Massive Ethereum outage forces crypto exchanges to block withdrawals

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Infura, which provides the infrastructure underpinning the Ethereum blockchain, is in the process of recovering from a widespread service outage affecting its mainnet API.

The issue forced popular crypto exchanges, such as Binance, to introduce temporary bans on the withdrawal of ether (ETH) and other Ethereum-compatible tokens - although normal Binance service has since resumed.

First disclosed via the Infura status page at 03:00ET/08:00GMT, the outage has also affected the functionality of Ethereum wallet MetaMask and could yet take a toll on decentralized finance (DeFi).

“We are currently experiencing a service outage for our Ethereum Mainnet API. Our on-call team is investigating and working to restore service functionality,” wrote the firm.

Ethereum outage

Infura provides a simple way for businesses to deploy decentralized applications (Dapps) to the Ethereum network. The service, which runs nodes on behalf of its customers, is also the lens through which companies access data from the blockchain.

A useful way to think about Infura is as “the AWS of the Ethereum ecosystem,” as put by Raul Marcos, founder of crypto advisory firm Carbono.

According to some parties, the Infura outage may have been caused by an unexpected split in the Ethereum blockchain - essentially, an unplanned hardfork - caused by tweaks made by developers.

If this is the case, third-party services running on the Ethereum blockchain will need to deploy the necessary updates before full service is resumed.

Although Infura’s Ethereum mainnet API is not yet back at full capacity, the firm claims to have “identified the root cause” and is “preparing a fix to restore service functionality”.

“We apologize to our users for the extended service disruption. We are continuing to work on the fix to ensure its correctness and completeness. The root cause was traced to several components within our infrastructure which were locked to an older stable version of the go-ethereum client,” Infura explained.

The firm has promised to share “a full post-mortem” once the issue has been resolved; TechRadar Pro will update this article with the latest.

Update: 10:00ET/15:00 GMT

Infura has confirmed that all systems are once again fully operational.

Via Decrypt

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.