Polygon was affected by a 157-block ‘reorg’ despite a hard fork designed to limit reorgs


On Wednesday, a blockchain anomaly affected 157 blocks, or nearly five minutes of network activity, for Polygon.

Sandeep Nailwal, the co-founder of the Ethereum side-chain, tweeted that (block explorer) Polygonscan was “having troubles” when it looked for many minutes that block production had ceased.

In reality, the stoppage was caused by a chain restructuring, or “reorg,” which Polygon is seeking to resolve.

When network nodes go out of sync with one another and two unique chains of blocks are formed simultaneously, reorganizations occur. This might be the result of a bug, network slowness, or malicious action. When nodes synchronize once again, only the canonical version of the chain is maintained, and the blocks contained in the invalid ‘fork’ are disregarded.

Reorgs may result in delays in obtaining transaction finality, retracted transactions, and, in theory, a 51% assault on a (reduced) validator set.

Reorgs involving a few blocks are frequent and often have minimal impact on users. The ‘depth’ of the restructuring, which comprised 157 blocks, however, created worry in this instance. This might have possibly impacted the transactions of hundreds of people.

The next day, Uniswap creator Hayden Adams openly criticized the network, citing both Wednesday’s interruption and another 120-block reorganization in December.

The other co-founders of Nailwal, Mihailo Bjelic and Jaynti Kanani, emphasized that this incident was caused by a unique defect and that efforts are currently ongoing to resolve the problem.

Polygon is a well-established, inexpensive alternative to Ethereum’s mainnet. When Ethereum gas costs skyrocketed throughout the spring of 2021, the network’s user base grew exponentially.

Yet, as a low-cost Ethereum side-chain with fewer demanding customers, Polygon has often been subjected to less scrutiny than competing Layer 1 blockchain such as Solana and Avalanche.

In addition to extensive reorganizations, Polygon has been subject to (relatively) high gas prices. They may be caused by spam transactions — which are less expensive to transmit than on the mainnet — or blockchain-based games, such as Sunflower Farms from the previous year, which use considerable network resources and generate congestion.

Also Read: Directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Issue Crypto Warning

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