Solana’s user experience ‘isn’t what it should be,’ says co-founder as network struggles

Solana's user experience 'isn't what it should be,' says co-founder as network struggles

In short

  • Solana has seen its performance degrade over the past few days, including slow and failing transactions.
  • Solana Labs CEO and co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko acknowledged “growing pains” as increasingly complex transactions plague the network.

While the Solana the network has not experienced a complete outage since September extended outageit hasn’t really been easy the last few months for the rising layer-1 block chain. Following recent network performance issues, Solana Labs co-founder and CEO Anatoly Yakovenko detailed the platform’s “growing pains” as it scales to meet demand.

Late last week and over the weekend, Solana users took to social media and Discord to complain about frequent issues. Network transactions stalled, often taking much longer than normal to complete or failing outright as the network struggled to maintain its typical throughput level measured in transactions per second (TPS).

In a statement shared with Decrypt this morning, Yakovenko wrote that the brand has reached a recent average of 800 TPS, down from the typical average above 3,000 TPS. (For context, Ethereumthe first smart contract blockchain network, can handle about 15 transactions per second, on average.)

With around a quarter of the typical transaction throughput on Solana, users attempting to send and receive funds, interact with Challenge tools (peer-to-peer lending and trading apps), and buying and selling NFT had problems.

Yakovenko disputes claims that the network went down, and data from blockchain explorers supports that view. But even though Solana was still functioning, he was doing so at a weakened level. At Solana’s own status website shows a “partial outage” for nine days so far in January, citing either “degraded performance” or “network instability” as the reason for each.

“The network has not experienced any downtime since September,” Yakovenko wrote today. “Despite this, the user experience is not what it should be today.”

contrary to September breakwhich was blamed on an overload of transactions submitted by bots attempting to manipulate a token launch, Yakovenko wrote that the “overwhelming majority” of recent transactions are legitimate – “coming from normal DeFi market activity, not from ‘malicious users or coordinated attacks’.

However, transactions are becoming increasingly complex, he writes. As Solana’s DeFi marketplace gains traction, more and more users are submitting compound transactions that require additional resources. For example, a user can borrow from the Solend lending protocol and then tap into the Raydium automated market maker.

With more and more of these complex transactions in the mix, Solana validators are struggling to keep up with the constant stream of user requests. “The network is experiencing growing pains as it incorporates a new class of sophisticated builders and users,” Yakovenko wrote.

How long will growing pains last? The immediate biggest issue, with “duplicate transactions” coming to validators, was addressed in the mainnet beta 1.8.14 update that was released over the weekend. Decrypt has contacted Solana representatives for additional details about the issue and how it was resolved. In his statement, Yakovenko said Solana’s core developers are currently testing additional scaling solutions that are expected to roll out in eight to 12 weeks.

“Developers have made a lot of progress in improving network performance, but the work continues,” he added. “The last 24 hours have shown that these systems need to be improved to meet user demands and support the more complex transactions now common on the network.”

As Decrypt reported this morningSolana’s SOL token was particularly battered by the recent decline of the cryptocurrency market. SOL is now down 42% from last week – the worst move of any coin in CoinGecko‘s top 20 by market capitalization – at a current price above $85.

Solana rebounded slightly this morning, but still lost 13% of its value in the past 24 hours. The broader crypto market was down less than 5% during this time. Per CoinGecko, SOL is now down 67% of its total value from its all-time high price of nearly $260 set in November.

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