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Ethereum neutrality : worse that I had thought

In a previous article, Is Ethereum still neutral? I was asking about the fact that Ethereum might not be neutral any more ... well, less than two months later, the question of Ethereum's neutrality is not a question any more. Following the Merge, Ethereum has completely deviated from neutrality and is diverging from it by the day.

According to MEV Watch, 72% of mined blocks on Ethereum are now OFAC compliant.

OFAC is the Office of Foreign Assets Control. It's an office of the US Treasury that is closely looking at money laundering. Since OFAC put Tornado Cash (a mixer on the Ethereum blockchain) on the black list, many miners don't put Tornado Cash transactions into the blocks they mine.

That is now more than 70% of blocks that censor a specific application.

I have no big opinion on Tornado Cash, except that it's used to keep some kind of privacy. I think privacy is a fundamental human right and the censoring of Tornado Cash is just a big poster at the entrance of Ethereum saying: "you have no right to privacy here."

But the matter here is also that some small office in the USA where just a few hundrend people work, can drastically impact the work of any application on Ethereum.

The matter here is that the majority of miners on Ethereum just don't care about Ethereum neutrality, and that today they have the tools and will to sensor the apps they want on Ethereum. And the trend is just rapidly growing:

Tomorrow, they'll just as easily sensor apps for a profit. It's quite obvious to me that tomorrow, apps will bribe miners to censor their competitors. Big players will bribe miners to censor newcomers. You can imagine that Uniswap or Aave, or any DeFi app, could bribe miners to censor all other DeFi apps. The tools are already here. They are already doing it for some legal reason. Tomorrow they'll do it for profit.

Ethereum's advocates claim that not a single transaction was censored on Ethereum. This is true, but OFAC compliant minors censored transactions are just between 3 to 4 times slower now.

How about censoring all apps or wallets that could be associated with a specific country?

Is that the borderless, permissionless blockchain that Ethereum was advertised to be?


If you agree or disagree, please don't hesitate to comment. If you liked that article, please consider dropping me a like.

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