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Five Hours in the Dark: What Caused the Solana Blockchain Outage?

Solana mainnet beta is live again after the 5-hour operation disruption 

The outage of the Solana mainnet beta, which occurred on February 6 around 10 am UTC, lasted approximately five hours. It was the first Solana blockchain blackout in 2024, although it was just one of many the network has experienced over the years. For example, in 2022, Solana encountered as many as 22 issues of varying levels of complexity. Solana rolled out the Mainnet Beta in March 2020, following a successful public token auction on CoinList that raised $1.76 million. Initially, the project's beta network offered fundamental transaction functions and smart contract support, without including staking rewards. Currently, it's one of the handful of top blockchain networks that operate independently from the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Berkeley Packet Filter to blame for the Solana outage 

A tool used for deploying, updating, and running programs on Solana, known as the "Berkley Packet Filter," encountered an issue. The problem originated from a change proposed in a Solana Improvement Proposal (SMID), which included adding a blocker to prevent metadata usage in the BPF. This bug was noticed during testing, and a fix was developed but not yet applied due to ongoing testing.

There is speculation that someone manually triggered this bug, causing Solana to go offline. To fix the issue, developers have rewritten certain code lines of the BPF on the development network. However, this solution requires updating the core software used by all participants on the Solana network before normal operations can resume. CryptoStake predicts an increase in DeFi activity as arbitrage bots exploit opportunities once the Solana network restarts.

SOL price rebounds after the network recovery 


SOL/USDT 4-hour chart.

Following the resolution of the network issue, the price of Solana (SOL) swiftly recovered from recent losses. Prior analysis indicated that SOL had experienced a decline of nearly 4% in response to the outage news, dropping from an opening value of $96.12 on January 6 to $92.88 at the close. However, within a span of eight hours, coinciding with the time it took for developers to address the problem, SOL's price staged a robust rebound, surging by 4.7% and testing the $98 level. Subsequently, SOL retraced back to a strong support level at $95. This demonstrates the resilience of SOL's price in the face of non-market-related issues. Nonetheless, on broader timeframes, SOL is undergoing a correction following a significant rally that commenced in the first week of October 2023, during which it gained 508%.