Solana Foundation Expels Validators for Sandwich Attacks

Foundation Takes Firm Stance Against Malicious Activities

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  • The Solana Foundation removed several validator operators from its delegation program.
  • These validators were involved in sandwich attacks on Solana users.
  • Decisions regarding their removal are final, with ongoing enforcement actions.
  • Sandwich attacks manipulate transaction prices to profit at the expense of users.
  • Removed validators can still operate but won’t receive SOL tokens from the foundation.

The Solana Foundation has expelled a group of validator operators from its delegation program due to their involvement in sandwich attacks on users of the blockchain network.

Tim Garcia, the Solana Validator Relations Lead, announced this decision on the foundation’s Discord server, emphasizing that enforcement actions will continue against any operator participating in such malicious activities.

What Are Sandwich Attacks?

A sandwich attack is a type of front-running exploit where an attacker places two transactions around a victim’s transaction to manipulate prices and profit from the difference. These activities are against rules set by the Solana Foundation as outlined by Garcia in a May 7 Discord post.

Mert Mumtaz, co-founder of Helius, explained that this move ensures that no foundation-delegated SOL tokens go to validators who carry out these harmful practices against retail users.

Impact on Validators

The Delegation Program was designed to help validators operate without needing a large amount of SOL tokens themselves by delegating tokens based on performance metrics. However, participation comes with expectations for good practices and ethical behavior.

While these removed operators can still contribute to the blockchain due to its permissionless nature, they will no longer receive any stake or support from the foundation’s delegation program.

On Solana’s network, issues like Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) arise when validators manipulate transaction ordering for profit through methods like front-running and sandwich attacks. Such actions lead to higher costs and slippage for regular users trying to transact on the platform.

By taking these steps, the Solana Foundation aims to protect its user base and maintain trust within its ecosystem while ensuring fair play among all participants in its network.


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