IOTA Network Struggles Due to Lack of Full Nodes

Scaling will always remain a critical problem in the world of cryptocurrency. Even IOTA, which was designed to be infinitely scalable, has encountered issues in its early stages. The network experienced a massive DDoS attack last night as the number of public nodes wasn’t sufficient to handle the network “spam” coming in. This is a very worrisome development, although it’s one that can be solved with relative ease.

IOTA Network Needs More Nodes

It is evident that any cryptocurrency out there can suffer from scalability issues. The best solution to this problem is a solid decentralized network of peers to back everything up. In the case of IOTA, network growth has been less than stellar, and it even caused a major bottleneck Monday night. More specifically, the network suffered a spam attack which flooded the public nodes and caused transaction delays.

For a network that prides itself on being “infinitely scalable”, that was not a positive development whatsoever. It was one of the first times the IOTA network was put through its paces, and issues arose pretty much immediately. It seems this was mainly due to a limited number of public nodes on the network. Without sufficient nodes, any “flood” of data will not be processed quickly enough to keep the network going. This is why Bitcoin requires thousands of nodes in order to operate.

According to the IOTA team, these transaction delays were caused by a “spam attack”. More specifically, a spammer flooded the public IOTA nodes, although it’s not clear how this was achieved exactly. Consequently, those nodes became overloaded, causing the network to clog up. This issue was alleviated by lowering the number of transactions per second on the network, but it is not a course of action the community likes to see take place.

Without more full nodes on the IOTA network, issues like this one will continue to come up. There is a decent guide out there on how to set one up, and it is not overly difficult to do so. This problem is not unique to IOTA, mind you, as any major cryptocurrency without sufficient network nodes will run into similar problems sooner or later. Making it easier to run a full node and improving peer discovery would be two options well worth exploring by the project’s developers.

Addressing this problem in the near future will not be all that easy. For a decentralized network, spinning nodes up all over the world without relying on centralized solutions will take a lot of time and effort. A long-term solution would entail massive adoption on the part of the IoT community, and whether or not that will ever happen remains to be seen.

For the time being, it seems this issue has not affected the IOTA price all that much. It was somewhat surprising to see the price per MIOTA rise to nearly US$1 out of the blue, especially given these problems. Then again, anyone who wants this ecosystem to succeed can easily create their own full node and help alleviate a lot of these concerns in the process. Whether or not people will be incentivized to do so remains to be seen.

  • Mihai Cezar Caramiha

    They should start offering incentives for operating nodes and it will skyrocket, like Dash.

    • DenverParaFlyer

      Exactly my thoughts.

      • mt

        I’ve run Bitcoin and Ethereum nodes in the past and stopped. Nowhere near the sense of community and commons you get when you are running a full IOTA node. That’s the greatest incentive, for me anyway.

    • dr evil

      no need for that.. everyone that provides a service on iota will run it’s own nodes. just to be not dependant on someone elses node

  • Saul Espinosa

    Stop fudding, there plenty of full nodes the problem is related to the spammer using the default public nodes which the light wallet is connected to and most users dont change to any other node and keep it on defaults. Do your research. The public nodes are there for people to get started with and can be found on the official IOTA web page. Right now that same spammer is now being tested to run on a dynamic random full node list set which is why were now seeing 30 TPS but not the same issues.

    This is why its recommended you change full nodes if either the default full node is down or acting up. Theres a large list of full nodes people can connect to on the light wallet and if you truly want to avoid any issues you run a full node. Simple as that.

  • johan

    The spam attack took transaction per second up to 30, easily eclipsing Ethereum and Bitcoins current bottleneck.
    Real transactions still got through in 5-10 minutes. It was actually a very good test of the tangles resilience and it performed perfectly despite the limited number of full nodes. This bodes very well for the future.

    • The_Golden_Hand

      Is 30 TPS currently IOTA’s cap?

  • Dominik Schiener

    What the fuck are you talking about, the network handled it quite well, with stable 20 – 30TPS (and Confirmed TPS). With a stable 80% confirmation rate. Everything is fine.

    • Rajiv Shah

      The irony is that if bitcoin ever reached this type of volume, the network would absolutely halt. As it is right now, it takes two hours to get anything confirmed on there. IOTA is so far the only crypto that has solved this bottleneck problem.

