Solana rolls out update to ease network congestion

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Solana developers have announced that a new software update, version 1.17.31, is now recommended for general use by mainnet validators to tackle the congestion issues caused by the surge in meme coin trading activity on the network.


This update is the first in a series of planned releases aimed at addressing network congestion that has plagued Solana in recent months.

The congestion issues on the Solana network have been largely attributed to a meme coin trading frenzy, which has caused a significant spike in user activity and demand for the network. Transactional volumes reached as much as $4 billion in March, a substantial increase from the usual figures of under $500 million per day in 2023.

To mitigate this issue, the final version of the update prioritizes transactions from “good” validators, or those with a sizeable stake, to a node leader, where transactions are ultimately confirmed. This approach ensures that validators with a higher stake receive a higher quality of service, preventing lower-quality validators from maliciously flooding the network with transactions.

Validators, the entities that run nodes or software to confirm transactions and secure the blockchain network, need to continually upgrade their nodes to newer releases to deal with any issues that may arise when a network is running.

In addition to version 1.17.31, Solana developers are currently testing version 1.18 on a testnet, a network that mimics the main blockchain to identify and resolve bugs and other issues before deploying the update to the mainnet.

“The v1.17.31 release is now recommended for general use by MainnetBeta validators,” Solana developers stated in an X post. “This release contains enhancements which will help alleviate the ongoing congestion on the Solana Network.”

According to Rex St John, head of developer relations at Anza, the company responsible for rolling out Monday’s update, version 1.17.31 is just the beginning of a series of planned updates designed to address the network’s congestion issues.

The proliferation of trading bots has been identified as a major contributor to the spike in “failed” transactions on the network. Solana developer @0xMert previously explained on X that these “fails” refer to instances where a smart contract flagged certain transactions as a “bad request,” even though they were successfully submitted to the Solana network.

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