Stellar (XLM) Development Foundation Delays Protocol 20 Upgrade Due to Core Bug

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The Stellar Development Foundation postponed the vote on Protocol 20, originally scheduled for January 30, after the discovery of a bug in Stellar Core v20.1.0. The decision was made to ensure ecosystem readiness and broad consensus, with the new voting date set after the release of the bug fix, which is expected in the next two weeks.

The Stellar (XLM) Development Foundation (SDF) has decided to postpone the vote on Protocol 20, originally scheduled for January 30, due to a bug found in Stellar Core v20.1.0. This decision came after SDF received feedback from various participants in the Stellar ecosystem, including contract developers, wallet developers, validators, and tool builders.

The bug, identified on January 25, 2024, affected transactions with increased fees for Soroban smart contracts on the Stellar blockchain. This could potentially affect applications and services that use increased Soroban transaction fees if the Mainnet upgrades to protocol 20. While the SDF initially assessed the risk posed by the bug as minimal, they later decided to delay the upgrade in response to feedback from the ecosystem and the need for broad consensus.

SDF has “disabled” its validators to prevent them from voting for the upgrade on the scheduled date. However, it is important to note that the decision to upgrade does not depend on the SDF alone. Other validators on the Stellar network may still choose to vote for the Protocol 20 upgrade on the scheduled date. A quorum of voting validators is required for the Protocol 20 upgrade to pass.

Protocol 20 is a major upgrade for the Stellar network, aiming to introduce smart contract functionality through the phased deployment of the Soroban platform, which is a smart contract platform that went live on the Stellar testnet in October 2022. The SDF also launched a $100 million fund for attracting developers to the platform at the time.

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SDF plans to coordinate with validators to set a new upgrade date once a new version of Stellar Core containing the bug fix is ‚Äč‚Äčavailable, which is expected in the next two weeks. Blockchain Stellar currently hosts over 40 validator nodes and a validator quorum will be required for any future upgrade proposal.

This delay is a careful step by the SDF to ensure the stability and reliability of the Stellar network, as it introduces significant changes to the protocol. The commitment to include the community and validators in these decisions underscores the collaborative nature of blockchain governance.

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