The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF ) has made the decision to decommission its validators and vote to postpone the Protocol 20 update, initially scheduled for January 30, following the discovery of a bug in the code Stellar Core last week.
After receiving concerns expressed by various participants in the Stellar ecosystem, including contract developers, wallet developers, validators, and tool builders, the SDF has decided to dismantle its validators to prevent them from voting in favor of the upgrade to Protocol 20 on December 30 January.
Given the magnitude of the protocol change introduced by this update, it is crucial to have a broad consensus both in the vote and in the previous preparations; everyone must be ready.
On January 25, 2024, the SDF notified the ecosystem about a bug discovered in Stellar Core v20.1.0 which could affect applications and services that use fee-spiking transactions for Soroban smart contracts, should the Mainnet be upgraded to Protocol 20.
Although, according to the SDF, the bug presented little risk given the gradual implementation plan and adoption of best practices, the decision to move forward with the update was subject to discussion.
The update process is not something carried out solely by the SDF, so discussions were opened on the Stellar Dev Discord channel and on the developer mailing list, urging the ecosystem to share their opinions.
Feedback and discussions led to a change in strategy for the Stellar Development Foundation
As for next steps, validators will make their own decisions as part of this open source community.
There are two possibilities: some validators can still choose to vote in favor of Protocol 20, and if the necessary quorum is achieved, the update will take place.
On the other hand, validators can also choose to disarm, and if quorum is not reached, the network will continue running Protocol 19 temporarily.
Regardless of the outcome, SDF is committed to working on resolving the bug and continuing to engage in discussions with other validators, both in public and private channels.
If validators choose to postpone the update, coordination will be made to determine a new voting date once a new version of Stellar Core containing the bug fix is released.
This version is expected to be available in the next two weeks.
This episode highlights the transparent and collaborative nature of the decision-making process within the Stellar ecosystem, underscoring the importance of blockchain community input in critical decisions like these.