Blockstack Account Creation Broken [Users Affected]


#1

There is an issue with account creation on using the Blockstack Browser and several of our users have been affected (read: they can’t use the app). Unfortunately, this is a serious issue for us as we’ve had groups who we’ve made agreements to switch to Afari been unable to onboard and use the app, as well as several app mining and TryMyUI users been unable to use Afari. This post details the nature of the problem and how to reproduce it. We are not sure if the problem is also on web but we have experienced it on both Afari iOS and Afari Android, and got the same error when we tested with Stealthy iOS.

The Problem
(1) When a new user creates a new Blockstack account, the account registration is failing as shown in the image below:

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(2) Unfortunately, when this happens, the Blockstack account of the user is logged in on the device such that the user thinks that everything works going forward. The user is even asked to input email address and proceed with the account creation process despite the registration failing.

(3) When the user comes back to the app, he/she will still be logged in to Blockstack although the username (i.e. abc.id.blockstack) is null since the account was not registered properly. This means that the users cannot use the app. As stated before, this is a severe issue for us and we’ve been unable to move forward in on boarding new users and put our best face forward in the App Mining competition. Several other apps may have also been affected.

Tagging @yukan, @Jude, @hank @shreyas and @friedger in the hopes of a prompt response. We’d appreciate if a fix went out in the next couple of days, ideally 24hrs since this is critical infrastructure.

Our suggestion: It would be better to have a system where the user is completely logged out of Blockstack when account registration failed, and then prompt them to either create a new account or recover the old account (somehow), as opposed to the existing solution above, which is no doubt confusing.

Tagging my Afari team for notifications and follow ups: @avthars

Your prompt assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated,
Felix + team Afari


#2

Hey Felix,

The only reason this usually happens is when you’ve hit a rate limit on the amount of subdomain registrations in a given time. This can certainly happen when you’re testing onboarding a lot.

The mobile SDKs just use browser.blockstack.org for name registrations, and I haven’t seen examples of this happening for anyone else. Can you confirm that name registrations still don’t work on a totally different IP address?

It is definitely true that the error message is not helpful, and when you hit the error, the flow is basically broken. We do have open issues for that, and I believe Thomas is doing some work to fix that. We have some tickets in the Browser to help track it.


#3

Hi @hank , I think you’re missing the point here. This is happening for our first time users not only for us. Meaning that the explanation of rate limiting in creating new accounts might be true for us (who’ve created many accounts), but can’t hold for first time users, who haven’t created a single account to their name.


#4

We can confirm this. We were on the phone with users in Princeton, South Africa and Zimbabwe taking them through the process and this is the variable we isolated to be the problem. Let us know what other evidence you’d like and we can bring that to you.


#5

It would help if you could get their IP address. We can then determine if rate limiting is the cause.


#6

Also, what were their usernames?


#7

Feel free to DM the info on Slack.


#8

Will ask for the usernames and send them along. Thanks a lot


#9

Hey, totally understand. That’s obviously a problem. We will try and isolate the issue.


#10

As a data point @hank & @yukan, I tried this morning to create a new account on my device with Stealthy over LTE and had no problems (see rate_limited_test.id.blockstack).


#11

As a follow up, given that account creation on the Blockstack Browser is working, we’re trying to figure out where the problem is. As it stands, it seems to be confined to Android, with no new users being able to login.


#12

Thanks for bringing this up. We are having the same problem with our android app.


#13

For the future, please remember to create issues on the GitHub repo rather than the forum. That way we can track the issue and any potential fix.