Solana Rolls Out Update in Bid To End Network Congestion

The network has been under stress in recent months thanks to spam bots and memecoin trading.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

the image of a traffic jam in a minimalistic style with neon colors

Solana developers are recommending developers adopt a much-needed network update to combat the recent congestion ailing the protocol.

“The v1.17.31 release is now recommended for general use by MainnetBeta validators,” read an X post written by Solana Foundation. “This release contains enhancements which will help alleviate the ongoing congestion on the Solana Network.”

These enhancements comprise five changes to the validator stack–nodes that run and secure the Solana blockchain.

Solana had become one of the winners of the early innings of the current crypto bull market, with its token rallying 1,500% from its $9.89 post FTX-crash low. Traders had flocked to the chain, lured by its fast and cheap transactions, while its leadership touted the benefits of having a “monolithic” chain, which could scale at the base layer without the need of Layer 2 networks. With the current congestion issues, that narrative has now come into question.

Today’s update caused a 6% spike in SOL pushing the token to $151. Solana’s token has declined 17% in the past week and 22% in the past month, versus declines of 9% and 3% for Bitcoin in the same time frames.

SOL Price - Coingecko

Version 1.17.31, deployed today, is the precursor to v1.18 which is currently being tested on Solana’s testnet. Set to be rolled out mid April, it brings a transaction scheduler, allowing validators to “efficiently and economically” fill blocks, according to a post by the Solana Foundation.

Solana has been dealing with unusually high amounts of traffic in the first quarter of 2024, driven mostly by memecoins and spam bots. On April 4, a record 75% of transactions on Solana were unsuccessful due to bots in search of arbitrage opportunities

According to Austin Federa, who leads strategy at the Solana Foundation, developers have been working diligently “and not sleeping much” to shore up Solana's networking stack to meet the unprecedented demand.