Solana is a blockchain that’s suffering in numerous ways; the platform, unfortunately, finds itself amid misfortunes; the latest misfortune is a seven-hour outage
Too much demand for the Candy Machine
The Solana blockchain is currently in recovery mode after suffering from a seven-hour outage that saw users of the blockchain unable to operate during that time. The last few days have been mental for the NFT ecosystem; due to a wave of demand brought about by the launch of a few key projects, everybody wants to get their hands on a few available NFTs, and this is always a recipe for disaster.
Candy machine is a Solana NFT minting program, and unfortunately, this program was pushed to the limit and failed under a wave of demand from bots aiming to get their transactions through on Saturday, April 30.
Solana’s mainnet failed and fell out of consensus and crashed when nodes belonging to validators seized to work under the weight. Validators are integral to blockchains, and these computers verify transactions to ensure the integrity of the blockchain.
According to engineers and developers from Jump Crypto and the Solana foundation, traffic peaked at a record-breaking 4 million transactions per second at 8 pm UTC on Saturday.
After the outage, validators successfully delivered a cluster restart, and after the blockchain was brought back online, it began operating at degraded performance for a while as nodes were slowly put back online.
Solana: built on quicksand?
The growth of the Solana blockchain has been nothing short of mind-boggling, and it has steadily risen to the heights of the blockchain ecosystem to become one of the most widely used blockchains. Solana has had to deal with a flood of bots, which has led to stability issues, and unfortunately, the recent outbreak was not the most severe in Solana’s history.
In January 2022, Solana suffered an 18-hour blackout that included service issues prompting negative reactions from traders towards the blockchain. People lost considerable money during the January Solana downtime as investors helplessly watched their portfolios lose value.
The Solana blockchain has gone through a bit over the last few months, and the last thing the platform needed was a blackout due to a system overload. Keep in mind that the Solana blockchain was not the only one to struggle with excess demands over the weekend, but it’s worth noting because it’s beginning to seem like a pattern for this blockchain.
The way forward
As a means of mitigating unfettered blind minting by desperate bots, Solana is introducing a penalty system when a wallet attempts to complete an invalid transaction. The penalty will be 0.01 SOL or $0.89, which is targeted at mitigating the scourge of bots.
Time will tell how much success this strategy will have, but Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs, had the following to share about the response from the Solana team to the outage, “It’s amazing to see so many new folks step up and lead and take ownership of recovery.” Teamwork still makes the dream work.