BitMEX Research Launches Ethereum Node Metrics Website, Finds Bug in Parity Node


BitMEX, a leading cryptocurrency trading platform, via its research arm, has announced the launch of Nodestats, a website developed in collaboration with its Ethereum network data and research partner, TokenAnalyst, and it’s dedicated to monitoring the Ethereum smart contract blockchain.

Interestingly, the researchers claim to have found a potential bug in the Ethereum Parity full node, according to a blog post on March 13, 2019.

Nodestats Now Live

As stated in the blog post, BitMEX research has unveiled a dedicated website for the monitoring of the Ethereum network.

Named Nodestats, the website reportedly connects to five major Ethereum nodes and gathers data from them every five seconds (720 queries per hour), in a bid to provide accurate metrics related to the computational resources required for each Ethereum node to function optimally, including CPU usage, Memory (RAM), Storage space and Bandwidth.

Notably, the BitMEX Research team has revealed that during the course of analyzing the data collected by Nodestats, it identified some issues as regards the integrity of data reported by the Ethereum Parity Full Node.

A Potential Bug on Parity Full Node

Reportedly, the Parity full node was started on March 1, 2019, and by the time BitMEX Research filed their report on March 12, 2019, the node was still not fully synced with the Ethereum chain, and the client is around 450,000 blocks behind.

Based on this trajectory, the team has noted that it could take a few days before the Parity Full Node catches up with the Ethereum main chain.

According to the researchers, the Ethereum Parity Full node machine comes with a Dual Core 2.3GHz processor, 14GB of RAM, SSD storage and 10 GB/s internet connection.

The team has noted that the fact that the Parity Full Node takes more than 12 days to sync with the main chain fully, indicate that the system may be facing initial sync issues, which could be a huge concern for the Ethereum network than post sync issues such as block propagation.

“While the slow initial sync is a potential problem, at least for this system setup, the Ethereum network has not yet reached a point where the node cannot catch up, as the sync is faster than the rate of blockchain growth,” the researchers explained.

Parity Has Data Integrity Challenges

The researchers also pointed out that the Parity full node has data integrity issues, as it sometimes reports that it's synching correctly despite being behind the chain tip by several hundred thousand blocks.

“One could argue the impact of this potential bug could be severe in some limited circumstances if exploited by a bad actor in the right way. For instance, a user could accept an incoming payment or a smart contract execution as verified, while their node claims to be at the network chain tip,” said the researchers.

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