Solana’s ease of use, market-leading TPS, and low fees are daunting qualities. On the other hand, the recent closure marks the eighth blackout of the year. How serious is this problem, and what will the future hold?
If I had a dollar every time Solana went down this year, I could buy 500 grams of cashews at my local supermarket ($8 for those who don’t know how expensive nuts are).
In a disturbingly familiar story, Solana closed again last week. Not to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee either, but because the mainnet lost seven hours of consensus protocol. Ironically, shortly after the Solana co-founder gave an interview to CNBC, he claimed that Bitcoin needs to change to Proof-of-Stake in order to remain relevant. oops.
Earlier today, a bug in the persistent nonce transaction function caused uncertainty when nodes generated different results for the same block, preventing the network from growing.
— Solana Status (@SolanaStatus) June 1, 2022
Solana reminds me of the last pair of headphones I own. They’re perfect – they have smooth sound, the mics are crystal clear, and they sit firmly in my ears while working out. But the sound has been failing in the right earphone for months and I can’t figure out why. Sometimes it lasts five minutes, sometimes more than an hour.
When they worked, Bruce Springsteen spoke up loud and clear, and that was glorious. But what’s the use of a pair of headphones that won’t allow you to play music anytime, anywhere?
The market has realized this is a big deal (Solana blackout, not my music struggles), as Solana’s price has been in free fall this year, down three-quarters since New Year’s Day. Yes – all assets are down, but comparing Solana’s price action to Bitcoin’s shows that the scale of the slide here is even worse than the horrific price drops in the rest of the crypto market.
The meaning of moving forward
I have no computer science background. I’ve played with R, Matlab, and Python, but I’m simply not qualified to comment on the intricate challenges Solana developers are currently facing. Everywhere on the internet you will see regular Joes and Janes giving their emotional opinions on why or why these issues are not trivial or insurmountable challenges – I am not interested in giving speculative opinions on this topic because it Not worth it it’s written in ink (or to use a more modern analogy, maybe not worth the wear and tear of my laptop’s keys?).
But what I’m trying to do is assess the situation from an analytical standpoint, with some basic logic. This is a blockchain with huge potential – higher transactions per second (TPS) than any other major cryptocurrency. But if the blockchain has a close button, what’s the use of it? Honestly, I’ve gotten a little tired of using the words “potential”, “maybe” and “maybe” when discussing Solana.
This is actually a pretty mild pause for cryptocurrencies, which is good news on one hand, but also pretty scary when you think about it. What if the next Solana blackout happens during an explosive charge or violent crash day in the crypto market? Investors won’t be able to trade, buy, or sell any Solana product, and for lack of a better way to put it, that’s not cool.
As I said, I’m a little tired of writing about Solana outages. While it has all the potential in the world, it’s meaningless if it doesn’t address these long-standing flaws. It feels like we’re in a critical period right now – a slowdown (or even a plateau) with such a dire macro environment, not to mention a big Ethereum competitor getting closer to its potential industry-changing merger, Could be devastating for Solana.
Solana is an incredible blockchain when it’s “on” – cheap, smooth, fast and frictionless to use. Then again, I ended up buying a new pair of headphones after months of promising I’d fix the glitch myself.
If these problems with Solana persist, investors with confidence will continue to be scarce, and the future will look increasingly dark.
But let’s hope the flip side is true – one day we’ll see these hurdles as small challenges to overcome in the beta phase as the powerful Solana blockchain leads to widespread adoption.
They say cats have nine lives – well, maybe blockchain does too. In this case, Solana is the last chance for the club after eight outages this year.