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Solana promises ‘detailed post-mortem’ after 17-hour outage

‘What we are likely seeing is the experimental nature of blockchain tech playing out’ – head of data and analytics at FRNT Financial.
Image: Gabby Jones, Bloomberg

The Solana blockchain linked to one of this year’s fastest-rising cryptocurrencies is trying to bolster the network after a major outage and promising to implement more protective steps.

A “detailed post-mortem” analysis will be issued in coming weeks, according to the @SolanaStatus Twitter account, after the network suffered an outage of more than 17 hours. The affiliated SOL token has tumbled about 18% over the past week but has still more than tripled in the past month, according to tracker CoinGecko.

1/ Engineers across the ecosystem deployed several mitigations in 1.6.25 to increase network resiliency during periods of extreme transaction load. These fixes included preventing exclusive locking on accounts that reference program code

— Solana Status (@SolanaStatus) September 16, 2021
2/ and the introduction of throttling of forwarded transactions, which will help prevent amplification of transaction congestion.

The community is committed to publishing a detailed post mortem on the outage in the coming weeks as further fixes are deployed.

— Solana Status (@SolanaStatus) September 16, 2021
Proponents have touted the claimed speed and lower cost of transactions on Solana as well as its potential to support high-frequency trading strategies. Some argue the blockchain is a potential long-term rival for Ethereum, currently the most-used network for applications such as decentralised finance and digital collectibles.

However, the outage provided an opening for critics of the fast-growing network. Solana’s more centralized structure and claim of being the fastest blockchain in the world came in for scrutiny from the likes of Gavin Wood, a co-founder of rival blockchain networks Ethereum and Polkadot.

Wood said Solana’s “exclusive and closed set of servers” may be fast, but its value is no match for well-secured decentralized networks.

But there were also some supporters. Emin Gun Sirer, a founder of Ava Labs and professor at Cornell University who has made numerous contributions to fundamental crypto research, posted on Twitter that it’s still “early days,” and said “issues can happen.”

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