51% of Ethereum blocks are now OFAC compliant, raising concerns about censorship

51% of Ethereum blocks are now OFAC compliant, raising concerns about censorship

A month after the Merger, 51% of Ethereum blocks met OFAC standards, according to data from blockchain developer Labrys, as MEV-Boost relays take market share.

On Twitter, users pointed out that the numbers are an important step towards censorship as more blocks are examined:

We have reached another sad milestone in censorship: 51%. This means that if censored validators now stopped attesting uncensored blocks, they would eventually create the canonical chain, 100% censored. — Martin Köppelmann (@koeppelmann) October 14, 2022

OFAC stands for the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the entity responsible for enforcing US economic sanctions, and MEV-Boost Relays are centralized entities that act as trusted intermediaries between block producers and block builders. This way, all Ethereum proof-of-concept (PoS) validators can outsource their block production to other builders.

This metric tracks how many blocks have been taken by OFAC-compliant MEV-Boost Relays from the Merger. Ethereum’s upgrade to a PoS consensus has enabled MEV-Boost for a more representative distribution of block proponents, rather than a small pool of proof-of-work (PoW) miners.

Ethereum blocks have gone from 9% OFAC compliance to 51% OFAC compliance in the past month as mev boost (block sourcing) takes market share. — Lyn Alden (@LynAldenContact) October 14, 2022

Speaking to Cointelegraph in September, Labrys CEO Lachan Feeney noted that in the case of harsh censorship, it would mean that “no matter how long you stayed, no matter how much you paid, you will never get to a point where these approved transactions are included in the blockchain. »

Under a hard censorship scenario, “nodes would be forced by regulation to reject any block containing any of these transactions.”

He also noted that even with soft censorship, when transactions are finally approved, it is likely to result in long delays and high priority fees, resulting in a substandard user experience.

According to the Labrys page, there are currently seven major MEV-oost relays, including Flashbots, BloXroute Max Profit, BloXroute Ethical, BloXroute Regulated, BlockNative, Manifold, and Eden. “Of the 7 major relays available, only 3 censor OFAC’s compliance requirements. OFAC-compliant relays will not include transactions that interact with the Tornado Cash smart contract or other approved wallet, as designated by OFAC,” a the company said.

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