Jacob Creech, Solana’s Head of Developer, reminds the broader community that the team will reward anyone with $400,000 in SOL, the platform’s native currency, if “switch off” or halt the high throughput network. Taking to X on October 13, Creech encouraged interested white hacks and coders to head over to their repository and begin penetration tests.
Solana Bug Bounty Program
The executive also linked Solana’s GitHub, where interested coders could learn more about the bug bounty program. The Solana bounty program rewards different amounts to white hacks depending on the severity of the vulnerability. Those who successfully halt the blockchain’s consensus will receive $400,000 in locked SOL for a year.
Solana is a highly scalable network and one of Ethereum’s top competitors. Through its architecture, it can process more transactions than legacy chains, including Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), which can manage 7 and 15 transactions per second (TPS), respectively, when working optimally.
Solana remains popular, and its developers have gradually enhanced the platform, making it more performant and reliable. However, though Solana has high throughput, there have been multiple occasions when its reliability has been questioned.
Public ledgers like Solana should maintain a high level of reliability, close to 100%, because of the distribution of its validator nodes. These nodes are supposed to remain online, ensuring that every transaction posted is confirmed to be valid and added to a block. This, on some occasions, has not been the case for Solana.
Will Firedancer Client Make The Network More Reliable?
Since launching, the smart contract platform has been halted over five times at diverse dates in 2022. Records show that in the first half of 2022 alone, the blockchain stopped working for 11.5 hours. The error was primarily related to node updates, which were resolved moments after the effect of the bug halted the network.
Developers also noted that Solana stopped without apparent reason, as recorded in April and September 2022. The latest network halt was in late February 2023 when, due to a validator node update, some validators couldn’t confirm blocks, forcing the network offline.
Since the last halt in February 2023, Solana has remained online despite a notable spike in non-fungible token (NFT) activity in Q2 2023. Usually, an uptick in network requests can lead to network halts. Analysts blame the lack of client alternatives as the reason for the downtime. This will change once Solana releases the Firedancer client by Jump Crypto in an upgrade scheduled for the second half of Q4 2023. Firedancer will be the second validator client.
Specifically, Firedancer aims to enhance network performance, especially scalability and reliability, while concurrently making the platform more decentralized. Developers say the Firedancer client will be more robust, meaning it will be less susceptible to bugs and outages.