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Avalanche C-Chain suffers block production halt due to inscription wave

The Avalanche C-Chain, the smart contract subnet of the Avalanche blockchain platform, has experienced a block production halt for more than an hour on February 23, 2024. According to the Avascan explorer, the last transaction of the C-Chain occurred at block 42046853, which was mined at 19:13 UTC+8. The other subnets of Avalanche, such as the X-Chain and the P-Chain, also showed a slight delay in block confirmation.

The cause of the issue seems to be related to a new wave of inscriptions, which are special transactions that allow users to mint non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Avalanche network. Inscriptions are a feature of the Avalanche platform that enable users to create unique digital assets with metadata and verifiable ownership. Inscriptions are compatible with the ERC-721 standard, which is widely used for NFTs on the Ethereum network.

Ava Labs, the company behind Avalanche, tweeted that they were investigating the block production issue and that it was likely due to some esoteric bug from some edge case. Kevin Sekniqi, the co-founder and chief protocol architect of Ava Labs, also tweeted that the problem was probably caused by some mempool handling issue with inscriptions that hit some untested edge cases. He assured the community that the issue would be resolved quickly and that the network would resume normal operation soon.

Avalanche is a blockchain platform that aims to address the blockchain trilemma of scalability, security and decentralization thanks to its unique Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism. Unlike other PoS networks that rely on a fixed set of validators, Avalanche allows any node to join the network and participate in the consensus process. Avalanche also supports multiple subnets, which are custom blockchains that can have their own rules and validators. This enables Avalanche to offer high throughput, low latency and interoperability across different blockchains.

Like Ethereum, Avalanche supports smart contracts to run decentralized applications (dApps) on its network. Since Avalanche’s smart contracts are written in the Solidity language also used by Ethereum, it aims to create greater blockchain interoperably by integrating a number of decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems, including well-established projects like Aave and Curve. Avalanche also claims to offer lower fees and faster transactions than Ethereum, making it an attractive alternative for DeFi users and developers.

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