NFT buying frenzy has disrupted not only Ethereum. Solana witnessed the clogging of millions of NFT transactions on its network due to bot activity targeted at such mints. Block production resumed on Sunday, and the operators managed to restart the main network successfully.
In a new blog post, Solana devs outlined three mitigation steps to tackle such congestion issues.
- QUIC Adoption: Solana core protocols are being reimplemented atop Google-built protocol QUIC. This is because the custom raw UDP-based protocol that the blockchain uses does not discourage or mitigate abusive behavior. With the implementation of QUIC, the devs believe that “there will be many more options available to adapt and optimize data ingestion.”
- Integration of stake-weighted transaction processing: With stake-weighted QoS, Solana will prioritize ending the current practice of indiscriminately accepting transactions on a first-come-first-served basis and instead integrate stake-weighted transaction processing.
- Introduction of Fee-based execution priority: Under this model, users will be able to specify an additional fee besides the base fee to be collected upon execution of the transaction and its inclusion in a block. The fee prioritization is targeted for the v1.11 release.
As reported by CryptoPotato, an enormous number of 4 million NFT transactions were sent out by bots through Solana-based Candy Machine. The consensus halted as a result of validators running out of memory and crashing. The network was down for 7 hours. The devs pointed out,
“The root cause of the high memory usage was insufficient votes landing to finalize earlier blocks, preventing abandoned fork cleanup. The number of forks validators had to evaluate exceeded their capacity to do so, even after a reboot, necessitating manual intervention.”
After facing multiple outages this year, with the worst one lasting up to 48 hours, the Ethereum rival has come under significant backlash. The latest outage comes days after its co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko said that Bitcoin faces the risk of a mass exodus if it does not shift to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) from Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm.
Earlier, multiple validator operator entities reportedly issued beta cluster restart instructions that include guidance to block NFT minting bots manually at layer one. This was revealed by Ethereum Foundation’s Hudson Jameson. Following this, Solana’s Head of Communication, Austin Federa, clarified that very few validators had adopted this, and plenty of Candy Machine transactions was still landing.
Additionally, Metaplex, which happens to be one of the largest NFT communities on Solana, announced merging and will deploy a botting penalty to the program to stabilize the network against botting on the Metaplex Candy Machine program.