Time is our worst enemy! – The blockchain clock Solana is currently half an hour behind the actual time. Longer than normal time slots are the cause. And inevitably, this reduces the yield of staking on the blockchain. Losses that come on top of the fact that Solana (SOL), like other cryptocurrencies, has considerably decreased since the beginning of the year.
PoH loses its bearings and Solana falls behind
According to the report published by the blockchain via the project status page, the clock problem would not have no impact on performance of the network. Transactions will however show timestamps different from the actual time. A very nice way to announce such a problem, isn’t it?
This spatio-temporal rift is one of the effects of currently slower time slots on the network. A time slot is the time interval during which a validator can submit a block to the network. The time of an ideal time slot on Solana is 400 milliseconds (ms). However, data from the explorer dashboard blockchain are unequivocal: this value has almost doubled to about 746 milliseconds.
Despite using Proof of Stake (PoS), the network also uses Proof of History (PoH) as its consensus algorithm. The PoH takes care of Solana’s timer. It allows each node in the network to keep an accurate record of time. It is, in a way, its internal clock mechanism.
Blockchain also uses clusters. It is a set of validators responsible for processing transactions. PoH allows decentralized timing across all nodes in a cluster. Alas, when time slots become significantly longer than 400ms, cluster clock starts to drift. As a result, it loses its synchronicity with the actual schedule.
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Staking impacted by time for even more losses
This slow slots problem could also have economic consequences. Indeed, the annualized staking rewards are likely to be strongly impacted.
In our case, it takes 432,000 slots to constitute an epoch. Since then, when time slots are slower, epochs become longer. At the ideal time slot of 400 ms, there are 182 epochs per year (each epoch lasting between two and three days). Slower time slots therefore mean that there will be fewer epochs.
However, staking rewards are paid every epoch. If there are fewer epochs income received by delegators and validators on the network will decrease. And given the current state of the market, this is not made to delight blockchain users…
The Solana blockchain continues to experience outages. In effect, sometimes it did not process transactions for several hours. This unfortunate story of the late clock is once again proof of this.
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