Solana Blockchain Clock Fumbles, Runs 30 Minute Behind Real-World Time

Key Takeaways

  • The time disparity is owing to slower slot times
  • Slower slot times means fewer epoch, which will eventually impact annualized staking rewards

Solana’s (SOL) blockchain clock is currently running 30 minutes behind real-world time, owing to longer than ideal slot times on the network. The delay in time was announced by SOL via its status page on 26th May. However, the notice states that the time disparity does not have any impact on network performance. “While this has no impact on performance or network operations, the time reported by block explorers and dapps may not reflect wall-clock time,” the statement reads.

This time disparity is one of the effects of the current slower slot times on Solana. A slot is the smallest time period in a blockchain and Slot time refers to the time interval within which a validator can submit a block to the network. When slot times become significantly longer than 400ms,  it loses synchronicity with real-world time. According to data from the Solana blockchain explorer dashboard, Solana’s ideal slot time of 400 milliseconds (ms) has now increased to nearly 746ms.

The Solana network uses proof-of-history (PoH) as a consensus algorithm. PoH is responsible for taking care of Solana’s timekeeping by enabling each node on the network to maintain an accurate record of time. Solana uses clusters, a collection of validators for processing transactions on its blockchain. PoH allows for decentralized timekeeping across all the nodes in a cluster.

Slower slot times pave the way for longer/fewer epochs since there must be 432,000 slots in every epoch. At the ideal 400ms slot time, there are around 182 epochs per year, with each epoch lasting between two and three days. Since Solana staking rewards depend on the number of epochs, fewer epochs would negatively impact the annualized earnings collected by delegators and validators on the network.

Operational issues have long plagued the Solana network since its inception. From resource exhaustion to a halt in block confirmation, SOL network has suffered several setbacks that resulted in repeated power outages, causing the network to shut down for hours on several occasions. In early may SOL  faced a seven-hour outage when the network failed to reach a consensus. The operational issue news comes amidst a time when Solana price growth has continued to remain sluggish. The network has also been struggling to stay afloat owing to immense competition from faster BRC20 blockchain like Bitgert(BRISE).

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Saniya Raahath

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