Concerns Of Censorship On Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Blockchain

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Ethereum will make the transition to Proof-of-Stake in September, but at the moment there is a lot of uncertainty within the community.

In theory, Proof-of-Stake allows centralized parties to gain a majority in the network, a situation that may make the network vulnerable to the influence of governments. The Flashbots team is now rushing to find a solution.

Flashbots’ solution

Flashbots is a team of developers behind the MEV-Boost, a crucial piece of software for the next phase of Ethereum.

They have now decided to make some of their code open-source in hopes of reducing the chance of government censorship.

Flashbots’ decision comes after the Tornado Cash tragedy, which was banned by the U.S. government, with all the consequences. Several centralized parties, in response, decided to blacklist wallets that used Tornado Cash.

In principle, Tornado Cash is not a huge Ethereum application, but concerns for the future of the platform are high.

If governments decide to intervene in the future, Proof-of-Stake lends itself very well to doing so. It seems that centralized parties will have a large majority in the network.

This gives them all the power and makes it relatively easy for governments to block certain transactions or neutralize applications.

What is MEV-Boost?

MEV-Boost is an optional piece of software that, for the Proof-of-Stake version of Ethereum, distinguishes “block builders” from people who communicate blocks through the network. The software is intended to make selecting transactions easier.

People who build blocks can use the software to strategically pick out transactions that earn them the most. Last week, there arose controversy regarding Flashbots, after they confirmed they would censor certain transactions.

By this they mean transactions from Tornado Cash and other OFAC-sanctioned addresses. In response to the tremendous resistance from the Ethereum community, the team has announced that they will make this piece of code public sooner.

This makes it easier to convert the software for the transition to Proof-of-Stake, so that not only Flashbots’ version is available.

Developers can thus modify Flashbots’ software and release a version that is more secure for Ethereum.

Hope placed on other providers

How Ethereum developers are handling the situation was during the last meeting of the major developers the big elephant in the room.

On August 20, it also came out that several miners on the Proof-of-Work blockchain have started to censor transactions.

A sign that Proof-of-Work is also basically not safe from this kind of censorship, which will probably make the Bitcoin community think as well.

In one of the last calls before the Merge, the developers pinned their hopes on other developers to release a software similar to Flashbots, but more secure.

Micah Zoltu, founder of Serv.eth Support, expects most “relay providers” to release software that does not allow for censorship.

Furthermore, he expresses the idea that validators would prefer this version of the software. The Merge was already an exciting operation, but these developments make everything even more exciting.

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