Cardano Testnet Faces a Bug, Vasil Hard Fork Upgrade May Likely get Delayed

Key Takeaways:

  • Cardano developer Adam Dean has stated that the blockchain’s testnet is “catastrophically broken” owing to Cardano’s rush to launch the Vasil hard fork upgrade.
  • ATADA and PoolTool discovered the 1.35.2 node bug.
  • Developers criticize IOG and Charles Hoskinson for rushing to deploy the 1.35.3 node after discovering a bug on the 1.35.2 node.
  • Cardano Founder stated the code in question had been thoroughly tested for months by everyone, including SPOs.
  • Charles Hoskinson noted that SPOs could decide whether to delay the Vasil hard fork to reset the code or not.

On August 18, prominent Cardano exosystem developer Adam Dean revealed a bug in Cardano node version 1.35.2 that created incompatible forks. “It’s important to point out today that the Cardano Testnet is catastrophically broken due to a bug in Cardano Node v 1.35.2,” his Twitter post reads.

Owing to the bug in older versions of Cardano’s client software that was only recently discovered by the network’s community of developers, the Layer 1 blockchain’s test net is now incompatible and incapable of supporting the latest client software.

Dean, in his Twitter thread, stated that most of the operators had upgraded “to 1.35.2 on testnet to simulate a Vasil HFC event,” leading to version 1.35.3 not being in sync with the chain.

Input Output Global/IOG, the organization responsible for Cardano’s research/ development, had reassured independent stake pool operators that Cardano Node version 1.34.2 had been heavily tested and was ready for deployment. 

Following the rushing among developers to upgrade to the version to simulate a Vasil hard fork combinator event, ATADA and PoolTool conducted an on-chain investigation. They found a critical bug in the software that created incompatible forks and reduced chain density. 

After the bug discovery, Cardano released a new client software called the Cardano Node 1.35.3, which is incapable of syncing with the original testnet and is currently running on two new testnets without any block history. Bringing attention to this situation, Dean stated that the two new testnets are “not complete end-to-end-yet,”

He also criticized IOG and Charles Hoskinson for rushing to deploy the 1.35.3 node after discovering a bug on the 1.35.2 node.

Dean adds that the “rushing” of the Vasil hard fork makes him uneasy and points out that the Cardano network was close to hitting a “nuclear rock.”

Following mounting criticism against IOG for rushing to deploy 1.35.3 after the bug was discovered, the founder of Cardano, Charles Hoskinson, issued a clarification. “The code in question has been thoroughly tested for months by everyone, including SPOs. The code that was an issue on the testnet has been removed”, his tweet reads. 

Hoskinson has also urged stake pool operators (SPOs) to decide whether to delay the Vasil hard fork to reset the code or not. Reportedly, most SPOs believe that extensive testing should be done before upgrading.

The Vasil hard fork is the biggest upgrade to Cardano since the 2021 Alonzo hard fork. The upcoming fork is expected to improve the network’s speed and scalability, making it more suitable for smart contracts and DApps.

While answering why IOG has stayed mum for this long, Hoskinson said, “We didn’t keep quiet about it. The entire reason 1.35.3 was cut is literally because of the issue on the testnet. Going through respinning another testnet provides no value for this bug. Just terrible unnecessary delays that hurt DApp developers.”

Adding that Cardano (ADA) is decentralized., Hoskinson pointed out that decisions on the network are not his sole responsibility, but “people running the network ultimately decide upgrades.”

Cardano’s Vasil upgrade has been delayed twice. Hoskinson had revealed that the testing had uncovered three separate bugs, with the development of three new software versions. IOG initially aimed to execute the hard fork on the mainnet on June 29.  Following the 1.35.2 bug becoming a talking point, ADA-Cardano’s native token fell 15%.

Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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