Yesterday, a nearly six-hour network outage from Solana, a blockchain on a layer known for its high throughput, drew both hilarity and support from traders and developers in the smart contract space.
“On December 4, 2020 at around 1:46 pm UTC, the Solana Mainnet Beta cluster stopped producing blocks at slot 53,180,900, preventing new transactions from being confirmed,” a live update blog post from Solana reported.
The outage lasted about five and a half hours before more than 200 Solana network validators, representing more than 80% of the network’s importance, successfully started network reboot instructions and started producing blocks again.
“We would like to thank the passionate and diligent global network of validators who have identified this issue and coordinated to restart the network,” said the Solana team.
A post-mortem on the network outage is imminent.
Solana’s founder and CEO, Anatoly Yakovenko, has previously said that he embraces competition between layer one protocols and that it can help to cultivate ‘excellence’. Solana’s SOL token is up more than 5% 24 hours a day to $ 1.97 after a dip yesterday where the token bottomed out at $ 1.85.
Critics within the Ethereum community, as well as other top-tier competitors, were quick to learn of Solana’s troubles on Twitter yesterday.
One observer noted that transactions on Serum, the Solana native decentralized exchange built by the centralized FTX exchange, had processed few BTC transactions in the hours following the interruption, implying that there was little demand for the services beyond trading ‘bots’:
Hey! someone forgot to turn on “orders from real customers who definitely aren’t bot” for serum now that solana is back up and running.
No new transactions in the last 2 hours? pic.twitter.com/fCJ6hqCjvn
– tt (@scott_lew_is) December 4, 2020
Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of FTX, seemed to be jostling for his part:
yes they did, it looks like it worked: P
– SBF (@SBF_Alameda) December 4, 2020
However, not everyone in the smart contract space took the opportunity to use the troubled Layer-1 protocol.
Hudson Jameson, a researcher with the Ethereum Foundation, praised the Solana team for their “quick response and quick recovery,” noting that Ethereum has experienced a fair share of “network emergencies”.
Another Ethereum Foundation alumni, Nick Johnson, also pointed out that if Ethereum 2.0 is stuck in the long rollout process, it would be wise to avoid bullying:
It’s depressing to watch people dump on Solana because there was a consensus issue. Let’s not evolve into Ethereum maximalists, right? Especially about something that could easily bite us in the ass one day in the future.
– nick.eth (@nicksdjohnson) December 5, 2020