The Solana Blockchain has suffered another network outage. The technical issue led to the delay of on-chain transactions for several hours. This is not new, as outages have dogged Solana since its launch in 2020. However, developers were on the ground to restart the crypto network.

Validators To The Rescue

Solana, the “Ethereum killer,” ceased processing almost all transactions on February 25. This was due to a network outage that lasted several hours. According to Austin Federa — head of strategy and communications at the Solana Foundation — the organization that helps support the blockchain, the issues found during an upgrade forced the blockchain into what is known as a “vote-only” mode.

Normally, this mode aids in resolving issues quickly, but the blockchain could not fully recover this time. Therefore, this required a complete restart of the network.

Richard Patel, a software developer at Firedancer, also added clarification to the issue on his Twitter page. Firedancer is a Jump Crypto-backed project aimed at enhancing Solana’s functionality. According to the developer, the crash may be related to the recent Solana Labs v1.14 software release. Validators were thereby considering a downgrade to the latest functional version, v1.13.

Thus, two versions of validator software were coexisting. This led to the hard fork of one of the top smart contract platforms. This is because nodes with conflicting software cannot sync with each other. This caused the mainnet to enter “vote-only” mode, a fail-safe mechanism that allows network-wide voting when finalization fails.

About some hours ago, Solans Status, the official Twitter page responsible for the blockchain updates, stated that the network had been successfully restarted by the Solana community. Engineers will also keep an eye on network performance as network operators are brought back up.

Solana’s advocates have hailed it as a “Ethereum killer” since it provides cheaper transactions and quicker processing times. The blockchain offers a variety of crypto applications, including non-fungible tokens, lending, and trading. For investors interested in acquiring the SOL token, Solana is listed on eToro.

Solana Plagued with Network Outages Since Launch

Network and technical issues are not new to Solana. According to Solana data, the network experienced a number of outages in January and February 2022 alone.

The blockchain experienced a similar restart process in October 2022, after a bug caused a lengthy outage. The Solana network stopped processing transactions and went offline due to a misconfigured node. This network crash happened a year after a nearly 18-hour outage in September 2021.

Developers were able to restart the Solana mainnet network at the last confirmed slot, 153139220. However, as at the time when the reboot was 49% completed, Solana had experienced downtime for 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Solana executives may have argued over different estimates of the total number of outages in the past in the crypto media. But founder Anatoly Yakovenko has lamented that outages have been their curse. He pointed out that the crypto blockchain has occasionally in the past had hours pass between two blocks.

However, Yakovenko saw a silver lining in the network crashes. He argued that the outages themselves are not entirely a bad thing because all these challenges are coming due to the number of users on the chain on a daily basis.

Since its debut in 2020, Solana has experienced at least seven network downtime, five of which happened in 2022. In September 2021, one of the longest production stops lasted up to 17 hours.

Solana has surpassed Cardano and Ethereum to become the third-largest proof-of-stake blockchain by market size since Ethereum switched to proof of stake on September 15. But the network must remain operational if it is to expand further and compete with Ethereum.

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