Over the last weekend, the Solana blockchain network suffered a major outage for 7 hours knocking off validators out of the PoS consensus and halting the block production. This happened as the bots managed to exploit the Solana-based NFT project Candy Machine.
These bots then sent a crazy amount of traffic thereby conducting record-breaking four million transactions, or 100 gigabits of data per second. Three days later, Solana developers have arrived with a detailed report of the hack and the steps they would initiate to make the Solana blockchain more resilient and robust.
Since the beginning of 2022, Solana has been several network congestion issues with the bot activity targeted at NFT mints. The Solana developers have reported three major migrations at work to address network stability and resilience.
Three Major Changes to Solana Network
The Solana developers have shared some technical changes that they would introduce to the Solana blockchain.
- QUIC – Solana developers will be implementing the Solana core protocols atop Google protocol QUIC. Currently, the Solana network implements a raw UDP-based protocol for passing transactions between RPC nodes and the current leader.
Solana explains: “Since UDP is connectionless and lacks both flow control and receipt acknowledgments, there is no meaningful way to discourage or mitigate abusive behavior”. Implementing core protocols on QUIC will bring sessions and flow control like TCP.
- Stake-weighted transaction QoS: This will end the current practice of indiscriminately accepting transactions on a first-come-first-serve basis. The developer note: “Given that Solana is a PoS network, extending the utility of stake-weighting to transaction quality of service is a natural choice”.
Stake-weighted QoS is currently in parallel development with QUIC. It shall deliver a robust performance working alongside QUIC.
- Fee-based Execution Priority: Introducing a fee model will give users the ability to express urgency for executing their transactions. The Solana developers note: “A new instruction is being introduced into the Compute Budget program, offering users the ability to specify an arbitrary “additional fee” to be collected upon execution of the transaction and its inclusion in a block”.
The transaction’s execution priority weight will depend on the ratio of this fee to the requested compute units.
The Solana developers further explained how fee structures are coming to the Solana Blockchain.
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