Traffic Surge Causes 2-hour Outage in Ethereum's Arbitrum Network

Traffic Surge Causes 2-hour Outage in Ethereum's Arbitrum Network

By: Isha Das

Ethereum's layer 2 scaling solution, Arbitrum, experienced a substantial interruption on December 15, 2023 due to a massive increase in network traffic, leading to a partial outage lasting about two hours. The incident, which severely compromised the network's functionality, was primarily attributed to a surge in network traffic which resulted in the stalling of the Arbitrum One Sequencer and Feed. These systems act as an 'air traffic control' for deciding transaction sequencing and their failure can significantly disrupt network operations.

The outage prompted high transaction fees and delays, contributing to the distorted operation of the network. Despite hasty resolutions, the event sparked considerable speculation in the crypto community, with some suggesting the voluminous NFT minting transactions as a potential contributor to the network's strained transaction capacity. Rumors of network glitches or security breaches also circulated, although, these remain unverified by the Arbitrum team.

This is not the first instance when Arbitrum's sequencer has encountered issues - a similar outage in June was quickly resolved within hours due to a software glitch. As the community awaits an explanation from the Arbitrum team, this event underscores the challenges blockchain networks face in handling sudden activity spikes and the necessity for resilient infrastructure.

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