Find out Why 60% of All Nodes Go Offline

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Sab­ri­na Mar­tins Vieira

Stay up to date with chaos that occurred on Car­dano’s net­work and com­mu­ni­ty over weekend


Car­dano (ADA) has gar­nered atten­tion on the cryp­tocur­ren­cy mar­ket due to its high mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion in ear­ly 2023. Fur­ther­more, as a com­peti­tor to Ethereum (ETH), it has seen sig­nif­i­cant growth in total val­ue locked (TVL) with­in the decen­tral­ized finance (DeFi) space and is also rec­og­nized as one of the most devel­oped smart con­tract platforms.

How­ev­er, last week­end, some news caught Car­dano investors off guard. It went through a short and mas­sive 60% reboot of the alt­coin’s nodes. This event has caused con­cern among investors, as nodes are essen­tial to the func­tion­ing and secu­ri­ty of a cryp­tocur­ren­cy network.

Stay up to date with what happened

Accord­ing to reports on Twit­ter, the fail­ure occurred at approx­i­mate­ly block 8300568 and has been con­firmed by on-chain analy­sis tools. Despite the net­work hav­ing since recov­ered and resumed nor­mal oper­a­tions, the inci­dent has caused some con­cern among mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty who wor­ry that it could be a pre­cur­sor to a larg­er issue that could poten­tial­ly com­pro­mise the integri­ty of the ADA blockchain.

A tech­ni­cal dis­cus­sion began on Github as a means of iden­ti­fy­ing the cause of the issue and expe­dit­ing the dis­cov­ery of a solu­tion. Addi­tion­al­ly, stak­ing pool oper­a­tors are inves­ti­gat­ing the caus­es that may have led to the mass reboot.

One the­o­ry that has been put for­ward is that the reboot of cer­tain net­work nodes and their branch­es result­ed in a dis­rup­tion to the Car­dano net­work for approx­i­mate­ly sev­en min­utes. Input Out­put Glob­al (IOG), the com­pa­ny behind Car­dano, has stat­ed that it does not believe this was a full net­work reset but rather a form of degra­da­tion. This is because the blockchain itself did not halt, but some trans­ac­tions expe­ri­enced delays for a short peri­od of time.

 Divided community

Accord­ing to Charles Hoskin­son, the event demon­strat­ed the impor­tance of self-cor­rec­tion in ful­ly decen­tral­ized net­works and high­light­ed Car­dano’s resilience. Some mem­bers of the cryp­tocur­ren­cy com­mu­ni­ty con­cur with this per­spec­tive and argue that the diver­si­ty and decen­tral­iza­tion of nodes on the ADA blockchain con­tributed to the net­work’s abil­i­ty to main­tain its oper­a­tions dur­ing the event.

On the oth­er hand, some mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty dis­agree and argue that the diver­si­ty of nodes on the Car­dano net­work is insuf­fi­cient. As a result, not all nodes went offline as some were not accept­ing incom­ing con­nec­tions. These dis­cus­sions are tak­ing place as the Car­dano com­mu­ni­ty awaits an offi­cial state­ment from IOG regard­ing the under­ly­ing cause of the issue with­in the blockchain. 

The num­ber of nodes present on a decen­tral­ized net­work can fluc­tu­ate over time and is influ­enced by a vari­ety of fac­tors, includ­ing the pop­u­lar­i­ty of the net­work, the degree of decen­tral­iza­tion and the incen­tives for oper­at­ing a node.

Cur­rent­ly, Car­dano still has room for improve­ment in terms of the num­ber of nodes on its net­work. To increase its pres­ence in this area, the alt­coin needs to gain wider adop­tion and attract more indi­vid­u­als to par­tic­i­pate in stak­ing. Addi­tion­al­ly, set­ting up a node for the cryp­tocur­ren­cy requires a cer­tain lev­el of tech­ni­cal exper­tise, which lim­its the num­ber of nodes.

It is also worth not­ing that the smart con­tract plat­form needs to increase its liq­uid­i­ty in order to incen­tivize devel­op­ers to cre­ate more nodes. Despite the avail­abil­i­ty of mul­ti­ple types of nodes on the Car­dano net­work, most of them belong to the same node, which lim­its its abil­i­ty to scale and become more decentralized.

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