The split happened due to the failure of the older Go Ethereum (Geth) nodes to upgrade to ‘Hades Gamma’ patch. The patch was released on 24th August after a bug was detected in mid-August 2020 in the 1.10.7 version of Ethereum network.
Go Ethereum updated its users on Twitter on August 27 about the split and the complete resolution of security vulnerability with its 1.10.8 version. It asked users to update their nodes having Hades Gamma patch to the current version if they haven’t done so already.
Geth is a command line interface for running Ethereum nodes implemented in Go language. Geth helps the users to join Ethereum network, transfer amounts between accounts, and mine ether.
Information on the blockchain is stored on the network in chains of transactions.As they become verified, each transaction is added to the digital ledger.
In the case of a split in the chain, all the transactions will not be verified by all the nodes. The split is a cause of concern for Ethereum investors or Ethereum-based applications.
It increases the chances of double spend,where a single transaction is registered more than once thus allowing users to misrepresent their amount in the wallet.
Almost 38 per cent of Ethereum Network nodes were using older Geth versions. Andre Cronje, the founder of Yearn Finance told users to stop doing transactions until the issue is fixed or if the users have updated to the latest Geth version.
Impact of the split will likely be less, as more nodes are updating to Geth 1.10.8 version on an ongoing basis.
The security lead for Ethereum Foundation, Martin Swende said, informing about the forking,that most miners were updated and fortunately the latest version is the longest node.