Infura says it is "continuing with service recovery efforts" and most services are returning to normal.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.