Like most new age networks, Solana was developed to address major issues facing the blockchain industry. While the network solved some of these problems by its very nature, there were also some unique challenges.
From resource depletion to assurance stops, the Solana network has suffered a number of obstacles that have led to repeated power outages, which have led to repeated network interruptions for hours.
The network was closed on December 4, 2020, some three years after the introduction of Solana, much to the confusion of the public.
The chain appears to have stopped validating new blocks at 53,180,900 slots, preventing transaction certificates. Network engineers discovered and solved the problem, but the channel was down for about six hours.
In addition, on September 14, 2021, Solana Support official Twitter account nocht the network had an “interim instability” for about 45 minutes.
The probable cause of the problem, which has led to a denial of service, is the depletion of resources. According to the support manager, engineers are working on the issue and considering the possibility of a restart if it continues.
The network recently gained another experience break down, the seventh time he was disturbed. This time, the problem was caused by robots that triggered a large number of transactions on Metaplex, a non – mixed signal (NFT) market built on Solana. The break lasted about seven hours.
Solana collectors are currently being delayed, according to George Harrap, co – founder of Step Finance – Solana’s portfolio manager – because robots are spamming NFT mints and arbitrage trades. Networks have huge bandwidth requirements, so too much affects network operation.
“Solana is not a centralized entity with a single decision maker. The 1700+ validator is responsible for deciding what should be done. Many implement solutions and manage by consensus on what what needs to be done in the public interest is the network, “Harrap told Cointelegraph.
“According to Nansen’s research, Solana often has 10 times more transactions than Ethereum. This means that Solana is facing demands that no other blockchain is facing and this is a new end. So failures will be expected. ”
While Ethereum’s OpenSea is one of the most popular NFT markets to date, Metaplex, built on the Solana network, is gradually gaining popularity and allowing users to mince and sell NFTs on the Solana blockchain.
However, given the recent market issue and Solana ‘s ongoing outages, it’s not surprising if some users start to rethink.
Harrap added that “updates to the validation nodes are currently being made and researched to address this issue. These include new node communication protocols (such as QUIC) and changes to the Candy Machine contract used by NFT miners , where fees are incurred for failed transactions). “
Solana seeks to solve the blockchain trilema
Solana became fully operational two years ago. The cryptocurrency community considers the network one of the killers of Ethereum. These Ethereum killers are networks that aim to optimize the performance of the Ethereum blockchain in terms of adoption by addressing a number of issues arising from the current heavy reliance of the Ethereum blockchain on the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism ).
Solana was designed with the blockchain trilemma in mind, a concept proposed by Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian-Russian programmer and co-founder of Ethereum.
According to the blockchain trilemma, while decentralization, security, and scalability are the three key characteristics of a successful blockchain, a typical blockchain can offer only two and one sacrifice.
The Solana network aims to solve this problem by integrating a proof-of-concept (PoH) mechanism into a proof-of-promise (PoS) blockchain. With PoH, the network delegates a central node to determine transaction time that the entire network can agree on. This speeds up transactions, but provides decentralization, which is an essential feature of blockchain.
According to Hisham Khan, Founder and CEO of Aldrin, some users have switched to Tier 2 and others have switched to Tier 1, like Avalanche, but also Ethereum’s temporary solutions. However, it does not resolve the current issues of scalability, transaction costs and speed. He told Cointelegraph:
“Looking at transactions per second, Solana is consistently in the top five. To assess the promising nature of an ecosystem, you need to look at the number of developers. Not surprisingly, Solana continues to grow with the largest number of developers. ”
“Scalability and stress testing are an essential part of the process to shape the ecosystem to maturity – we not only deal with financial transactions, but initial offerings of DEX, NFTs, robots and much more,” Khan said. “All of these issues may not be there in five years. And just like the early days of the Internet, the user experience and the engine can still be improved. Users may not notice the difference. note, but the process will be smoother as the basic smart contracts, and technology is constantly evolving. “
Concerns have been raised about whether Solana’s network is really decentralized. While most cryptocurrency enthusiasts recognize the low network fees and significant scalability, they argue that the network is not completely decentralized, citing it depends on PoH, the tokens allocated almost 50% to people directly in the network and the reliance on the Solana Foundation for the development of the main nodes.
