Skip to content

Meme Coin, Not Meme Tech: What Went Wrong With Shibarium Launch?

The highly anticipated launch of the Shiba Inu token's own Shibarium chain experienced a major hiccup. The solution, intended for scaling the Ethereum blockchain, could not handle the massive influx of transactions.

Shiba Inu’s meme-coin has been making waves in the news for several months, all thanks to its much-anticipated blockchain release - Shibarium. The new product promised affordability and scalability of transactions, and most importantly, serious use cases for the meme-coin, generating high hopes for investors.

Finally, Shibarium - the layer-2 scaling solution for Shiba Inu’s ecosystem - went live on August 16th, 2023.

However, investors were left disappointed since the highly awaited Shibarium launch encountered unforeseen circumstances, resulting in a massive failure: transactions got stuck, and eventually block generation was halted by developers.

Unexpectedly high influx of early users

Early rumors claimed that a failure of the Shibarium bridge locked users' assets worth several million dollars.

Later, Shytomi Kusama - lead developer and co-founder of the SHIB community - broke the silence, refuted the bridge problems, and provided details about the Shibarium crash in a blog post.

According to him, the primary reason for the failure was the unexpected high traffic experienced during the launch. It was reported that over a million compute units were recorded, followed by thousands of transactions.

Compute unit is a usage metric used by Alchemy, the blockchain node provider used by Shibarium.

For some reason, not disclosed by the developers, the transactions were merged in a single block, triggering the protocol’s fail-safe mode to protect users’ funds on the chain.

According to Shytomi, Shiba Inu’s ecosystem had an allotment of 400 million compute units per month from Alchemy. However, the team got around 160 million compute unit requests during the first 30 minutes after launch.

Interestingly, one of the promises of Shibarium was the decentralization of blockchain node operators. There are several large companies, including Alchemy, that dominate the node services for Ethereum. Shibarium was aiming to change that and use the resources of the Unification project, which is developing a decentralized node service, Unode, instead.

After-effects of Shibarium launch fail

The day after the crash, Shibarium resumed operations in private mode. The team has requested additional bandwidth from Alchemy, added some safeguards, and started to gradually reopen the network to the validator community.

To further instil confidence in the community, the Shibarium team announced an insurance amount of $2 million that will cover the loss if there are any issues in retrieving funds after such incidents. The team also committed to regular updates on the status of the Shibarium network. Observers are tuned in for further news.