Discover more from The MexicaNFTimes
What’s Going On With Ethereum’s MEV-Boost?
Flashbots' block relayers continue to dominate the Ethereum validator ecosystem. And with them, censorship continues to grow.
Soon after the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) blacklisted the Tornado Cash mixer program in August, Ethereum research and development firm Flashbots announced that it would, in accordance with U.S. Treasury Department sanctions, begin censoring transactions by means of a key piece of infrastructure used by many of the validators that run Ethereum’s proof-of-stake blockchain.
For many developers, writing code is a form of free speech and, as such, it should be protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. So when the U.S. government sanctioned the smart contracts affiliated with Tornado Cash, the action was seen by many members of the crypto community as an attack on free speech. Flashbots, by adhering to the sanctions, also fell prey to the community’s first amendment scorn. In response to the backlash, Flashbots raced to make open source its MEV-Boost code before the Merge so that others could develop their own, non-censoring versions of MEV-Boost relays.
Thanks for reading The MexicaNFTimes!
Maximal extractable value (MEV) refers to the income that block builders and validators receive as a result of inserting or reordering transactions within a block. Researchers of MEV have tried to solve issues that have caused it to become an unexpected vector for user exploitation, centralization and (now) censorship.
Flashbots is a research and development team that has been working on ways to reduce the negative effects of MEV through MEV-boost, a middleware component that allows validators to request blocks from a network of builders. They designed it to enable validators to skirt MEV centralization while providing a good option for solving some proposer-builder separation problems.
But, in turn, the problem of block censorship appears to be on the rise.1