Solana, one of the fastest-growing ecosystems in the crypto space, has announced the rollout of new features to enhance the stability of its network.
Solana’s Stability Update
The platform suffered severe performance degradations on three different occasions in the last ten months necessitating the new features. In September last year, Solana went down for nearly 17 hours after it was overwhelmed by traffic emanating from a DeFi token launch. In April this year, the network again suffered a 7-hour downtime, followed by another one on June 1 that lasted for four hours.
The problem was deemed to have been caused by performance bugs in the blockchain, specifically in the transaction processing unit (TPU). During those times when the system was down, the number of transactions processed per second dropped from thousands to just tens.
QUIC Protocol Will Be Implemented on the Solana Network.
To solve this problem, developers have attempted to stabilize operations around the platform’s existing user datagram protocol (UDP). Google’s QUIC protocol will replace UDP in the new update. This is to stop bots from sending an unlimited amount of traffic and starving the Solana pipeline from proposing transactions.
QUIC is an encrypted transport layer network designed to make HTTP traffic faster, more secure, and more efficient. The protocol is often used by applications and services that require fast online services.
Solana hopes that QUIC will stop bots from spamming transactions and clogging up the network by slowing them down at their source, thus reducing their effect.
Fee Prioritization Is Also Included in the New Update
Additionally, the upgrades will introduce a new-look fee prioritization model, which Solana hopes will mitigate the effect of popular applications and services.
Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko took to Twitter on Wednesday to explain how the new features, especially the fee prioritization, will work after the network upgrades.
In the Twitter thread, Yakovenko likened the new system to a light switch that everyone wanted to flip at the same time but which could only be flipped by the highest bidder. In other words, the person paying the highest gas fees will have their transaction pushed to the front of the queue.
Importantly, Yakovenko noted that prioritization would not cause fees to go up for other Solana users. On Ethereum, such gas fees are notoriously expensive, ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands. But Yakovenko has promised that the Solana model won’t uniformly saddle users with high fees across the entire network. Instead, increased gas fees will only prioritize transactions within specific applications and services. So, the fees for one application are not likely to affect the rest of the Solana network.
Solana’s architecture makes this new system possible because it can specify which part of the network it interacts with. On Solana, network validators will also be able to include a certain number of transactions for a specific account in each block and mark them as prioritized if extra fees are paid.
It is still unclear how much Solana users will have to pay as additional fees since the amount will be demand-driven.
Stake-Weighted Quality of Service to Help Deal With Bots
In addition to QUIC and fee prioritization, Solana’s network update will also include a stake-weighted quality of service system. The system will consider the amount of Solana (SOL) held or staked by any node running the Solana client on the platform. This system is also expected to help avoid congestion from bots and other malicious actors.