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Stellar Development Foundation delays Protocol 20 upgrade following bug discovery

The bug, discovered on January 25th, relates to fee-bump transactions for Soroban smart contracts on the Stellar blockchain.

Stellar Development Foundation delays Protocol 20 upgrade following bug discovery

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The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has decided to disarm its validators and vote to postpone the Protocol 20 upgrade scheduled for January 30th following the discovery of a bug in the Stellar Core code last week.

“Upgrading the network is not something SDF does alone, and to inform the decision about whether to move forward given the bug, we opened threads on the Stellar Dev Discord and our developer mailing list and encouraged the ecosystem to weigh in,” the development team said. 

The bug, discovered on January 25th, relates to fee-bump transactions for Soroban smart contracts on the Stellar blockchain. 

According to the SDF, if the upgrade went ahead as planned, the bug posed little risk but could potentially impact various applications and services using these fee bump transactions.

Protocol 20 aims to introduce smart contract functionality to the Stellar network through a phased rollout of the Soroban platform. One of Stellar’s core developers, Tyler van der Hoeven, noted on X that Protocol 20 will gradually enable Soroban’s capabilities.

“It will be a phased rollout with the faucet of innovation being slowly and carefully turned on,” Hoeven said.

Soroban went live on a Stellar testnet last October 2022, alongside a $100 million fund launched by SDF to attract developers. Stellar is a payments-focused blockchain network powered by its native XLM token. It currently has a market capitalization of $3.2 billion, making it one of the largest cryptocurrency projects by valuation.

The decision to delay provides time for the development team to release a new version of Stellar Core containing a fix for the fee bump bug. SDF said it would coordinate with other validators to determine a new upgrade date once the fix is available, which is expected within two weeks.

A validator quorum will still be required to vote in favor once a new date is proposed. Currently, 43 validator nodes are active on the network as of December 2023, meaning 22 would need to approve any future upgrade proposal.

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