The Solana (SOL) network suffered a seven-hour outage overnight between April 30 and May 1 due to a large number of transactions from non-fungible token (NFT) mining bots.
A record-breaking 4 million transactions, or 100 gigabits of data per second, overloaded the network, causing validators to be torn from consensus, causing Solana to go dark around 20:00 UTC on April 30.
It wasn’t until seven hours later, on May 1 at 3am UTC, that the validators were able to successfully restart the main network.
Validator operators successfully completed a cluster restart of mainnet beta at 3:00 a.m. UTC, after an approximately 7-hour outage after the network failed to reach consensus.
Carriers and dapps will continue to restore client services over the next few hours. https://t.co/ezqEYQYKWl
— Solana Status (@SolanaStatus) May 1, 2022
The bots stockpile a popular application called the Candy Machine, which is used by Solana NFT projects to launch collections. In a Metaplex Twitter post, the company confirmed that traffic from bots in their app was partially responsible for the network crash.
today #Solana Mainnet beta went under in part due to bots in the Metaplex Candy Machine program. To address this, we have joined forces and will soon be applying 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
Metaplex said it would charge a fee of 0.01 SOL, or $0.89, for wallets attempting to complete an invalid transaction, which the company said “is typically performed by bots blindly attempting to shape.”
The outage caused the price of SOL, the blockchain’s native coin, to plunge nearly 7% to $84, although trading has since recovered to just above $89.
The latest outage marks the seventh time this year that Solana has suffered outages, according to its own status reports. Between January 6th and 12th, 2022, the network was plagued by problems resulting in partial outages of between 8 and 18 hours.
According to Solana, “high compute transactions” resulted in a reduction in network capacity to “several thousand” transactions per second (TPS), much less than the advertised 50,000 TPS.
Later in January, over 29 hours of downtime was recorded between the 21st and 22nd of the month, with excessive duplicate transactions again causing network congestion and blockchain outages.
Related: Scalability or Stability? Solana network outages show that work is still needed
In September 2021, Solana was hit by a major outage that left the network offline for over 17 hours. Solana attributed this outage to a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on an initial DEX offering, with bots spamming the network at 400,000 per second. Industry watchers commented on what has often been touted as the “Ethereum killer.”
At this point, Solana should start publishing business hours
— Pseudotheos in (@pseudotheos) May 1, 2022
Solana was the second network to suffer from notable transaction volume related to NFTs over the weekend. Ethereum (ETH) transaction costs rose to an average of over $450 due to the release of 55,000 NFTs by Yuga Labs, with some users paying up to 5 ETH or $14,000 in gas fees for transactions and much more to mint one of the NFTs.
https://cointelegraph.com/news/solana-suffers-7th-outage-in-2022-as-bots-invade-the-network Solana suffers seventh outage in 2022 as bots invade network