And, despite all this, its scalability still seems to be in question. In early January 2021, Solana Support official Twitter page recognized reduced performance, resulting in reduced network throughput transactions. According to the tweet, the network’s capacity has been reduced to “several thousand transactions per second”, resulting in the failure of some users’ transactions.
See also: Birth of the “Ethereum killers”: Can they take the Ethereum throne?
Solana uses the proof mechanism, which means that users can put their native Solana (SOL) base in the pool for reward. Collectors are then tasked with collecting these coins to increase their impact on the blockchain consensus. Thus the sequence of transactions produced by the current PoH generator can be quickly verified, new PoH generators selected, and dishonest collectors penalized.
While many users have taken advantage of the opportunity to engage with Solana, especially as a secondary source of revenue, some users of the official Solana Reddit channel have reported having problems installing their SOL in applied using the Moonlet Wallet and Phantom Wallet by Solana.
A long way to go
The Solana ecosystem has compiled a number of decentralized applications (DApps), including lending protocols such as Apricot Finance and Francium, decentralized financial projects (DeFi) such as Orca, Saber and Raydium, NFT markets such as Metaplex and Solanart, and Web3 apps as Audius and the Brave Browser.
However, with only 71 projects, the ecosystem is not much smaller than large ecosystems like Ethereum, which has about 3,249 projects.
Orca, a decentralized exchange on the Solana blockchain, is the most used DApp on the Solana ecosystem in the last seven days. Orca has a user base of 272,000, followed by its NFT Marketplace, Magic Eden, with 121,000 users.
The most popular DApp on the Ethereum ecosystem in the last seven days is the OpenSea NFT Marketplace with approximately 148,000 users. However, the total locked value (TVL) of the Ethereum ecosystem, amounting to $ 113 billion, is much higher than the value of its rival, according to TVL DeFiLlama’s aggregation platform. Solana has a $ 6 billion TVL.
The low fares promised by the Solana network are attractive to developers and users, but network outages have often hampered full network usage and frightened some potential players, hampering ecosystem growth.
Promised upgrades in sight
In response to these concerns, Solana Labs – the technology company behind the Solana blockchain – has unveiled plans for “flow control” upgrades that could address the growing concerns about network outages.
Austin Federa, Head of Communications at Solana Labs, welcomed CEO Anatoly Yakovenko and other members of Solana’s development team to Twitter earlier this year during a Spaces Twitter session to discuss possible solutions. These talks came after a number of network outages in January alone, which worried users.
Yakovenko said during this session that plans are being made to implement upgrades to address these issues and that they will be implemented in the coming weeks. He also pointed out that some of them had already been implemented.
See also: Biggest NFT Mint Ever Made: Exploiting Yuga Lab’s ‘Virtual’ World
It would not be a stretch to expect a significant improvement in Solana’s chain stability in the coming months, mainly because it is still in its infancy and needs time to recover. However, the issues appear to be largely network-specific, raising questions about their eventual resolution in the cryptocurrency space.
From a technical standpoint, we could say that the current version is still in beta and the full version will include an upgrade to fix these issues. However, in response to a Reddit post, a Solana moderator pointed out that the attached “beta” is “just a word that could be removed at any time.”
In April 2021, there were proposals to implement a chain governance protocol to allow coin holders to democratically influence the upgrading of the chain. This has made it easier to delegate upgrade decisions to holders and stakeholders.
Solana is growing, with a market capitalization of $ 30 billion. Its SOL native base has risen to the sixth most valuable digital asset.
According to a recent Finder survey, the SOL price is expected to reach $ 222 by the end of the year. Despite seemingly network-specific outages, the rapid growth of the ecosystem suggests that Solana may one day become one of the dominant PoS chains. Mr. Harp concludes:
“Solana PoS is not a complete consensus like other PoS systems, but it does try something new. It remains to be seen whether it will stand the test of time and be delivered. ”