TON blockchain crippled by Bitcoin Ordinals-style token transactions

The “most scalable blockchain ever” experienced a spike in activity, causing its network to experience delayed settlements.

Transaction per second (TPS) speed on The Open Network (TON) fell as the blockchain buckled under increased usage triggered by a surge of TON20 transactions starting on Dec. 5. TON20 is an inscription standard inspired by the Bitcoin Ordinals protocols and launched by the Tonano team.

According to developers, TON could not handle the load due to suboptimal hardware employed by some main network validators. TPS on TON crashed from 100,000 to under one, per data.

These validators rented hardware for low load with no provision for load growth. Since the network had been running low load for the previous months, this was not a problem. As soon as the load increased by 50-100 times in 30 minutes, these validators started to slow down the whole network with them.

TON Foundation

TON devs said a decentralized penalty system would be implemented to curtail network participants conducting shoddy operations. There is also a plan to improve the system with stiffer penalties, but developers have urged patience from community members to avoid affecting innocent validators.

In the meantime, a patch was shipped to boost transaction speed while all validators were advised to upgrade their hardware to the blockchain’s requirements. 

When reported initial updates on the outage, TON’s native token had slid down 5%. The token, TON, recovered some of its losses and traded 0.6% up, according to Coingecko.

TON was declared the world’s fastest blockchain by CertiK, ahead of competitors like Solana, after hitting a record TPS speed of 104,715.

TON blockchain crippled by Bitcoin Ordinals-style token transactions - 1
TON TPS data | Source:

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