Solana suffers 7th outage as bots scramble for NFTs
While the network crumbled under the high demand for Otherside NFTs over the weekend, Solana’s proof-of-stake (PoS) is battling with another type of demand. NFT minting bots on have knocked validators out of consensus for the 7th time in 2022, crashing the network for several hours.
Unlike Ethereum, where buyers need to pay higher gas fees to speed up their transaction, the fastest finger wins in Solana. This has led to an increase in NFT minting bots that typically bombard the network with millions of transactions per second.
Between Saturday and Sunday, the Solana network suffered a seven-hour outage fueled by the millions of transactions from NFT minting bots. At roughly 8 pm UTC on Saturday, the network was hit with a record-breaking four million transactions or 100 gigabits of data per second. The spike in transactions caused Solana to crumble, knocking validators out of consensus. The network was not back on until 3 pm on Sunday UTC after validators successfully restarted the mainnet.
Validator operators successfully completed a cluster restart of Mainnet Beta at 3:00 AM UTC, following a roughly 7 hour outage after the network failed to reach consensus. Network operators an dapps will continue to restore client services over the next several hours. https://t.co/ezqEYQYKWl
— Solana Status (@SolanaStatus) May 1, 2022
Confirming the speculations, Metaplex confirmed that bots on its Candy Machine were partly to be blamed for the network crash.
Today #Solana mainnet-beta went down partially due to botting on the Metaplex Candy Machine program. To combat this, we have merged and will soon deploy a botting penalty to the program as part of a broader effort to stabilize the network. https://t.co/QaAZT3VxXz
— Metaplex (@metaplex) May 1, 2022
Moving forward, the company will be implementing a 0.01 Solana fee on wallets that attempt to complete an invalid transaction, an act that the firm claims “is typically done by bots that are blindly trying to mint.”
The outage also caused the price of the blockchain’s native token, SOL, to fall by nearly 7% to $84. As of press time, SOL had recovered slightly to trade at around $88.
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