artin Köppelmann, a co-founder of Gnosis, raised new worries about Ethereum centralization on Friday by pointing out statistics from mevwatch.info that showed 51% of Ethereum blocks were in compliance with OFAC, the US Treasury Department's office that enforces sanctions.
Although Köppelmann claims that these validators could effectively filter the chain if they choose not to attest to blocks containing non-OFAC-compliant transactions, it is yet unknown whether this will actually happen. As Danny Ryan pointed out, the information is for censoring blocks rather than validators, which obviously has technical fixes.
A different situation arises, though, if these validators decide to censor the chain and select MEV relays that are compatible with OFAC as a result. In that instance, the question ultimately revolves around what constitutes a slashable offense on the blockchain, as Jon Charbonneau of the New York Times noted.
According to a video released by well-known cryptocurrency investor Eric Wall, who shares Köppelmann's worry, this policy is one that the community needs to come together to set, as was mentioned by a speaker at Devcon 6: Bogota, an annual Ethereum conference. Wall specifically wonders if the Flashbot system is the issue.
It is important to note that Flashbots offer access to MEV boost relays to enable fair competition with institutional platforms, in an effort to encourage users to run independent validators and stake with independent validators. enabling users to outsource the manufacture of blocks by giving them access to a market of block builders. Notably, MEV enhance gives consumers a selection of MEV Relays, some of which comply with OFAC.
When CryptoMckenna foresaw the current issue, Bert Miller, the developer of Flashbot, noted that validators are not forced to choose OFAC-compliant relays and have the option of choosing from a number of non-compliant relays. It thus raises the likelihood that these validators are picking these censorship relays and deciding to censor the Ethereum chain.
Notably, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson in response to the rising concerns shared a GIF showing a mocking acknowledgment.
It is noticeable that the Input Output Global (IOG) CEO has not shied away from bringing up apparent flaws in the Ethereum proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus application since the Ethereum Merge. Hoskinson most recently compared Ethereum to the Hotel California of cryptocurrencies because it is unclear when Ethereum stakeholders would be able to receive their staked cryptocurrency.