Big Geth users are diversifying their clients following Nethermind bug

A week following the Nethermind bug, 6% of node operators have switched their execution client


Artwork by Crystal Le


Ethereum’s Nethermind client software saw a bug that pulled validators offline for four hours last week, raising concerns in the Ethereum community about client centralization.

Ethereum clients are software that enable users to interact with the blockchain, allowing them to send transactions and run smart contracts, for example. 

When a minority client shuts down, the penalty often involves losing ether. However, in this case, Nethermind going offline has also sparked similar concerns around what would happen if Geth, Ethereum’s most popular execution client, failed as well.

Read more: Coinbase confronts client diversity risk following Nethermind bug

Last week, it was estimated that 84% of validators used Geth, meaning that Ethereum itself would not finalize if Geth were to go offline.

Mark Mackey, an Ethereum Core Developer at Sigma Prime, noted in a post on X that the reason Geth has become one of the most popular execution clients is correlated with its early mover advantage. 

“Back in the day, we used to have 2 clients: Geth and Parity. They were roughly equal in their usage,” Mackey wrote. “But then an exploit in the Parity wallet froze [500,000] ETH forever, including the vast majority of funds that were raised for the development of Polkadot.”

Loading Tweet..

After Gavin Wood, the founder and CEO of Parity, decided to pull the plug on developing the execution client following the Parity wallet exploit, Geth became the only viable option, Mackey wrote.

In the aftermath of the recent Nethermind bug, a renewed interest in execution clients has arisen and crypto community members are now calling for client diversification.

One of the most prominent companies to respond to client diversification concerns was Coinbase Cloud, whose nodes currently solely rely on Geth. 

The company noted that although Geth is the only execution layer software client that meets its technical requirements, it is also looking into other client execution layers for alternative options, with further details to be expected in February. 

Coinbase Cloud is not the only team to have looked into diversifying its execution client. Allnodes shared in a recent post on X that it had fully transitioned to Besu, noting that not a single one of its 23,895 validators is on Geth anymore.  

P2P, another proof-of-stake validator and RPC node provider, had also transitioned to using Besu. It noted in an X post that “we believe that together with the rest of the community, we can reduce GETH usage to below 66%.”

Similarly, Aave-Chan, a delegate platform, noted that it would be switching minority EL clients for all its ETH nodes. 

“We can’t be diversity maxi without putting our money where our mouth is,” wrote Marc Zeller, founder of the Aave-Chan Initiative.

A week following calls for client diversification, there are — as of today — an estimated 78% of validators using Geth, meaning that in just a week, around 6% of node operators had switched their execution client.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png


Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.



Though the opposing flow trend is likely to slow over time, industry watchers note, bitcoin fund assets could one day eclipse the $90 billion gold ETF space


Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?


Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month


It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet


Michael Saylor announced Monday morning that MicroStrategy bought 3k more bitcoin after the X account was compromised over the weekend


Plus, Pudgy Penguins grows its brand and a group of Autoglyphs sell for $14.5 million