The Solana (SOL) network faced a significant problem on Feb. 25 that restricted users’ capability to execute transactions.
The network experienced a forking event that created multiple versions of its transaction history, which hindered its functionality, including the trading of cryptocurrencies and the transfer of assets. The crisis started around 00:53 New York time and escalated rapidly. Validators and Solana engineers are trying to identify the cause of the forking event, but it remains unclear.
The forking event began to negatively impact the Solana network, with validators’ RAM increasing. The network’s transaction throughput fell off a cliff, reducing the number of transactions it could process per second. Solana’s data site recorded a decrease in the transaction rate from 5000 TPS to about 93 TPS.
This is not the first time Solana has experienced such an issue; it suffered multiple outages in 2022 and 2021. Solana had reformed its systems to manage inbound traffic after the previous outages, but this most recent incident had no immediate explanation. The network’s current challenges are likely related to a bug in the new version of Solana code that had just come online hours before the incident.
Without a solid solution to the problem, validators began downgrading to the previous version to revive Solana’s throughput. Solana employees later supported this action. However, it may take hours before a supermajority of validators switches back to the old software. There is also no guarantee that the downgrade will work.
In the meantime, the Solana price has fallen nearly 4%, and it is trading close to its 24-hour low at $22.65. It remains to be seen whether the Solana blockchain will recover and whether this will trigger a recovery in the price of the altcoin.
This most recent Solana forking event has prompted a reaction among industry experts. St. Gnu, a pseudonymous validator, argued that Solana’s core developers should build more fee features to make spamming less economical. He claims the network is too cheap to do business on, even with priority fees. The issue is that no high cost is involved if a user wishes to spam the network with transactions.
According to SolBlaze, who runs a liquid staking pool and is active in developer circles, coordinating a restart attempt means the chain will be completely offline, which is always the last resort. It is still being determined when Solana will be fully operational.
Solana is a high-performance blockchain that is intended to compete with Ethereum network. It aims to deliver fast transaction speeds and low fees. Its recent crisis has raised concerns among users about its functionality and reliability.