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  • The Solana blockchain suffered a four-hour downtime after a bug in durable nonce transactions broke the Solana consensus mechanism.
  • SOL tanked over 12 percent instantly as the Solana blockchain suffered the ninth outage in recent times.

Ethereum’s Layer-1 competitor Solana blockchain continues to face further issues of network downtime. On Wednesday, June 1, the Solana network reported an outage after which the blockchain went offline for a few hours.

This is the ninth such network outage incident reported by Solana so far this year in 2022. In an update on Twitter, Solana noted:

Block production on Solana Mainnet Beta has halted. Earlier today a bug in the durable nonce transactions feature led to nondeterminism when nodes generated different results for the same block, which prevented the network from advancing.

Solana also asked the validators for a restart as engineers started working on new releases. Validator operators have been coordinating a restart from the highest confirmed block in public. Solana ensured that its blockchain network is secure and that investors’ funds are safe.

Soon after the news of the outage, the native cryptocurrency SOL underwent severe correction. The SOL price is down over 12 percent in the last 24 hours slipping under $40. Once the darling cryptocurrency of investors, SOL has been a major wealth eroder in 2022. The SOL crypto price is down 75 percent year-to-date and more than 80 percent down from its all-time high.

As said, this is the ninth major outage faced by the Solana blockchain. Earlier this year in January, the Solana blockchain outage resulted in a downtime of 18 hours. The Solana blockchain suffered a major network congestion issue back then. It severely hampered the network throughput by several thousand transactions per second.

Understanding the durable Nonce transactions on Solana

In crypto terminology, a nonce is probably a random number used for specific purposes. Laine from Stakewiz, a Solana validator operator explains: “A durable nonce is a way in which a transaction can be signed offline ahead of time, without requiring a recent block hash (which expires after two minutes). Usage has recently increased, particularly by exchanges, possibly due to their cold storage setups”.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Solana Labs Communications Chief Austin Federa said that durable nonces contributed to a “very small percentage” of transactions on the Solana blockchain. “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 said.

On Wednesday, the Solana blockchain failed to handle the durable nonces. Instead of treating them as a niche-bound single transaction, the Solana validators counted them as single transactions but at two different block heights. This led to the breaking of Solana’s consensus mechanism. Interestingly, this happened within two weeks of Solana releasing its major scalability upgrade.

The Solana team has thus decided to disable the so-called “durable nonce transactions”. It shall remain disabled until the Solana developers identify and patch the issue. However, as per the latest Bloomberg update, the Solana blockchain is back up and running.


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