    • mt

      Why not reserve the word “fuck” for the actual act.

    • Simon Farrugia

      No Blockchain or DAG can convince me of the identity of Dominik Schiener more that the word ‘fuck’ in a sentence.

      • AJCS

        I’ll give it to Dom and David, they do not hold back.

    • Ron Rizzo

      The transfer of my coins from wallet to exchange have been unconfirmed for over 24 hours now. Others have complained about the same issue with confirmations extending beyond 5 days! Iota is allowing people to buy the coins but not sell them at the present. Both Binnance and Bitfinex are experiencing the same issues. Absolutely no help is offered or addressed by IOTA. The IOTA forum/message board has been disabled on CoinMarketCAP, and they have no email or anything for help. Iota has not even added to the conversation on github to address the matter or offer assurance that this will be resolved. Meanwhile the price is up because no one can sell- seems like market manipulation for sure

    • Ron Rizzo

      The transfer of my coins from wallet to exchange have been unconfirmed for over 24 hours now. Others have complained about the same issue with confirmations extending beyond 5 days! Iota is allowing people to buy the coins but not sell them at the present. Both Binnance and Bitfinex are experiencing the same issues. Absolutely no help is offered or addressed by IOTA. The IOTA forum/message board has been disabled on CoinMarketCAP, and they have no email or anything for help. Iota has not even added to the conversation on github to address the matter or offer assurance that this will be resolved. Meanwhile the price is up because no one can sell- seems like market manipulation for sure

  • Anton Spies

    Don’t get it why there is so much bashing on IOTA – it’s a serious breakthrough and instead writing about some facts about it and educating some folks, you pick some weird stuff

    • dr evil

      iota has a fight with all blockchains basically you can imagine all those journalists/reporters who are holding blockchain products need to make iota look bad for obvious reasons.

      Jdebunt
      JP Buntinx is a FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium

      One of his older blogs was also shitting on iota…

      • draw

        I think you’re right (I’m also Belgian btw). I’ve also the impression that Maidsafe (also a non blockchain project) doesn’t interest him much.

        • dr evil

          i’m also belgian 🙂

          • draw

            Again proof that the interest in cryptocurrencies is strong in Belgium (and the Netherlands) 🙂

  • ColdDayApril

    I run a IOTA full node right now. It’s fully synced and easily handling the 30 TPS that are happening right now on the mainnet. I just did 10 transactions, all of them confirmed after a few minutes.

    Do you run a full node as well dear journalist? Or how do you know that the network struggles?

    • Same here, no Issue so far

    • dr evil

      same here .. no issue..

  • dr evil

    i have a bunch of non public nodes who never had a problem lol

    • ColdDayApril

      are you “the” doctor evil that pentested Nxt back in the old days?

      • dr evil

        nope. i never got involved with nxt

  • If IOTA Network will got the same amount of nodes bitcoin has today, it will be much, much,.. MUCH more efficent then Bitcoin ever could be.

  • Eddie Adams

    One of the selling points of IOTA is zero fees.

  • Harald A. Weber

    There is no monetary incentive to run a full node and that should be changed IMHO.

    • Claudio Vanoni

      Agree

      • mt

        Sorry, what monetary incentive is there for running Bitcoin and Ethereum full nodes ? Have I missed something ? Shoudl I be retrospectively rewarded for having run both for more than a year ? 😉

  • Malte Wedel

    The author seems to miss basic understanding on how the blockchain or the tangle works. While a large number of nodes is important for resilience against attacks, decentralization and consensus, it does not help to improve scalability in terms of how many transactions per second can be handled. As all transactions are distributed across all nodes, the transactions per second rely on how fast a single node can handle them and the network speed between the nodes. For the blockchain this is limited by the time interval between blocks and block size. With the tangle there is not such limit, it just depends on the network speed and processing power of the machine.

  • DENS

    hey JP Buntinx go home and eat 100 million sacks of salt!

  • DENS

    PISTI ka JP Buntinx! PISTI!

  • Volan

    @dominik_schiener:disqus Haters will be haters. Dont worry, iota support will stay untill the last bitcoin addict realizes iota has overtaken it.