Solana To Focus On Stability In 2023 After Repeated Outages
A Third Of Solana Labs Developers To Work On ‘Adversarial Team’
By: Aleksandar Gilbert •DeFi News
Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” mentality has ruled the day at Solana, a smart contract platform with a market capitalization of more than $8.5B. That may be coming to an end.
After a Feb. 25 network outage — a problem that, while infrequent, has made Solana a punching bag among members of rival communities including Ethereum — co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko said substantial resources will be dedicated this year to improving the blockchain’s stability.
“2022 priorities were shipping new features and new tools,” he wrote on Twitter. “2023 is stability.”
18 Hour Outage
On Feb. 25, Solana stopped processing user transactions in an outage that lasted more than 18 hours.
Engineers were unable to determine the cause of the problem and recommended downgrading Solana to its previous release, in the event the issue was tied to a recent update, version 1.14.
The root cause of the outage is still under investigation, according to the Solana Foundation.
“The issues around last week’s 1.14 network update — which focused on improvements for speed and scale — made it clear how maintaining stability during these major updates remains a challenge,” Yakovenko wrote in a blog post published Tuesday.
Among other things, Solana Labs, an organization dedicated to improving the Solana blockchain, has formed an “adversarial team” comprised of almost one-third of its engineers, according to Yakovenko.
Solana’s pivot to stability could mark a shift in mindset for a community that had long prided itself in its ability to ship new upgrades quickly. Yakovenko infamously mocked the Cardano community for its slow-and-steady approach to software development.
“You gotta like … kiss a couple of frogs in your design and ship stuff and just get it done,” he once said in an interview.
Critics argue that mindset came at the expense of reliability.
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“As a team heavily invested in Solana and operator of many validators, seeing another restart is super frustrating,” tweeted Buffalu, the pseudonymous CEO of Solana infrastructure company Jito Labs. “This can’t continue.”
Yakovenko defended his team’s approach to improving Solana, noting that, without upgrades made in 2022, the network would be “unstable, congested, and impossible to restart.”
The network’s SOL token is up over 120% this year.