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Charles Hoskinson on the Cardano ‘blip’: Here’s what happened

Charles Hoskinson on the Cardano ‘blip’: Here’s what happened

With the devastating developments in the cryptocurrency market still fresh in the community’s memory, every minor incident seems to raise a higher-than-usual level of concern, including the recent issue on the Cardano (ADA) network, warranting its founder Charles Hoskinson to explain what really happened.

Specifically, on the evening between January 21 and 22 (between blocks 8300569 and 8300570), the Cardano blockchain experienced a brief “anomaly” that temporarily affected a portion of its nodes, causing them to disconnect and restart, the Cardano team said in its Community Digest on January 23.

Cardano event analysis on GitHub. Source: GitHub

What happened?

In a video streamed on January 23, Hoskinson explained that the network stalled for about two minutes:

“It seems to be a transient issue, and it’s probably a combination of a collection of things that happened at the same time, which means that the reproducibility is unlikely.”

Although he acknowledged that it was difficult to narrow down the exact triggering event for this particular issue, Hoskinson said that “we know where the error was called in the program” and “what part of the code was impacted,” reiterating that it doesn’t seem to be reproducible.

“The good news is Cardano did exactly what it was supposed to do. When a stall occurs, basically, the system recovers itself and heals, so the nodes go back up. (…) That’s exactly what we designed the nodes to do.”

Furthermore, the Cardano founder admitted this was not a perfect solution, as “ideally, every time a distributed system has a blip like this, you’d like to know an exact cause.” However, such systems “sometimes create ‘emergent bugs,’ so, locally, it’s not reproducible, but a collection of things create a global state that, for some reason, triggers something and the system basically stops for some people.”

That said:

“Transactions were not lost, blocks were not dropped, no money was lost, the network actually didn’t halt. It stalled a little bit and recovered, the network is still moving forward, and it’s still progressing. (…) It self-healed, and that’s the point of a decentralized distributed resilient system.”

Finally, Hoskinson assured the public that there’s a team working on this problem and would patch any bug it finds, whether it is in a Haskell Library or the implementation of the balanceR, which was put in for optimizing Cardano. In terms of understanding what triggered the event, he said it would require more time.

Cardano team at work

Meanwhile, Cardano ranks as the most well-developed blockchain by GitHub activity over the past month, including with the launch of the first-ever smart contract written in a Pythonic programming language, as well as the new functions to the Plutus smart contracts.

On top of that, Cardano has been selected as the platform to feature eTukTuk, the world’s first electric vehicle (EV) project built on a blockchain, which was announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos and set to debut in Sri Lanka.

Watch the entire video below:

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