Stellar Development Fund postpones Soroban upgrade, gains commendation from Stellar community

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has delayed the much-anticipated Protocol 20 upgrade of the Stellar blockchain, which is slated for Jan. 30. 

This decision follows the discovery of a bug in Stellar Core v20.1.0. In a move emphasizing the Foundation’s commitment to network integrity, the SDF, through a Jan. 27 blog post, conveyed its choice to “disarm” its validators to postpone the Protocol 20 vote, indicating a cautious approach until after the resolution of the bug.

Identified on Jan. 25, the bug affects Soroban transactions, particularly in cases of fee-bumped refunds. The issue lies in the incorrect redirection of refunds to the source account of the inner transaction instead of the fee-bump’s source. Despite the bug being classified as low risk, the SDF is already working on a fix, demonstrating its proactive stance on network security.

The Foundation’s decision to delay the vote opens up possibilities for other validators on the network. These validators, not governed by the SDF, still retain the choice to vote for the Protocol 20 upgrade as initially planned.

In recognizing this, the SDF has expressed its readiness to “coordinate” with validators to set a new vote date once the bug fix is released, highlighting the collaborative nature of the decision-making process on the Stellar network. As per, the network consists of 43 validator nodes as of December 2023, with each playing a pivotal role in such upgrades.

The SDF has also been instrumental in enhancing the Stellar ecosystem, notably through the initiation of a $100 million fund in October 2022 to attract developers to Soroban, Stellar’s smart contract platform. Tyler van der Hoeven, a core developer at Stellar, shed light on Protocol 20 being a “phased rollout,” hinting at a gradual and thoughtful implementation process.

In light of the SDF’s recent decision to delay the Protocol 20 upgrade, the response from the Stellar community has been notably supportive. A prominent member of the community, Stellar Skull, expressed their support, succinctly stating, “We are not an ecosystem of one.” Skull acknowledged the minimal risk of the bug yet commended the decision to delay the Soroban upgrade.

Market response to these developments, particularly concerning Stellar’s native token XLM, has been notably stable. Trading at $0.1144, XLM’s market value shows only slight fluctuations, maintaining a market capitalization of around $3.29 billion at the time of writing. This stability is a testament to the market’s confidence in Stellar, even amidst significant technical updates.

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