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What is Solana’s Firedancer, and Why is JumpCrypto Putting $1 Million Up For Grabs to Protect it?

Last Updated 5 days ago
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated 5 days ago
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Insha Zia

Key Takeaways

  • Jump Crypto’s bug bounty program is putting $1M on the line to find vulnerabilities in Firedancer before launch.
  • Firedancer offers Solana a security boost by introducing a new validator software option.
  • Solana’s performance is set for a major upgrade with Firedancer, potentially reaching over 1M transactions per second.

Blockchain infrastructure firm Jump Crypto has introduced  a bug bounty program offering Solana developers up to $1 million for identifying vulnerabilities in the upcoming “Firedancer” independent validator client.

The bug bounty initiative, powered by Immunefi, will run for 42 days, from July 10 to August 21, 2024.

Firedancer – Enhancing Solana’s Security with a Fourth Validator Software Option

Firedancer is Solana’s new validator client, developed to address the network’s transaction speed limitations. Designed by Jump Crypto, the new client introduces a new codebase optimized for high performance, translating to significantly higher throughput.

Solana’s Firedancer looks to transform the network into a much faster, more efficient, and future-proof blockchain platform by optimizing how validators process transactions and communicate.

Solana's Firedancer
Credit: Messari

Solana on Steroids? New Client Promises Blazing Speeds and Security Boost

In a live demo broadcast in 2022 , Firedancer demonstrated the ability to process over 1 million transactions per second. This figure vastly surpasses Solana’s current theoretical limit of 50,000 TPS and exceeds the transaction volumes of leading service providers like Visa.

This enhanced performance is meant to boost Solana’s appeal as a leading Layer 1 blockchain and help the network keep pace with top crypto market competitors.

Beyond its performance advantages, Firedancer will provide Solana validator nodes with a fourth software option, further reducing Solana’s vulnerability to bugs, code exploits, and attacks.

According to a Reddit thread , Firedancer is not expected to be available in the first half or the summer of 2024. They have projected a partial implementation by Q3 2024, which will replace the networking layer of the standard Solana node software with Firedancer-authored code while retaining the original code for other aspects of the validator. A full implementation, even optimistically, would take at least another year beyond that.

Firedancer: A Gamechanger for Solana Network Performance?

Firedancer has extensive implications for the Solana network, particularly for its thriving DeFi scene. The new validator client will be crucial in processing transactions and building blocks within Solana’s robust $60 billion ecosystem.

It is expected to surpass “QUIC,” Google’s data transfer protocol, which has faced challenges handling transaction loads during network surges.

Cantelope Peel, a pseudonymous engineer linked to Jump Crypto, is spearheading the development of Firedancer v0.1. On July 3, Peel announced  the launch of a bug bounty program and shared that the team is currently testing key elements of the Solana network, including its consensus and fork choice algorithms and live voting components.

Unlike existing alternatives, which closely resemble the original software developed by Solana Labs, Jump Crypto has built Firedancer from the ground up. As Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko explained  in an interview last year, Firedancer rewrites the Solana protocol in C and C++ rather than Rust. Because it uses entirely different languages, “when there’s a memory leak or something like that, that bring down the network, the probability of it being in both clients is virtually zero,” he said.

Immunefi, the platform hosting the bug bounty program, stated that any bugs discovered in Firedancer v0.1 will be promptly investigated and addressed within 24 hours on weekdays.

Announcing bug bounty program
Credit: ImmuneFi

After the program concludes, Immunefi intends to publish an event-specific leaderboard and detailed bug reports.

Solana’s new validator client, Firedancer, comes amidst ETF rumors, adding fuel to the excitement. With the ability to handle over 1 million transactions per second, Firedancer could stand out as a major draw of institutions.

Solana Price Could Surge 900% with US Spot ETF Approval

According to crypto market maker GSR Markets, the approval of spot Solana exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States could potentially increase the price of SOL by ninefold.

In a recent report, GSR Markets highlighted Solana as one of “crypto’s big three” and assessed the likelihood of it becoming the next spot cryptocurrency ETF to gain regulatory approval in the US.

This report coincided with VanEck’s unexpected filing to launch a spot Solana ETF.

GSR, which holds a long position on SOL, estimated  a potential “8.9x” increase in SOL’s price based on the assumption that spot Solana ETFs would capture 14% of the flows seen by spot Bitcoin ETFs since their launch in January, considering their relative market capitalization.

According to GSR’s optimistic scenario , Solana’s current price of $149 could soar to over $1,320, resulting in a market capitalization of $614 billion based on the current supply.

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