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Blockchain Solana continues to crash for the 4th time in 2022

Late on June 1st, the Solana network experienced a problem again, resulting in the entire blockchain being halted and disrupted.

According to data from block explorer Solana Beach, Solana’s validators have not processed new blocks in the past 5 hours, causing all applications of the blockchain to be completely shut down. The project’s Solana Status page says:

Investigating – block generation on Solana has been discontinued. Validator operators should be prepared to restart mb-validators following the instructions on Discord.”

According to Solana Status, this is the 4th time in 2022 Solana has had blockchain operations interrupted, namely from January 6 to January 12, January 21 to January 22, April 30 to May 1, and the current time. Before that, in August 2021, the world’s 9th largest cryptocurrency network also “stands still” for more than 16 hours, followed by continuous problems in December.

Statistics of incidents (red/orange/yellow) of Solana in 2022. Source: Solana Status
Statistics of incidents (red/orange/yellow) of Solana in 2022. Source: Solana Status

Many people believe that the very nature of the Solana blockchain that is often problematic is because of the Proof-of-History consensus mechanism that the project uses. However, the crash in early May 2022 was caused by NFT bots pushing a large amount of transactions onto the blockchain and overloading the network. Solana team then proposed to impose priority fee on SOL transaction to solve that problem.

As of this morning, Solana said it had successfully restarted the network and the blockchain was back up and running after about 4.5 hours of interruption. However, according to the block explorers on Solana, it is reported that the clock on the blockchain is 7 hours slower than in real life.

According to the Twitter account of Stakewiz, a validator on the Solana network, the problem stemmed from an error related to a “durable nonce” and had nothing to do with the network’s clock lag.

Durable nonce is a mechanism that allows validators to validate offline transactions before the deadline without the need for the latest block hash data. Stakewiz believes that the demand for durable nonce on Solana has increased sharply in the past time, most likely because the exchanges upgraded cold wallets, leading to overload.

Stakewiz revealed that after finding the cause, validators on the Solana network agreed to disable the durable nonce so that they could restart the blockchain as quickly as possible, then issue the durable nonce later.

Stakewiz also stated that the durable nonce was discovered by the Solana development team and was in the process of being fixed when it suddenly caused network-wide issues.