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News/Avalanche Hit by Hour-Long Outage

Avalanche Hit by Hour-Long Outage

Van Thanh Le

Feb 24 2024

2 months ago3 minutes read
Cute chibi robot frozen mid-stride, gears grinding, representing Avalanche network outage

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New Feature, Old Bug: Inscription Wave Trips Up Avalanche

The Avalanche network encountered a snag that halted its heartbeat for over an hour on February 23. This hiccup across its P-Chain, X-Chain, and C-Chain subnets served as a vivid reminder of the delicate balance that powers blockchain's robustness. 

According to blockchain data, the Avalanche network stopped adding blocks at 11:13 UTC. The issue was due to excessive communication between validator nodes. Developers released a software upgrade at 15:59 to address this issue and bring the network back online.  

avax status.png
Source: status.avax.network

Kevin Sekniqi, a visionary at Ava Labs, traced the root of this pause to a surge in "new inscription wave" activities, hinting at an intricate bug within the mempool's handling of these inscriptions. It was a dance of complexity and innovation, leading to an unexpected standstill.

Avalanche Patch Up: Swift Fix Silences "Gossip" Overload

As the clock ticked, the Avalanche team leaped into action, dissecting the issue with a surgeon's precision. 

Kevin Sekniqi, co-founder of Ava Labs, stated that the team was investigating a block production halt possibly caused by a "new inscription wave." He mentioned it may be related to a mempool handling issue with inscriptions, but later clarified that it was a code-related bug not impacting performance. He assured the community that the issue would be resolved swiftly.  

Their remedy? A software patch that silenced the "excessive gossip" among validator nodes, a chatter that had clogged the network's veins, preventing consensus from being reached. 

Validators updated their node software to the patched version, and block finalization on the primary Avalanche network resumed at 16:36 UTC according to the Avalanche status page.  

avax status 2.png
Source: status.avax.network

The ripple of this outage was felt across the crypto landscape, with Avalanche's native token, AVAX, dipping by 3% before recovering to post a 0.77% drop, a stark contrast to the market's broader pulse. This event, shadowing a similar hiccup in Solana's network earlier in the month, painted a broader picture of the hurdles layer-1 blockchains face in their quest for unshakeable stability.

chart.webp

Conclusion

The crypto community and market spectators watched with bated breath, as Sekniqi's updates via social media became a beacon of transparency and leadership in crisis management. This episode not only highlighted the importance of continuous innovation and rigorous testing in the blockchain arena but also the resilience and swift action characteristic of these digital communities. It's a tale of technology's trials, the pursuit of perfection, and the unyielding spirit of the blockchain world.

FAQs

1. What caused the outage on the Avalanche network?

The outage was linked to a recent "inscription wave," a new feature on the network. This triggered an "esoteric bug" that led to excessive communication between validator nodes, overloading the network and stalling consensus mechanisms.

2. How long did the outage last and what was the impact?

The outage lasted for over an hour, affecting all subnets on the Avalanche network. While the team responded quickly with a software patch, the price of AVAX, the network's native token, dipped by 3%. This incident highlights the ongoing challenges faced by layer-1 blockchains in maintaining stability under pressure.

3. How did the Avalanche team respond to the outage?

The Avalanche team quickly investigated the issue and deployed a software patch within hours to address the excessive communication between validator nodes. They also communicated transparently with the community throughout the process, which helped to calm nerves.

4. What are the key takeaways from this incident?

This incident underscores the need for continuous improvement in blockchain infrastructure, particularly with the introduction of new features. It also emphasizes the importance of robust testing and the resilience of blockchain communities in responding to and mitigating disruptions.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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