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Solana Outage - What Happened?

By: illustrious
February 28, 2023 9:44 AM EDT
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Over the weekend, the Solana blockchain experienced a major outage, which triggered a widespread reaction from the cryptocurrency community. The outage lasted for several hours, during which time the network was unable to process transactions. Solana is one of the fastest-growing blockchain networks, and the outage highlighted the challenges that even the most advanced systems can face.

What caused it?

Before the outage, validators were encouraged to upgrade from 1.13.x to 1.14.16, which was a large change in the validation code. There were over 66.6% of validators that upgraded, a supermajority, and a "fat block" propagated just before the start of the outage. This led to entering a "failsafe" vote-only mode on Solana as the validators were deciding what to do next, which ended with them proceeding with a network restart.

This outage was not caused by a consensus failure or hard stop, but instead by a "choke" that prevented transaction propagation. The cause of the outage is still unclear, but Solana developers are working to identify the issue. Some speculate that it may have been caused by the "fat block", while others point to potential network congestion from voting transactions.

Voting Transaction?

Twitter influencers tried taking control of the narrative of the outage, pushing that the cause of the problem was related to voting transactions. Anatoly, one of Solana's cofounders, quickly addressed the misinformation about the outage.

What's next?

The outage has raised questions about the reliability of blockchain networks and the need for a more robust infrastructure. While blockchain technology has made significant progress in recent years, it is still in its early stages, and the industry must continue to innovate and improve to meet the demands of users and investors.

The Solana outage serves as a reminder that even the most advanced blockchain networks are not immune to technical difficulties. As the industry continues to grow, it is essential that developers and users work together to ensure the security and reliability of blockchain systems.

Always experimenting.

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