Ethereum (ETH) client diversity improves, non-Geth clients now account for 34%

“We can’t declare victory yet,” says Lachlan Feeney, founder and CEO of Ethereum infrastructure company Labrys, even though Geth’s reliance has decreased. Geth’s market share, a key Ethereum execution client, has dropped from 84% in late January to 66% following Coinbase’s recent decision to transfer around half of its validators to Nethermind. However, one commentator believes the fight for decentralization is far from done. 

The reduced reliance on Geth addresses a long-feared centralization danger for Ethereum, with concerns that a catastrophic defect in an execution client with a 66% or greater share might prevent the chain from finalizing. One expert, however, warns that the sector should not declare victory just yet.

On March 22, Coinbase Cloud announced that “roughly 50%” of its validators shifted to Nethermind, increasing the execution client’s share to 22%, according to Client Diversity. Ethereum execution clients play an important role in transaction processing and smart contract execution on the blockchain. Geth is widely considered the most advanced client. However, its high popularity among Ethereum validators has resulted in an imbalance in execution client variety over the last few years.

The fight isn’t over yet

“We can’t declare victory yet,” Lachlan Feeney, founder and CEO of Ethereum infrastructure company Labrys, Feeney says that the approach used by Client Diversity to acquire its data is incorrect and that Geth must go a “decent amount below the 66% threshold to account for any margin of error before we are confident that a supermajority bug isn’t possible.” Feeney said that the “real victory” cannot be declared until no single client owns more than a 33% share. He emphasized the necessity of solo staking in diversifying execution clients, which would also protect those stakes from being affected by a supermajority problem in Geth.

According to Beaconcha, there are currently 31.5 million Ether staked, worth around $113.5 billion at current prices. Coinbase will continue to expand its validator set to assist Ethereum’s decentralisation. The organisation focuses on the security and resilience of its client’s assets. Diversifying execution clients on our validators allows us to do both.” Coinbase claimed that it intends to “evenly distribute” its validators over time across Geth, Nethermind, and Erigon. According to Feeney, Sigma Prime, Kiln, Octant, Lido, Ankr, and Twinstake have all decreased their reliance on Geth.

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