By Tyler Durden,
Once heralded as the "Ethereum Killer", cryptocurrency Solana has crashed almost 70% from its November highs amid a series of outages and bot attacks that have left traders and users frustrated to the point where many are raising questions about its viability.
The network had become the natural alternative to ethereum after bursting into the limelight last year. Ethereum’s high fees and slow transaction times had been a pain in the behind for its users and with Solana coming in as a shiny new alternative, users flocked to it.
But, as Bloomberg reports, the protocol suffered its sixth serious outage of more than eight hours this month over the weekend, which a notice on its website attributed to excessive duplicate transactions causing a high level of network congestion.
During these periods of network instability, crypto traders are often left unable to sell off their positions as transactions fail to complete on Solana’s network, yet another sign of how unreliable this emerging technology can be during times of stress. When combined with a market-wide crash in crypto prices, investors scrambling to offload their tokens are left to figure out other routes while their portfolios rapidly decline.
For now, Solana is being dumped in favor of Ethereum over the weekend's latest outages...
Yakovenko further stoked traders’ ire during the crypto crash by making light of Solana’s instability. The Solana Labs co-founder attached a screenshot showing a Solana node reporting 2.05 million duplicate data packets being submitted to the network, accompanied by the caption ‘lol’.
There are some sematics involved here as Decrypt notes that technically the Solana network hasn’t experienced a full outage since September’s extended downtime, but it is hard to arguer that it has been smooth sailing the last few months for the rising layer-1 blockchain. Following recent network performance issues, Yakovenko has detailed the platform’s “growing pains” as it scales to meet demand.
Yakovenko disputes claims that the network went down and data from blockchain explorers support that view. But even if Solana was still functioning, it did so at a weakened level. Solana’s own status website shows a “partial outage” for nine days so far in January, citing either “degraded performance” or “network instability” as the reason for each.
“The network has not experienced any periods of downtime since September,” Yakovenko wrote today.
“Despite that, the user experience is not what it should be today.”
Late last week and into the weekend, Solana users took to social media and Discord to complain of frequent issues. Transactions on the network were getting stalled, often taking considerably longer than normal to complete or outright failing as the network struggled to maintain its typical throughput level measured in transactions per second (TPS).
In a statement shared with Decrypt this morning, Yakovenko wrote that the mark has reached a recent average of 800 TPS, down from the typical mean above 3,000 TPS. (For context, Ethereum, the leading smart-contract blockchain network, can handle roughly 15 transactions per second, on average.)
With about a quarter of the usual transaction throughput on Solana, users attempting to send and receive funds, interact with DeFi tools (peer-to-peer lending and trading applications), and buy and sell NFTs have had issues.
Unlike September’s downtime, which was blamed on an overload of transactions submitted by bots attempting to manipulate a token launch, Yakovenko wrote that the “overwhelming majority” of recent transactions are legitimate—“from normal market DeFi activity, not malicious users or coordinated attacks.”
“The outages are partly a function of Solana’s success, in that the usage and developer activity has grown significantly faster than the maturity of the protocol,” Alkesh Shah, global crypto and digital asset strategist at Bank of America Securities Inc., told Bloomberg.
“In some ways, it’s a high-class problem, having so many transactions meaning it’s an attractive platform for developers and users.”
“The real indicator will be if developer activity and transaction activity significantly slows,” said Shah.
“That would mean that people are not viewing the benefits of Solana versus the challenges of its growing pains. At this point, that’s not happening.”
With more and more of these complex transactions in the mix, Solana validators are struggling to keep on top of the constant flow of user demands.
“The network is experiencing growing pains as it onboards a new class of sophisticated builders and users,” Yakovenko wrote.
Finally, we do note that Solana isn’t the only one having issues.
Ethereum continues to be plagued by scaling difficulties and extremely high gas fees, while newcomers like Polygon PoS saw costs spike by more than seven times in a month in January as play-to-earn video games clogged up demand.
“The ecosystems that are being built on Ethereum and the alternative blockchains are still thriving. There is no 'winter' for that ecosystem growth, and that’s really where the value is going to be added,” concluded Shah.
Source : https://www.zerohedge.com/crypto/ethereum-killer-rocked-outages-solana-co-founder-blames-growing-pains