Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko said the past year has been marred by network reliability issues and outages. However, recent updates should help the blockchain resolve its reliability issues.
Speaking at the annual Breakpoint 2022 conference in Lisbon on November 5, Yakovenko discussed the past and future of blockchain, explaining that the network has struggled over the past year:
“We had a lot of challenges last year, I would say last year was about reliability.
According to her own situation reports, Solana suffered ten partial or complete failures. Arguably the most significant outage was recorded between January 6 and January 12, 2022, when the network experienced issues leading to partial outages and performance degradation that lasted between 8 and 18 hours. Most recently, on October 1, there was a “major outage” that lasted almost six and a half hours.
Between the end of May and the beginning of June, a so-called clock drift occurred in Solana, during which the blockchain time deviated from the real time due to slot times greater than the average (also called block times). These block times describe the time interval during which a validator can send a block to Solana.
Generally, Solana’s ideal time slot is 400 milliseconds. Yakovenko said it was “really bad in June, block times went up to over a second which is really slow for Solana.” He added that in some cases “confirmation took 15 to 20 seconds”.
“That’s not the experience we want to deliver and it’s a very poor Web2 experience when competing with Google, Facebook and many other apps.”
Yakovenko said Solana is on track to fix network performance issues after a recent update and doubling the number of validators in the past year. To this he says:
“We’re in a constant battle between performance, security, throughput, and decentralization. With all these issues, every time you improve one, you risk hurting others. But I think we’ve done an amazing job, because we have solved a number of them.”
“Of course, we still have failure and error issues,” he continued. But August’s partnership with Web3 development company Jump Crypto to create Solana’s scaling solution, called Firedancer, could be the key. It is said to be a long-term solution to the problem of network outages.
“If we have a second implementation and a second client developed by a different team with a completely separate code base, the chances of the same type of bug being present in both are next to zero.”