Solana Network Shuts Down Again

Solana blockchain marked the new month of June with a network downtime. The open-source blockchain platform announced this through a Twitter thread. The thread began:

Block production on Solana Mainnet Beta has halted. Validator operators should prepare for a restart in mb-validators on Discord.” 

While Solana users blamed 5 NFT drops for the crash, Solana attributed the downtime to a bug that prevented the network from advancing. However, the Solana team assured users about the safety of the network and their funds. 

To solve the problem, the team instructed validators to restart the network. Validators were expected to follow certain instructions, including taking a snapshot of a specific time slot from where the network can be restarted.

What’s Going On With Solana?   

Despite touting itself as a high-performance blockchain, the Solana network has suffered up to three downtimes (or more) in recent months. 

In April, it went offline for seven hours before an eventual restart by validators. Solana Foundation reported on Twitter that Solana Mainnet Beta had lost consensus after the network was inundated by a huge amount of inbound transactions. A validator had to send instructions to enable the operators restart the network.

In a similar order of events, the network also suffered a network outage last September for 17 hours. The Solana Foundation initially described the issue as “intermittent instability.”  In a brief message closely similar to its recent downtime, Solana Status announced that validators were “preparing for a potential restart if necessary.

However, they later explained in a new tweet that the network had been overwhelmed with increased transaction load which peaked at 400,000 TPS. The enormous volume of transactions flooded the transaction processing queue and caused the network to fork.

While Solana Status did not publish precise statistics about its TPS this time, it assured users that the network was safe. And that validator operators were actively working to initialize a restart from the highest confirmed block.

Solana Users Are Losing Faith

Solana went live in 2020 to facilitate the creation of decentralized applications (DApps). The blockchain combines proof-of-history (PoH) and proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanisms to improve scalability. Despite being relatively new, Solana is home to several NFT marketplaces such as Magic Eden, Solanart, and SolSea. Before the frequent network outages, the platform enjoyed interest from small and institutional investors. 

Responses to this new outage suggest that some Solana users might be losing faith in the project. A user tweeted:

[I’m] quickly losing faith in this project. I understand it takes time to work things out, but this is getting ridiculous.”

Also, these constant outages do not only make Solana look bad, but also cast the entire DeFi ecosystem in a bad light, according to other users.

 “It’s not decentralized when dev can stop network,” one tweet read. Another user said:

This is for all those Decentralized Maxis out there who think their money can never just poof . . . Here is a perfect example of this here and now. You hav[e] [zero] control over your money at the moment and there is [literally] not a thing you can do about it. But hope it comes back.”  

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