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Solana Back Online After 5-Hour Service Disruption

Operations on the Solana network have resumed following a minor disruption on Tuesday.

Commencing at 09:53 UTC, the outage persisted for some 5 hours. The Solana team said it is investigating the root cause and will soon share its report on the matter.

Block production on Solana mainnet beta resumed at 14:57 UTC, following a successful upgrade to v1.17.20 and a restart of the cluster by validator operators. Engineers will continue to monitor performance as network operations are restored.

The outage began at approximately…

— Solana Status (@SolanaStatus) February 6, 2024

After the outage, Solana’s native token SOL, briefly dipped to about $93.63 before rebounding. It last traded around $95.41.

The Solana network has experienced previous outages, with the Feb. 6 incident being the first this year. However, in 2022, the network encountered 22 instances of downtime or disruptions.

It is smart contract blockchain based on proof-of-stake, distinguishing itself as one of the few protocols not compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Solana is seen as a growing DeFi ecosystem, but its total value locked has plummeted by 83% from over $10b in 2021 to about $1.5b currently.

To shed light on the recent outage, Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakovenko retweeted a post from Matthew Siegel, VanEck’s head of digital assets research.

Solana Program Tool Failure

Sigel explained that a mechanism used to deploy, upgrade, and execute programs on Solana — called the “Berkley Packet Filter” — failed.

He said that the problem originated from a Solana Improvement Proposal (SMID) that introduced changes, including adding a blocker to prevent metadata usage in the BPF.

Solana outage, what happened?
BPF loader, the “Berkley Packet Filter,” which is the mechanism to deploy upgrade and execute programs on Solana, failed. This seems to relate to a previous SMID (Solana Improvement Proposal) that altered some of the features including the adding a…

— matthew sigel, recovering CFA (@matthew_sigel) February 6, 2024

Core Software Update to Address Outage

“This bug was noticed on testnet and a fix was created, but not yet implemented due to testing. There is speculation that someone manually triggered this bug. Solana, as a result, went down,” he added.

To resolve the problem, developers have rewritten the BPF code lines on the development network. This solution requires updating the core software utilized by all participants on the Solana network before regular operations can resume.

Sigel is confident that efforts to fix the issue are underway. He anticipates a surge in DeFi activity as arbitrage bots take advantage of opportunities after the Solana network restarts.

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