Regardless of the Ethereum Merge being touted as a significant improve to the blockchain community, its transition to proof-of-stake theoretically makes it extra susceptible to take advantage of.
Talking to Cointelegraph, the safety researcher defined that not like proof-of-work (PoW) techniques, a proof-of-stake (PoS) system informs node validators prematurely what blocks they’ll validate, thus enabling them to plan assaults.
The safety knowledgeable, who requested to not be named, is a blockchain developer and safety researcher engaged on a proof-of-stake layer-2 blockchain.
The researcher defined that an exploit may theoretically happen on the post-Merge Ethereum blockchain if validators handle to line up two consecutive blocks to validate.
“In case you management two consecutive blocks, you can begin an exploit on block N and end it on block N+1 with out having any arbitrage bot coming in and fixing the worth that you’ve got manipulated in between.”
“From an financial safety standpoint, [this vulnerability] makes these assaults comparatively simpler to drag off.”
The knowledgeable mentioned that whereas it’s additionally potential for miners to validate consecutive blocks in PoW networks — that comes all the way down to “pure luck” and provides the miner no time to plan an assault.
Consequently, the safety researcher argues that Ethereum will likely be forgoing some energy in safety when the Merge takes impact:
“As we stand proper now [with] the Ethereum proof-of-work versus Ethereum proof-of-stake, Ethereum proof-of-work does have stronger safety […] and financial ensures.”
“However that being mentioned […] proof-of-stake [still] has ample sensible safety [and] it does not actually matter that it is theoretically not as safe as proof-of-work. It is nonetheless a really safe system,” he added.
The safety knowledgeable added that “Ethereum is engaged on fixing [the consecutive block issue].
It’s a arduous drawback to resolve, but when that will get achieved, then proof-of-stake safety will [further] enhance [as] they’ll have safety towards these assault vectors.”
Ethereum validators are subject to slashing in PoS, because the consensus guidelines had been designed to economically incentivize validators to appropriately validate incoming transactions and any conduct to the contrary would see their ETH stake slashed.
The Ethereum Merge is lastly set to happen on Sept. 15 at about 2:30am UTC, according to Blocknative’s Ethereum Merge Countdown. The transition to PoS is about to make the Ethereum community extra scalable and energy-efficient.