Validators on Ethereum are reversing censorship

It seems like Ethereum’s changing its stance over censorship as its number of censored blocks are continuously dwindling.

After the decentralised crypto-mixing service Tornado Cash was banned by the Treasury Department, Ethereum turned its head towards producing more  OFAC-compliant blocks. 

The data observed on MEV Watch reflects that over the week, nearly ⅓ of the total blocks on the Ethereum blockchain were OFAC compliant. In other words, the transactions contained in such blocks are approved by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

On the other hand, ⅔ blocks on the Ethereum blockchain in the last 24 hours were non-OFAC complaints. While the remaining blocks were non-MEV-Boost. 

Only one month prior to now, approximately half of the blocks that were added to the Ethereum blockchain were being censored by validators. The level of censorship on Ethereum has not been this low since September 24th, 2022.

After the Merge in September, Ethereum validators have been using MEV-Boost middleware in about 85% of the blockchain’s blocks. This software was developed by Flashbots to help validators earn maximum extractable value (MEV), which are profits gained from reordering or including specific transactions in a block. 

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MEV-Boost ensures fair distribution of MEV among validators and was created by the Ethereum R&D team.

MEV-Boost is widely used by the Ethereum ecosystem with 85% of validators relaying blocks through it, but it has not been integrated into Ethereum at the protocol level. 

There was a debate over whether validators should include transactions sanctioned by OFAC and the Ethereum community has been pushing for a censorship reversal. 

Flashbots had initially programmed MEV-Boost to censor transactions, but they open-sourced the code in response to community backlash and introduced new non-censoring relays.

After a long debate, New non-censoring relays, including Agnostic and Ultra Sound, have been introduced with a version of MEV-Boost. 

The relays have gained popularity, with Flashbots delivering 26% of blocks over the past 14 days and Agnostic and Ultra Sound each delivering around 20%.

Compiled by Coinbold