A seven-hour-long network outage plagued Solana yet again after a surge of inbound transactions flooded the network.
Bots Spam Solana Again
The network shut down, which took place on Saturday, from 4.30 pm to 11 pm EST (approximately), has been the latest in a series of issues that have plagued the network for some time now. The crash was reportedly caused by a number of bots that swarmed the Candy Machine, an NFT mining tool on the platform. As a result, the network could not handle the burden of over 4 million transactions per second, which was generating over 100 Gbps of traffic.
Metaplex, which is the NFT protocol behind the Candy Machine, built on Solana, tweeted on the crash,
“Today Solana mainnet-beta went down partially due to botting on the Metaplex Candy Machine program. To combat this, we have merged and will soon deploy a botting penalty to the program as part of a broader effort to stabilize the network.”
Austin Federa, Head of Communications for Solana, confirmed the crash on Twitter, stating that the Solana mainnet beta had fallen of consensus and could not be recovered by the validator network. However, the issue was fixed when the validator operators conducted a cluster restart of Solana’s Mainnet Beta network. Solana’s cheap and fast transactions have always drawn in bots, DeFi borrowers, and other users to flood the network with transactions.
The crash is reminiscent of the 17-hour network outage Solana suffered in September 2021, caused by a heavy load of transactions that overwhelmed the processing queue and caused some nodes to go offline. As a result, the price tanked around 30%, from $220 to $140.
Since then, the network has been regularly facing network crashes and outages, though none as long as the one in September. In December 2021, the network speed slowed down considerably due to congestion following the SolChicks’ token sale on Raydium.
In the early days of January 2022, the network was the target of a DDOS attack causing a network failure. Later that month, the network was again in trouble when it again went down for 48 hours, causing mass panic among holders. This outage was again caused by bots spamming the network with transactions, resulting in the price of SOL dropping from around $140 to $80 drastically. DeFi users on Solana who had taken out loans would have had to top up their collateral to avoid dropping below a certain threshold. This led to liquidation issues across the network. The multiple network outages have caused community members to lose faith in the crypto, with experts questioning the viability of the self-proclaimed “Ethereum-killer.”
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