Stellar’s Protocol 20 Upgrade Faces Delay Amid Bug Discovery

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Key Takeaways

  • SDF shared that they’ve decided to “disarm” validators until a fix for the bug is in place. 
  • Non-SDF validators on Stellar may still opt to cast their votes for the Protocol 20 upgrade on January 30. 

The much-anticipated upgrade of the Stellar blockchain, geared to bring in Ethereum-style smart contracts through Protocol 20, might face a delay. Developers stumbled upon a bug in the Stellar Core v20.1.0 software on January 25, prompting the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) to rethink the scheduled upgrade vote set for January 30.

In a blog post on January 27, the SDF shared that they’ve decided to “disarm” validators, essentially supporting a delay in the Protocol 20 vote until a fix for the bug is in place. This bug, unearthed during the testing of smart-contracts transactions on the new “Soroban” feature, could throw a wrench into applications and services once the upgrade takes effect.

While the SDF will have the final say on proceeding with the upgrade, non-SDF validators on Stellar may still opt to cast their votes for the Protocol 20 upgrade on January 30. The bug in question, related to Soroban transactions and fee bumps, creates a scenario where unused refundable fees end up going back to the source account of the inner transaction instead of the intended source of the fee-bump transaction.

Initially considering the bug’s risk to be minimal given the phased rollout plan, the SDF pivoted its stance after valuable feedback from the developer community. The foundation now plans to collaborate with validators to pin down a fresh vote date once a bug-fixed version of Stellar Core is ready.

Data from reveals that the Stellar blockchain currently hosts 42.5 validator nodes. Assuring users of their dedication, the SDF noted that efforts to tackle the bug will persist. “If validators opt to postpone the upgrade, we will coordinate to determine a future vote date once a new version of Stellar Core that contains a bug fix is released. That release should be available within the next two weeks,”noted SDF.

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Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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