‘Catastrophically terrible’ – Community reacts to Solana’s controversial reboot

Saif Naqvi
Source: Pixabay

The weekend was quite eventual for Solana. A 7-hour outage caused by transaction overload forced validators to restart the network as the mainnet became operational on Sunday. While validators were lauded for their efforts, a decision to censor some transactions received a ton of flak from the community. Here’s a look at what community members had to say.

Solana’s discord server showed that validators temporarily suggested blocking NFT minting bots during the network reboot. A set of instructions were provided to validators that had the option to suspend Candy Machine transactions until the network became stable.

Source: Twitter

Since Layer 1 blockchains, such as Solana, can validate and finalize transactions without the need for another network, community members pointed out that blocking transactions was a worrying sign.

Source: Twitter

Members took a swipe at censorship, suggesting that Solana went as far as compromising its decentralized notion to recover the network. A user said the decision was a ‘catastrophically terrible sign for the entire ecosystem’.

What happened?

For those unfamiliar with the weekend transpiring, a network overload led to 7 hours of downtime and necessitated a restart on the Solana network. The issue was caused by the NFT minting program Candy Machine which pushed a record 4 million transactions per second, causing Solana’s mainnet to crash.

Validators had completed a cluster restart on Sunday and the network was operating at reduced efficiency until all the nodes came back online.

Solana Ethereum killer tag fades away?

In a separate incident, Ethereum gas fees rose to astronomical levels after Bored Ape Yacht Club launched an NFT project called Otherside. An overwhelming response from users caused gas fees to skyrocket, with some users paying over $3,000 in just fees for an NFT worth $25 at market price.

High gas fees have become a persistent issue for users and in retrospect, the situation was ideal for Solana to levy its higher block time and block size and solidify its stance among a growing list of so-called ‘Ethereum-killers’. Solana’s NFT growth has attracted millions of new users to the blockchain, with collections such as Okay Bears shattering records for the most NFT sales in a given day.

However, Solana has proven to be anything but an ideal choice for an Ethereum alternative, with the network suffering its seventh outage already in 2022 so far. In January, over 29 hours of downtime occurred due to excessive duplicate transactions. This came after a 17-hour outage in September occurred after bots overloaded the network with 400,000 transactions per second.