- Network consensus is provided by 43 validator nodes on the Helium network.
- There was an issue with a July 8 software upgrade for validators.
A change to Helium’s validators resulted in a four-hour downtime on July 11, delaying the completion of transactions on the IoT blockchain. The outage impacted mining incentives and token transfers; however, devices sending data across the network were not. The team could fix the problem and get everything back to normal by jumping one block ahead on the blockchain.
Lack of Network Consensus
According to a status report at 10:20 am EDT, the Consensus Group halted creating blocks on the Helium (HNT) blockchain at block height 1435692. Token transfers and new blocks were halted due to a lack of network consensus.
An IoT network that employs radio hotspots allows users to access their devices where radio reception is present. Network consensus is provided by 43 validator nodes on the Helium network, which are selected at regular intervals.
Validators ceased building consensus on the network for two reasons, according to the event’s assessment, which Helium developers conducted. In the beginning, there was an issue with a July 8 software upgrade for validators. The 5G Mobile subnetwork and associated MOBILE token are now supported with the v1.12.3 release.
The core team is investigating an issue causing the Consensus Group to stop producing blocks. At this time, submitting transactions to the blockchain will remain pending and will not clear. Device data transfer is not affected. More updates to come.
— Helium🎈 (@helium) July 11, 2022
The failure of an auto-skip mechanism that should have automatically selected a new Consensus Group exacerbated the situation. According to them, the team indicated that “a known issue” was preventing the auto-skip option from operating as planned.
The team’s message at 10:56 am ET said that the network was built to skip a block ahead “to mitigate situations such as these,” and that the Consensus Groups could not be changed. Block 1435693 has been put into production as of 1:45 pm Eastern Time. The team claimed it worked closely with validator operators to ensure they were synchronized and provided a new software version.
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