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Source: Сointеlеgrаph

Approximately 45% of all Ethereum blocks currently being validated use flash bots with MEV-boost relay and are compliant with US sanctions, according to Lachan Feeney, CEO of blockchain development agency Labrys.

Speaking to in an interview on September 30, Feeney noted that while reports say 25% of all blocks have been verified since the merger complies with US sanctions, this is a lagging figure and the current number is likely to be closer to one. from every two blocks.

Feeney indicated that MEV-Boost relays are regulated entities, often based in the US, and “censor certain transactions in the blocks they create, especially Tornado Cash transactions.”

The CEO also indicated that there is a financial incentive for validators to use the MEV-Boost relay, which will lead to an increase in their use, noting:

“The problem is, from the perspective of the validators, these guys are paying them to do this. So if you want to make more money, you just turn on this feature and, as a validator, you kind of increase your income.”

MEV-Boost relays are centralized facilities designed to extract maximum recoverable value (MEV) efficiently. Since Flashbots are the most popular, MEV-Boost relays effectively allow validators to outsource block production and sell block creation rights to the highest bidder.

On September 28, Labrys released the MEV Watch tool, which can inform validators which MEV-Boost relays are compliant with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions. Referring to the instrument’s motivation, Feeney said:

“We’re just trying to raise awareness for those who don’t know that by running this software, they are potentially contributing to network censorship.”

Feeney noted the worst situation, often referred to as hard censorship, where “nodes will be forced by law to drop any blocks with any of these transactions in them.”

“That would mean that no matter how long you waited, no matter how much you paid, you would never get to the point where those authorized transactions were put on the blockchain,” he explained.

He also pointed out that even in the case of soft censorship, when authorized transactions are eventually verified, it can take several hours and require high priority fees, resulting in an unsatisfactory user experience.

Related: MEV Bot Makes $1M, But Loses Everything After An Hour To Hacker

These findings are backed up by Ethereum researcher Tony Warstetter, who published a study on September 28 suggesting that of the 19,436 blocks verified by Flashbots Mev-Boost Relay, none included a Tornado monetary transaction.

How many blocks from different MEV Boost Relays contain Tornado Cash transactions. Source: Tony Warstetter.

Fears of censorship were prevalent prior to The Merge. Speaking to , lead researcher at crypto-compliance and forensic firm Merkle Science, Coby Moran, suggested that the prohibitive cost of becoming a validator could lead to validator nodes merging with larger crypto firms that are far more susceptible to government sanctions.

Source: Сointеlеgrаph

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