Solana Blockchain Experiences Congestion Slowing Transaction to 1000 per Second

Solana blockchain was congested over the weekend, but rumours were spreading fast that it suffered a DDoS attack

No DDoS Attack

  • In a tweet by Justin Bons, the founder and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Cyber Capital sounded the alarm on December 11, stating that Solana suffered yet another Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack. 
  • He added that the attack was possible because of design flaws that Solana considered as its features. 
  • The rumor spread fast and many critics took the opportunity to pinpoint the flaw to Solana’s ‘centralized network’. This is the main criticism against Solana, the lack of decentralization. 

  • The rumour was dispelled by Anatoly Yakovenko, the co-founder of Solana Labs in his tweet by stating that a DDoS attack needs more than a third weight of all physical links in the network.  
Source: Tomáš Eminger pointed out that Solana did not suffer a DDoS attack because the network did not lose consensus nor was it not halted
  • The culprit behind the congestion has been identified to Raydium bots trying to pack large TXs into blocks, which consumes a lot of computing power.

Problem and Solution 

Tomáš Eminger tweeted, “This issue is resolved in unreleased software version 1.9. @aeyakovenko  and his team are working to backport this into version 1.8.9 which should tested and approved for mainnet real soon.”

  • Solana is still in its Mainnet-beta phase. Hence, the software may not be perfect. There might be glitches, but it is the development team’s response to the problem that is paramount.

Is Solana’s Response a Diversion?

  • Justin Bons reacted to Solana’s response by calling it ‘hand waving, denial & diversion’. 
  • He argues that whether it is a DDoS attack or not is mere technical semantics. The real issue is Solana’s fundamental design flaw. 
  • To be fair to the team working on fixing the problem, the criticism came with a label that characterised the attack. 
  • To address the issue is to first confirm or deny that such an incident took place. Therefore, Anatoly’s reply to Justin is not merely ‘hand waving’. 
  • The root problem has been identified and a proposed solution has been deployed. 

Eye of the Criticism

  • Critics argue that the design flaw is the centralized nature of its network. 
  • However, using the Nakamoto Coefficient, the Solana network appears to score higher than Bitcoin and Ethereum. 
  • Solana is already making access to financial products affordable by its cheap fees, serving one of the main narratives for blockchain technology. It is to bring financial inclusion to the unbanked and underbanked. 


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