The Solana blockchain halted its operations and wasn't able to process any transactions over the past eight hours
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Solana witnessed four hours of downtime caused by a bug. The blockchain operations were eventually restarted by the validators who disabled a kind of transaction called ‘durable nonce transactions’, currently favoured by some exchanges.
The latest outage happened on Wednesday when Solana’s operations were halted for over four hours due to a bug linked to certain cold storage transactions hampering the blockchain’s operations. The bug was found in this niche type of transactions meant for offline use cases. These transactions are called ‘durable nonce transactions.’ The transactions will remain nixed until developers are able to identify and fix the exact issue that caused Solana’s consensus mechanism to break down.
The validators warned that this suspension may have consequences for an offline custodian whose transactions belong to this category. It might be possible that their ability to move funds is freezed until the mending is done. Many crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, Binance, and Crypto.com, have reported problems with deposits and withdrawals related to Solana.
Solana Labs Communications Chief Austin Federacommented on durable nonces, saying, “This was probably a bug that existed for a while but never really became an issue because it isn't something that most people use.” Federa added further that these transactions represent an “incredibly small percentage” of transactions on Solana. However, the transaction has been gaining popularity on other exchanges.
A nonce can be defined as a random number used for a specific purpose. Durable nonces are designed for tokenholders with complex offline signing setups. These nonces can’t prepare the transactions fast-enough to match Solana’s speed. On Wednesday, it was Solana’s failure not to be able to handle durable nonces. The validators instead of treating these niche transactions as a single transaction, double counted them as a single transaction at two different block heights. This prompted Solana’s consensus mechanism to crash.
Solana has faced several outages and congestion previously, of which the most recent incident happened on April 30 when Solana was flooded with NFT minting bots. Four other incidents have been reported in the past–a 47-hour downtime incident in January 2022, two other incidents in December 2021, and one other incident in September 2021.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash
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