Ethereum Classic Miners Struggle After Switch to Epoch 385, Fix is Ready to be Merged

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A worrisome vulnerability has been discovered in the core library of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. A fix has already been issued to resolve the problem. Without resolution, this bug can introduce more rejected shares for miners, among other things. 

The Ethereum Core Library Issue

Having a critical issue affecting the core library of any blockchain or cryptocurrency projects can be catastrophic. In the case of Ethereum – and Ethereum Classic – the issue has been fixed with relative ease. It initially came to light due to ETC’s planned introduction of ECIP-1099. As part of this change, it will cut down the hashing power for the network to thwart future 51% attacks against Ethereum Classic. 

Before this change can happen, the network will run on epoch 385. On the surface, everything seemed to work just fine, but that didn’t last too long. Miners were reporting a much higher number of rejected shares for ETC. Miner software is designed to find valid solutions, but the results can be rejected by the mining pool. An increase in this number is worrisome, for multiple reasons. 

Following a deep dive into the matter, a problem was found in the Ethash library. Mathematics used in this core library is a bit off. As a result, necessary checks to be performed on the Ethereum Classic DAG file failed across the board. Additionally, some nodes on the network were unable to verify and reject new blocks, creating a very problematic scenario. Rather than addressing network instability, this situation made things even more unstable than ever. 

A Quick Ethereum Classic Fix is Deployed

Thankfully, there are a few people capable of addressing and resolving issues like these. The 2Miners team has put together a patch for any Ethereum and Ethereum Classic mining pool. A pull request for the core Ethereum library has been submitted and should be taken care of in the near future. It is a fix that will benefit all networks equally, thus there is no reason to explore this option. 

Until the fix is merged properly at the protocol level, there will be some decree of instability. Ethereum Classic miners may still see a higher number of rejected shares than before. It will take time before this issue rectifies itself. Until then, one has to hope no network split will occur, as that remains a likely outcome. For now, it is up to the ETC developers to push this fix out on a broader scale as quickly as possible. 

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