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Bots infiltrate the network, causing the 7th outage in Solana

Due to a huge amount of transactions from nonfungible token (NFT) minting bots, the Solana (SOL) network went down for seven hours between April 30 and May 1.

The network became congested after a record-breaking 4 million transactions, or 100 gigabits of data per second, caused validators to lose consensus, resulting in Solana going dark at around 8 p.m. UTC on April 30.

Validators were able to successfully restart the main network seven hours later, at 3 a.m. UTC on May 1.

The bots hoarded Candy Machine, a popular tool used by Solana NFT initiatives to initiate collections. Metaplex stated that traffic from bots on their app was partially to blame for the network meltdown in a Twitter tweet.

Metaplex said that wallets who attempt to complete an invalid transaction will be charged a 0.01 SOL or $0.89 fee, which the company claims is “usually done by bots that are blindly trying to mint.”

The outage led the price of SOL, the blockchain’s native token, to plummet nearly 7% to $84, however prices have subsequently recovered to slightly over $89.

According to Solana’s own status reporting, this is the seventh time this year that the company has experienced disruptions. The network experienced troubles between January 6 and January 12 in 2022, resulting in partial outages lasting between 8 and 18 hours.

According to Solana, “heavy compute transactions” reduced network capacity to “a few thousand” transactions per second (TPS), far less than the anticipated 50,000 TPS.

Between the 21st and 22nd of January, the blockchain experienced over 29 hours of downtime, with excessive duplicate transactions causing network congestion and outages.

Solana was affected by a massive outage in September 2021, with the network down for over 17 hours. Solana blamed the downtime on a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on an early DEX offering, in which bots flooded the network with 400,000 requests per second. Industry watchers weighed in on what has been dubbed a “Ethereum killer.”

Over the weekend, Solana was the second network to experience significant transaction traffic connected to NFTs. Due to the release of 55,000 NFTs by Yuga Labs, the average transaction cost increased to over $450, with some users spending up to 5 ETH or $14000 in gas fees for transactions and much more to mint one of the NFTs.

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