Steemit Platform Fully Operational Following Platform Outage

Steemit, a blockchain-powered blogging and social networking website, suffered outages due to a programming error that caused the platform to go down a week ago, with the development team swiftly recovering.

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Steemit, a blockchain-powered blogging and social networking website, suffered outages due to a programming error that caused the platform to go down a week ago, with the development team swiftly recovering.

Blockchain transition led to the technical fault

The first error encountered by the platform arose during the process of transitioning to Hardfork 20.

Prior to the hardfork, the two versions available, 0.19.0 and 0.20.0 were producing blocks on the same chain. Witnesses were allowed to test the new version and vote on whether they would continue using it or retain the former chain.

However, the chain unexpectedly forked after the 0.20.0 nodes started producing blocks that didn’t match the consensus of nodes running version 19 of steem. The whole process triggered security protocols built into the blockchain which led to a pause in block production.

During the outage, the official Steem website returned a server error, with most Steem-based dApps also becoming non-functional during that period. The error also led to a blockchain freeze, with several nodes listed as “stuck”.

The developers report that at no time was there danger to users’ funds.

The Steem Network acknowledged the problem on Twitter, stating that:

We’re aware of the problem with the #Steem #blockchain and are hard at work to get it resolved. We’ll post updates here as they happen

At first, the team was unable to pinpoint the real cause of the outage but later created a blog post dissecting the matter in depth.

According to their post, the error occurred due to a bug in the HF20 code. This bug was triggered by accident when a value that was intended to remain constant was changed and led to the initial fork.

A second bug in the fork database logic was discovered that managed to slip under the developers’ radar due to the infrequency that this logic is activated. This bug was responsible for the minor fork ceasing to work.

The development team immediately identified the problem and issued a patch that fixed the offending bugs and allowed witnesses to continue block production.

The team revealed that the problems did not appear in Hardfork 19 and advised witnesses to immediately return to that fork.

Users surprised by the outage

Following the outage of the platform, users took to Twitter to express their surprise over the incident. Even though Blockchains are known to become slow when subjected to high traffic, they are known to be resilient against total outages such as this one.

The development team has started taking steps to ensure that such an event doesn’t happen again. The outage did not affect the users of the blockchain, with both their funds and the value remaining stable.

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