Solana Labs CEO Reveals Plan for Upgrades

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Key Takeaways

Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakovenko addressed concerns over Solana’s network performance in a Twitter thread today.
Yakovenko said upgrades to address the issues would be “rolled out in the next 4-5 weeks.”
Certain upgrades have already been implemented, with more on the way.

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Earlier today, Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakovenko addressed network problems Solana has experienced in recent weeks. He also provided a timeline for the relevant network updates.

Solana Upgrade on the Horizon

Solana Labs’ CEO has weighed in on recent network issues.

Anatoly Yakovenko, the co-founder and CEO of Solana Labs, published a tweet thread today addressing the Solana network’s recent performance problems. He wrote that updates to address these issues would be implemented in four to five weeks. 

Yakovenko first diagnosed the spam issues as being caused by “liquidator bots” barraging single nodes with duplicate messages at a rate of over 2 million packets per second. This revealed a network bug for duplicate processing: the deduplication code would execute too late (after the signature verification) and take too long (100 microseconds per packet) to be effective. That is untenable at 2 million packets per second, though this bug was addressed in version 1.8.14, Yakovenko wrote.

On today’s live Twitter Spaces, Yakovenko opined that the actors behind the spam likely are not malicious; they are simply running their algorithms.

Despite the upgrade, Yakovenko wrote that liquidator spam was still causing “starvation”—i.e. the phenomenon in which a network’s congestion is exacerbated by the fact that users, aware of the congested state of the network, attempt to send several transactions to the blockchain in a very short window of time in the hopes that one or two are successful, thus placing even further outsized demand on the network. 

Yakovenko wrote that, to address this specific problem, engineers will introduce “flow control” in the 1.9 testnet  “with [QoS] by stake weight” to stress test and tune parameters. The team will then introduce the upgrades to the 1.8 mainnet. These upgrades are to be expected within four to five weeks. 

While Solana’s network has not gone down again since September’s 18-hour outage requiring network validators to collaborate to restart the network, it has faced several congestion issues in the past two months. These network traffic jams have had expensive consequences, with many users being liquidated last weekend in the market dip, unable to re-collateralize their positions.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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