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Transaction Block Overload Causes Downtime on Solana Blockchain

Self-acclaimed Ethereum killer Solana found itself in a fix on Tuesday as its blockchain collapsed under the weight of a huge transaction load. According to reports, transaction load on the proof-of-stake blockchain maxed out at 400,000 transactions per second, leading to the flooding of the transaction processing queue. This was followed by a lack of prioritization of network-critical messaging, causing network forking, eventually.

Solana is projected to have a processing capability of up to 65,000 transactions per second. Although the blockchain is scalable and boasts the flexibility to accommodate more transactions, it must have overreached itself trying to process 400,000 transactions within the same duration.

Solana to Restart Network As Downtime Persists

While reporting the incident via its official Twitter page, Solana revealed that the forking triggered an unnecessary memory consumption on the blockchain shutting down some nodes. Solana added that all attempts by engineers to handle the issue proved vain. It noted that a restart on the network seemed to be the only viable solution, of which it assured Solana users and community members that updates on the outcome will be posted on its Discord page.

While the downtime lasted, users found it difficult to connect to the Solana blockchain via Solana-enabled decentralized applications and wallets. Phantom, a popular Solana-dedicated wallet also reported the issue in a separate tweet with an assurance that updates will be posted to keep users abreast of the situation.

Meanwhile, data shared by block explorers on SolanaBeach and SolScan shows that the last transaction block was added three hours before the downtime was reported. Downtimes of this nature are sometimes preceded by 51% or majority attacks, in which a single node or entity controls more than half of the entire network. In this instance, the controlling node can prevent transactions from getting added to blocks, such that double spending might arise.

The sudden surge in the transactions on Solana is attributable to the increasing traffic on activities spearheaded by the emerging innovations of decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In recent times, Solana has become a breeding ground for NFTs as minting and trading of these tokens on the Ethereum network is starting to lose appeal due to high gas costs.

Price of $SOL Nosedives

The Tuesday report had a domino effect on the prices of SOL (Solana’s native coin) across various crypto exchanges. After reaching a record-high of $215 two weeks ago, SOL found its way back to $171 and traded at that range for a short while before registering a bearish move to $141 on account of the block overload incident. As of press time, SOL has recouped some of its gains moving to the $160 price mark.

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