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 affected mining incentives and token transfers; however, the devices that sent data over the network were not. The team could fix the problem and get everything back to normal by jumping one block forward in the blockchain.
Lack of Network Consensus
According to a status report at 10:20 am EDT, Consensus Group halted block creation on the Helium (HNT) blockchain at block height 1435692. Token transfers and new blocks they were stopped due to lack of network consensus.
An IoT network employing radio access points allows users to access their devices where there is radio reception. Network consensus is provided by 43 validating nodes on the Helium network, which are selected at regular intervals.
Validators stopped building consensus on the network for two reasons, according to the evaluation of the event, which was done by the Helium developers. Initially, there was a problem with a July 8 software update for validators. The 5G mobile subnet and associated MOBILE token are now supported in v1.12.3.
The failure of an automatic jump 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-jump option from working as intended.
The team’s message at 10:56 am ET said that the network was built to skip ahead one block “to mitigate situations like these,” and that the Consensus Groups could not be changed. Block 1435693 was put into production as of 1:45 pm ET. The team stated that it worked closely with the validation operators to ensure they were in sync and provided a new version of the software.