• Solana engineers say network bug caused forking to begin when transaction load hit 400,000 TPS
  • Engineers were unable to immediately resolve the problem, which led to transactions not processing to blocks on the Solana blockchain. Instead, the validator community elected to do a restart of the network

Solana is down nearly 8% in the last 24 hours, according to CoinGecko, as the Alameda Research backed protocol experienced its first major growing pain. 

According to various Solana block explorers like SolanaBeach, the majority of transactions that were attempted onto the blockchain have failed. Data shows that while there were intermittent issues as early as a week ago, for the last eight hours that failure is now widespread and barely any transactions can be successfully written to the blockchain. 

“Solana Mainnet Beta encountered a large increase in transaction load which peaked at 400,000 TPS. These transactions flooded the transaction processing queue, and lack of prioritization of network-critical messaging caused the network to start forking,” the Solana Foundation said in a statement on their twitter account. “This forking led to excessive memory consumption, causing some nodes to go offline. Engineers across the ecosystem attempted to stabilize the network, but were unsuccessful.”

The Foundation said that the validator community had decided to commence a restart of the network, and instructions on the restart would be posted to its Discord server shortly. 

Georgios Konstantopoulos, a research partner at VC fund Paradigm, speculated on Twitter that part of the issue came from a network of bugs spamming the network to exploit a bug that would reduce transaction fees. 

Others on Twitter were skeptical that the protocol, which launched earlier this year, would be able to handle institutional grade traffic should it crumble at this point of limited use. The Solana blockchain was home to this summer’s hottest NFT trend, the Degenerate Ape Academy with one going for $1.1 million earlier this month

Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakovenko was undeterred on Twitter, inviting Solana validators to get on the blockchain’s Discord to discuss the next steps. 

“It’s beta time,” he said, acknowledging the software wasn’t in a perfect state and there was some work to be done. 

SOL is currently trading for $153.76, down 8% on-day.

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    Sam Reynolds is a Taipei-based reporter, covering digital assets and regulation throughout Asia. Before joining Blockworks he was an editor at Forkast News and an analyst with IDC.