Stellar Delays Smart Contract Upgrade Following Bug Discovery

Hongji Feng
Last updated: | 1 min read
Stellar Debug
Source: DALL·E

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has postponed its scheduled smart contract upgrade after discovering a bug in the upgrade.

According to a recent announcement published by the Stellar Development Foundation, the Protocol 20 upgrade, originally slated for a Jan. 30 launch, was delayed following the identification of a bug.

The SDF made the decision after communicating with Stellar ecosystem contributors.

Stellar to Disarm Validators After Reconsideration


Stellar first alerted the community about the bug in Stellar Core v20.1.0 software on Jan. 25. This bug presented potential issues for applications and services using fee bumps in Soroban transactions, especially if Stellar’s Mainnet upgraded to Protocol 20.

“When a Soroban transaction that will result in a refund is Fee-bumped, the refund is sent back to the inner Soroban transactions source account,” a GitHub post explained the bug.

“The refund should be sent to the Fee-bumps source account instead.”

The SDF initially assessed the bug’s risk as low and intended to proceed with the upgrade. Yet the feedback from Stellar contract developers, wallet developers, validators, and tools builders led to the reevaluation of the upgrade schedule, eventually pushing the SDF to opt to reconsider the launch.

Next Steps for Protocol 20


The decision on whether to upgrade currently rests with other validators in the network. They can either vote for Protocol 20, enabling the upgrade if a quorum is reached, or choose to maintain the current Protocol 19 by disarming.

The SDF is working to resolve the bug and plans to coordinate a future vote date after releasing a bug fix, expected within two weeks. This development highlights the collaborative decision-making process of decentralized blockchain networks.

“They noticed the bug but saw that it posed little risk but choose to delay Soroban until it is fixed to honor community concerns,” said Stellar ecosystem contributor StellarSKULL. “Perhaps trustworthy is of more value than completely decentralized.”