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Avalanche halts block production amid inscription wave launch

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Ava Labs co-founder Kevin Sekniqi believes the issue may be related to a recently launched inscription wave.

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Avalanche halts block production amid inscription wave launch

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Update (Feb. 23 and 1:28 PM UTC): This article has been updated to insert new information published by Ava Labs co-founder Kevin Sekniqi.

The decentralized application (DApp) platform Avalanche had a significant technical disruption impacting the block production of the proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. 

Investigating Avalanche primary network block production issue right now. Seems to be related to a new inscription wave launched about an hour ago.

— Kevin Sekniqi (@kevinsekniqi) February 23, 2024

On Feb. 23 at 12:02:27 pm UTC, Avalanche’s primary network experienced block production issues, seemingly halting the network. Avalanche’s blockchain explorer showed that the last block on Avalanche’s P-Chain, X-Chain and C-chain subnets was produced over an hour earlier. Avalanche also put out an official alert related to the block finalization stall. In a status update, Avalanche wrote:  

“Developers across the community are currently investigating a stall in block finalization that is preventing blocks from being accepted on the Primary Network.” 

Block production is an important process for the stability and continuity of blockchain networks. It involves the inception of new blocks that validate and record transactions. Interruptions in the block production process result in delays in transaction processing, impacting the overall functionality of the network. 

In an X post, Kevin Sekniqi, the co-founder of Ava Labs, said the team is already investigating the issue. According to Sekniqi, the halt in block production may be connected to a “new inscription wave” launched an hour before the problems surfaced. 

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The Ava Labs executive believes that the issue might be an “esoteric bug from some edge case” and mentioned that the issue is likely a mempool handling issue with inscriptions. Sekniqi assured the community that this would be “handled quickly.”

Nearly an hour later, Sekniqi clarified that the issue was a code-related bug unrelated to performance handling. The executive explained that inscriptions may have hit the edge case but did not affect performance. 

Clarification on this: the issue seems to be a gossip-related mempool management bug, which is purely a code-related bug, and not an issue with performance handling. Inscriptions seem to have hit the edge case, but inscriptions did not affect performance. https://t.co/9cvQSAmTVu

— Kevin Sekniqi (@kevinsekniqi) February 23, 2024

Similar reports on Avalanche’s block production halting surfaced on March 23, 2023. At the time, the Avalanche blockchain explorer showed that the C-chain stopped producing blocks. However, Sekniqi explained that the network had been unstable due to a bug with its v1.9.12, and the team deployed a fix to stabilize the network.

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