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Stellar Development Foundation Delays Smart Contract Upgrade Due to Bug Discovery

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has announced a delay in the smart contract upgrade for the Stellar blockchain, with the upgrade now scheduled for the end of January.

The delay is due to the discovery of a bug in Stellar Core v20.1.0 by the SDF’s development team.

In a blog post dated January 27, the SDF explained its decision to delay the Protocol 20 vote, originally set for January 30, in order to address the bug.

While the foundation characterized the bug as posing “little risk,” it acknowledged that it had the potential to impact various applications.

The SDF reassured the community that a fix is already in progress and is expected to be available within two weeks.

However, it emphasized that the decision to proceed with the network upgrade ultimately rests with the SDF.

Non-SDF validators on the Stellar network still have the option to vote in favor of the Protocol 20 upgrade on the original date.

The SDF stated, “If validators opt to postpone the upgrade, we will coordinate to determine a future vote date once a new version of Stellar Core that contains a bug fix is released.”

Regardless of the outcome, the SDF committed to resolving the bug and engaging in discussions with other validators through both public and private channels.

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For the Protocol 20 upgrade to pass, it requires a quorum of voting validators. As of December 2023, there are 43 validator nodes, according to

The bug in question relates to Soroban, a smart contract platform that was introduced on a Stellar testnet in October 2022.

When a “Soroban” transaction request is made, it results in a refund and is fee-bumped. However, under the current code, the refund is not sent to the fee-bump’s source account as intended.

Tyler van der Hoeven, one of Stellar’s core developers, mentioned in a January 26 post that Protocol 20 will be rolled out in phases, but did not specify the duration of the implementation process for Soroban smart contracts on Stellar.

Stellar, one of the oldest blockchain projects, primarily focuses on payments and asset tokenization.

The token powering the Stellar blockchain, known as Stellar, currently boasts a market capitalization of $3.2 billion.

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