Robert Steinadler, a year ago

Solana went down again - Here is how the devs plan to fix it

Solana faced several significant outages of its whole network. The biggest incident took the whole network down for 48 hours. Another one happened on April 30th and the Solana went down for 7 hours. Many people believe that it is absolutely unacceptable that a whole blockchain collapses. This claim is substantial as Solana has a TVL of $6 billion at the time of writing. Users weren’t able to interact with the whole DeFi ecosystem and their assets while the market kept on moving.

What are the devs planning to do about and why did this happen in the first place?

Solana is still in beta

The Solana mainnet is still considered to be a beta version. That being said, on April 30th the network was flooded with 6 million transactions per second. Arguably most blockchains couldn’t handle so much pressure.

While the theory became popular that this was caused by a denial of service attack, evidence suggests that the high amount of traffic was caused by NFT minting using the so-called Candy Machine program.

The reason why consensus stalled and Solana went down was due to validators crashing because they were running out of memory. After the crash, the whole network needed a coordinated restart.

What is going to change in the future?

Fees are coming finally to Solana. Many critics have already pointed out that without taking fees it is easier to spam the network because it is cheap. Developers believe that introducing fees to Solana will not cause the same effect as with Ethereum, since there is less competition for blockspace. Solana developers are looking forward to further introducing the following to prevent outages in the future:

  • Fee-based execution priority: Users have to specify an additional fee besides the base fee when transacting on Solana.
  • Integration of stake-weighted transaction processing: Solana is handling transactions on a first-come-first-serve-basis. This is going to end and will be replaced by a stake-weighted model.
  • QUIC: Solana will adopt the Google-built QUIC protocol. This should add more options to prevent or at least mitigate abusive behavior.

Of course, some of these improvements will take time until they are implemented. After that is done only time will tell if more incidents can be avoided in the future. Solana offers a transaction throughput that other blockchains can only offer through second-layer protocols. This makes it unique but is also creating problems other blockchain technologies don’t have to struggle with.

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