New Study Shows That Complete Ethereum (ETH) Nodes Are A Rarity Today

Despite the fact that the Ethereum (ETH) ecosystem is less than 5 years old, it is nearly impossible for a user right now to synchronize a full node containing the blockchain’s complete transaction history. This issue is not new and people have been talking about this problem for quite some time now— so much so that even specialized paid node operators are having issues navigating themselves around the currency’s native framework.

However, what all of this seems to point to is the fact that Ethereum’s immutable-state tx database, could in the future, be lost to the heavy requirements of maintaining a full node. The aforementioned problem seems to have been largely ignored by a lot of regular users— even though many of them have found it nearly impossible to synchronize their wallets with the currency’s complete tx history.

What’s more alarming is the fact that even a “full synchronization of the Ethereum blockchain” does not provide a user with the premier altcoin’s complete digital history. In this regard, a developer working for BlockCypher, recently tried to run a node with Ether’s entire historical data, only to find that not a single other actor on the network was running the node.

A Closer Look At The Issue

In regards to the matter, when Vitalik Buterin was asked about the aforementioned issue, he said that he did not know of any entity that was currently running the complete node with the project’s entire history.

Why this matters:

  • In the case of a blockchain reorganization event, third-party hacks or other intrusive activities, the opportunity for procuring reliable feedback is largely diminished.
  • Similarly, in the case of audits and blockchain searches, participating individuals might have to depend solely on archival data that is supplied to them by third parties.

Lastly, it is worth remembering that while previously the Ethereum network always had “three or four full working nodes”, most of the network’s leading participants no longer wish to have anything to do with such a task.

In regards to the matter, Giacomo Zucco, an independent cryptoanalyst, was quoted as saying:

“I've stated publicly several times that there probably are just 3 or 4 Ethereum “full nodes”, including the ones maintained by Ethereum Foundation & Consensys. Apparently, I was wrong! There's just 1 of such nodes maintained by others.”

Final Take

As things stand, a plethora of other networks too is facing a similar problem. For example, the EOS network currently doesn't have all of its native blockchain data stored at multiple locations— instead it is being reported that just two block producers are presently maintaining the project’s entire digital history.

For those of our readers who might not be aware, a currency’s entire blockchain history is needed if for some reason the state of an account (associated with a particular network) has to be tracked at any given block height.

Last but not least, it should be pointed out that despite all of the troubling news related to Ethereum’s full node capabilities coming to the forefront recently, the currency’s price has remained fairly stable.

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