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Solana experiences its seventh outage caused by NFT minting bots

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The Solana blockchain underwent a seven-hour outage between Saturday and Sunday last week. The outage was caused by an influx of transactions triggered by non-fungible token (NFT) minting bots.

This is the seventh time in 2022 that the Solana network has reported an outage. These outages have happened at very close intervals.

Solana experiences a seven-hour outage

NFT minting bots on the Solana network created record-high four million transactions equivalent to 100 gigabits per second. This created network congestions and validators could no longer secure the network, resulting in Solana going offline. The Solana validators were able to restart the network on Sunday after a seven-hour outage.

Solana tweeted, “Validator operators successfully completed a cluster restart of Mainnet Beta at 3:00 AM UTC, following a roughly 7-hour outage after the network failed to reach consensus. Network operators and dapps will continue to restore client services over the next several hours.”

The minting bots took charge of a top feature used by NFT projects on the Solana blockchain. These bots are used to launch NFT machines dubbed Candy Machine. It was confirmed that the bots were part of why the Solana network went down.

To prevent further crashes, Metaplex announced that a 0.01 SOL fee would be charged on wallet addresses that try to complete an invalid transaction. The firm said that such transactions are “typically done by bots that are blindly trying to mint.”

The network outage resulted in SOL’s price recording a notable decline to around $84. At the time of writing, SOL’s price was trading at $89.14 after making a slight price recovery.

Solana plagued by outages

Between January 6 and January 12 2022, the Solana network faced several issues that caused outages lasting between 8 and 18 hours. Solana explained that the bots caused the network capacity to drop to “several thousand” TPS, significantly lower than the 50,000 transactions per second advertised by devs.

Towards the end of January, Solana suffered from a 29-hour outage, where an influx of transactions resulted in network congestions and outages. One of the largest outages on Solana happened in September last year when the network suffered from an over 17-hour outage. Solana said the outage was caused by a distributed denial-of-service attack. Bots congested the network with 400,000 transactions per second.

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