In a recent turn of events, the Solana network experienced a significant disruption, going offline for approximately five hours. The problem was described as a “major outage” by the Solana team.
The unexpected outage began early in the morning, with the network’s developers announcing the issue at 10:22 am UTC on 6 February. This led to a complete halt of the network’s operations.
It wasn’t until nearly five hours later that the issue was resolved. This required validators to implement new software provided by Solana Labs that included a crucial patch.
The network’s status page has now confirmed that the outage lasted approximately five hours.
The event marked the first significant downtime for Solana in almost a year, highlighting the network’s challenges in maintaining continuous operation.
A closer look
At 10:22 UTC, Solana alerted its community to the mainnet-beta outage. This prompted an immediate investigation by engineers across the ecosystem.
The halt in block progression meant that no transactions could be processed, causing widespread concern.
Efforts to address the issue led to the development of new validator software, incorporating a patch to rectify the fault that caused the network to freeze.
Matthew Sigel, Head of Digital Assets Research at VanEck, pointed to the “Berkley Packet Filter” mechanism as the likely culprit behind the failure.
He suggested that recent changes to Solana’s operational features might have inadvertently introduced the problem, emphasising the complexity of maintaining such a large-scale blockchain network.
As per the network’s latest incident report, core contributors are working on a root cause report, which will be made available once complete. Engineers from across the ecosystem are also investigating an outage on mainnet-beta
Impact and recovery
The network’s downtime had immediate effects on the broader ecosystem, particularly for exchanges and services dependent on $SOL, Solana’s native cryptocurrency.
Several platforms, including CoinEx, were forced to suspend $SOL-related services temporarily.
The price of $SOL also felt the impact, dipping below $94 at one point before making a modest recovery as the network’s issues were addressed.
At the time of press, the coin is changing hands for $95.18, up by almost 2% daily. However, it continued to trade in the red as it is down by over 5% weekly
Despite the brief price fluctuation, $SOL’s market position remains relatively stable. Its current resistance and support levels were identified at significant Fibonacci retracement points.
The latest incident adds to a history of outages for Solana, which has faced similar challenges in the past. According to Solana’s status page, it is the first outage since February 2023.
The platform also faced multiple outages in 2022 due to node issues, with a notable 18-hour downtime in September 2021.