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Polygon Employs Temporary ‘Hotfix’ As Upgrade Causes 11 Hour Outage


Layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution Polygon was down for over 11 hours last week after an earlier network upgrade inadvertently introduced a bug, which disrupted the network’s consensus layer:

On March 10, Polygon notified users via its online forum that the network would be down from 5:50PM UTC to allow developers to correct the bug. The network was brought back online approximately 11 hours later after the Polygon team deployed a hotfix to address the bug.

Bug Prevented Network Consensus

As explained by the Polygon development team, the bug resulted in different Heimdall validators – part of Polygon’s consensus layer – being on different versions of the blockchain, which prevented the network from achieving 2/3 consensus, and in turn caused the entire blockchain to stop producing blocks.

Although still under investigation by the team, we suspect there may have been a bug in the upgrade which affected consensus, and caused different Heimdall validators to be on different versions of the chain, thereby not reaching 2/3 consensus. When using Tendermint consensus, this situation will cause the Heimdall chain to halt.

Team Polygon

Hotfix Partially Restores Network Functionality

In a forum post to announce the hotfix, the Polygon team explained that the Polygon Bridge – the functionality which allows users to make Ethereum transactions using Polygon to sidestep high Ethereum gas fees – would not be functional until a full update was applied at a later date:

“Kindly note, with this temporary hotfix, Polygon Bridge will not be active/available until we deploy the final solution.”

Outage Raises Concerns

Although users were notified of the outage in advance, many began expressing their concerns as it dragged on far longer than expected:

Only last December, Polygon experienced another critical bug which put over US$24 billion worth of tokens at risk. Polygon is by no means the only major blockchain experiencing uptime issues recently – for example, Solana has seen several significant outages since December.

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