Stellar Development Foundation Votes to Delay Protocol 20 Upgrade Amid Bug Concerns

The Stellar Development Foundation wishes to put a hold on the upcoming Protocol 20 upgrade of the Stellar blockchain network, originally scheduled for January 30. This decision follows the discovery of a bug that could impact the Soroban smart contract transactions.

Stellar Development Foundation Wants to Hit Pause on Protocol 20 Upgrade Due to Critical Bug

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has announced a delay in the Protocol 20 upgrade of the Stellar blockchain, originally scheduled for January 30. The decision follows the discovery of a bug in Stellar Core v20.1.0, which could potentially impact Soroban transactions.

The SDF, in a blog post dated January 27, expressed its commitment to ensuring the network’s readiness for the upgrade, but also the importance of consensus within the ecosystem. “We are not an ecosystem of one,” the post read, emphasizing the collaborative nature of the decision-making process.

The bug, identified on January 25, affects fee-bumped Soroban transactions, potentially leading to incorrect handling of refunds. Soroban, a smart contract platform on Stellar, went live on a testnet in October 2022.

Tyler van der Hoeven, a core developer of Stellar, noted in a post on X that Protocol 20 would be a “phased rollout,” although the timeline for full implementation of Soroban smart contracts remains unspecified.

In light of the bug, the SDF has disarmed its validators to prevent them from voting for the upgrade. The foundation clarified that the decision to upgrade rests with the entire network of validators, not solely with the SDF. As of December 2023, there were 43 validator nodes, according to Stellarbeat.io.

The SDF stated, “No matter the outcome, we will continue to work to resolve the bug, and to engage in discussions with other validators in both public and private channels.”

Stellar, one of the oldest blockchain projects, primarily focuses on payments and asset tokenization. The addition of Ethereum-style smart contracts through Soroban is expected to significantly enhance the blockchain’s capabilities.

The SDF reassured the community that a fix for the bug is underway and should be available within two weeks. In the event of a postponement, the foundation will coordinate with validators to determine a new date for the Protocol 20 vote.

The Stellar community and developers are encouraged to stay informed through the Stellar Dev Discord and developer mailing lists. The SDF emphasized the importance of cooperation and consensus for the success of the upgrade, stating, “We are grateful that this ecosystem is willing to engage in important conversations like this.”

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