Stellar blockchain went completely offline on 15th May for a good 67 minutes. The halt was forced by Stellar management itself. In a blog post regarding the shutdown, Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) stated that the network faltered because the new nodes took too much consensus responsibility at quite an early stage.
"May 15th Network Halt"https://t.co/AI3OxVFiIk
— Stellar (@StellarOrg) May 16, 2019
In a blog post on Medium, SDF said,
The halt wasn’t because Stellar’s Consensus Protocol failed — in fact, it worked as intended. For a system like Stellar, a temporary halt is preferable to the permanent confusion of a fork. But yesterday shows that Stellar needs better tooling around uptime. We need better status monitoring for validators, and it needs to be easier to restart a validator after it goes down.
As the news of the halt spread across the crypto-blockchain space, analysts, experts, and enthusiasts, all started to criticize Stellar Platform for lack of decentralization. The fact that a group or a management team can bring the network to a dead halt is enough to realize the heavy centralization prevailing on the blockchain.
This isn’t the first time that Stellar has been accused of centrally controlling the network. Earlier this year, a group of researchers wrote heavy criticisms on XLM and Stellar, for their lack of decentralization. The group had said that
all of the nodes in Stellar cannot run Stellar consensus protocol if only two nodes fail. To make matters worse, these two nodes are run and controlled by a single organization, the Stellar foundation.
However, SDF stated in its post that though it is being accused of over-centralization, the opposite is true. Many new nodes were added on the network, Stellar added, which took on too much consensus responsibility too early.
Whatever the truth may be, the biggest losers in such cases are the users, who are ultimately affected with shutdowns, no matter if centralized or decentralized.