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Polygon’s Maintenance Fix for A Bug Turns to an 11 Hour-Long Network Outage



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Polygon users have, for the larger part of the last 12 hours, suffered an extended outage that halted the network, with no blocks getting generated in that period. Polygon, which was lucky to fix a vulnerability that would have exposed $24 billion worth of MATIC late last year, suffered an extended downtime but all through assured users that their funds remained safe.

A bug shipped with an earlier upgrade

Yesterday around 4:20 PM UTC, Polygon developers' Twitter account informed users that they should expect a period of downtime starting around 5:50 PM UTC.

“Due to issues with the Tendermint implementation used by the Polygon PoS chain, users can expect downtime starting at 5:50 PM UTC. Please rest assured there is no risk to your funds and data. The team is actively working on restoring the network to normal operation.”

The Polygon team explained that the Heimdall node was the genesis of the problem. Heimdall, one of Polygon's two PoS chain layers, was affected by a bug that led its different validators to shift and start employing varying chain versions. As such, the network was compromised in that it could not achieve 2/3 consensus.

The developers also added that downtime for Heimdall would affect Bor, also a Polygon layer, but in charge of producing blocks.

The bug had apparently come from a previous upgrade issued on the network in a fix on the “Ethereum to Polygon PoS state sync/bridging module.”

The developer team assured the community that Heimdall did not interact with user transactions but was rather involved discretely in validator activity such as bridging and transactions.

A period of extended downtime

Heading into maintenance, the network went down around 5:54 PM UTC, and by the time Polygon was issuing the next update at around 1:40 AM UTC, the network was still not back up.

The developers told users that they [developers] were issuing a short-term fix to deal with the issue. In addition, the team again assured users that their holdings remained safe as the developers worked on dealing with the problem completely.

“Polygon PoS has resumed operation as the team has deployed a temporary hotfix to address the issue. All user funds are safe. We're working on a long-term solution and will continue to update the official forum and other channels.”

However, the development team noted that Polygon Bridge would remain on its ‘intermission' period until the issue is solved in its entirety.

The network has since updated its blockchain tracker, PolygonScan, which is back live again.

Polygonscan is live

Though it appeared that even the partial fix did not deploy immediately, with time, data from PolyScan indicates that block validation started catching up.

Being one of the most dominant Ethereum scaling solutions in both traction and magnitude, many Polygon users were affected. Primarily, users worried that the downtime was running longer than expected and was therefore holding back their businesses and activity, such as those transacting NFTs. Other users pleaded to get a timeline by which the network would be working again.

Notably, the last bug event was identified by two white-hat hackers and swiftly patched and didn't create this much inconvenience.

MATIC price not affected by the network downtime

A few users were keen to note that Polygon's outage didn't affect the price of its native token MATIC. Ranked 16th in market capital as per CoinMarketCap, MATIC was trading at $1.46 at the time of writing – up 2.07% over the last 24 hours. Its 24-hr trading volume was also up by 2.52% to $944.990 million.

To learn more about Polygon visit our Investing in Polygon guide.

Sam is a financial content specialist with a keen interest in the blockchain space. He has worked with several firms and media outlets in the Finance and Cybersecurity fields.