ETH staking on major exchanges increases censorship on Ethereum

For most crypto ecosystems, complying with federal sanctions negatively impacts their global reach. When it comes to Ethereum, investors have serious power in determining the level at which the ecosystem will comply with the rules.

Created after Merge Almost 60 percent of Ethereum blockscomplies with sanctions imposed by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). While the crypto community is against this transformation, many are unaware of Ethereum’s own contribution to maintaining OFAC compliance.

One of the major factors undermining Ethereum’s credible neutrality may be that crypto ecosystems and exchanges use censored Miner extractable value (MEV) relays. MEV relays, which are used as intermediaries between block producers and builders, are used by big names in the industry such as Binance, Celsius Network, Coinbase, Kraken and Cream Finance.

ETH staking on major exchanges increases censorship on Ethereum
The most censored ones on the Ethereum network. Source: MEV Watch

Users who stake Ether (ETH) on platforms (seen above) using MEV relays that enforce censorship on their validators are directly contributing to censorship on Ethereum. Crypto platforms can improve the situation by using non-censorship MEV relays.

Taking a look at validators and relay operators, popular non-censorship MEV relays include Ultra Sound Money, Agnostic Boost, Aestus, BloXroute Max Profit, BloxRoute Ethical, Manifold, and Relayooor.

ETH staking on major exchanges increases censorship on Ethereum
OFAC compliance data of the last 100 Ethereum blocks. Source: MEV Watch

As of the time of translation, 67 of the last 100 Ethereum blocks created were OFAC compliant.

As investors, it is important to understand that protocol-level censorship will prevent crypto from achieving its goal of open and inclusive finance. Therefore, both investors and service providers should turn to non-censorship MEV relays.

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