The Arbitrum (ARB) network experienced a "partial outage" Friday amid a surge in transaction traffic that impacted the layer-2 blockchain's sequencer.
Arbitrum's sequencer stalled "during a significant surge in network traffic," according to posts across the network's social media on Friday. "We are working to resolve as quickly as possible and will provide a post-mortem as soon as possible," read a post on Arbitrum's status webpage.
Sequencers have been likened to an "air traffic control" for deciding which transactions land first on layer-2 networks such as Arbitrum. They're an essential link between the L2 and and the base chain, Ethereum. But they're also a single point of failure.
The outage spawned chaos and confusion in the Arbitrum community. A previously scheduled 12 p.m. ET (17:00 UTC) "ask me anything" Twitter Spaces was abruptly canceled by an Arbitrum employee shortly after it began. The Arbitrum Discord piled high with messages from traders fearful of what would happen to their positions when the network came back online.
Arbitrum's sequencer last stalled out in June after a bug created a backlog of unprocessed transactions. That issue was patched in a matter of hours.
The tech issues failed to rattle markets for Arbitrum's ARB token, which was already trading slightly down for the day.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.