On April 30th and June 1st, 2022, Solana had outages due to a high volume of incoming transactions (6 million per second) that exceeded the network's capacity. Spam bots were trying to win an NFT on Candy Machine. The number of forks that the validators had to evaluate exceeded their ability to do so, even after a restart, requiring manual intervention. Solana has experienced intermittent congestion problems since the beginning of 2021 due to bot activity targeting NFT mints. To address these problems and improve the stability and resilience of the network, Solana has announced three updates:
- Stake-Weighted QoS
- Fee Markets
The first change is the adoption of the QUIC protocol, which will replace the current User Datagram Protocol (UDP) used by Solana to transmit transactions between nodes. The QUIC protocol, developed by Google, is designed for fast asynchronous communication like UDP, but with sessions and flow control like TCP. This is expected to improve the handling of traffic congestion and delivery confirmation on the network.
The second change is the implementation of Stake-Weighted Quality of Service (QoS), which prioritizes transactions based on the amount of stake (or ownership) a user holds in the network. This ensures that the most important and valuable transactions are processed first, improving the overall efficiency of the network.
The third change is the introduction of Fee Markets, which will allow users to pay fees in order to prioritize the processing of their transactions. This gives users more control over the speed at which their transactions are processed and allows them to prioritize certain transactions if needed.
Sources and Further Reading