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Buterin advocates for censorship tolerance in special cases

Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has said solo validators should be tolerated if they censor blocks in special cases in an Oct. 17 tweets.

I would say “be tolerated”. Slashing or leaking or socially coordinated anything should only be considered for massive reorging of other people’s blocks, not making wrong choices about what to put in your own.

Any other answer risks turning ETH community into morality police

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) October 17, 2022

Buterin made this statement in response to a hypothetical scenario where a solo validator in a warring country refuses to process a block because it includes transactions that donated funds to the military of the rival country.

According to Buterin, censorship should be tolerated depending on the level of transgression. He added that any other opinion could make the ETH community morality police.

No validators doing active curation is not the goal at all. It’s more a question of what level of response is appropriate to what level of transgression.

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) October 17, 2022

Buterin continued, “slashing or leaking or socially coordinated anything should only be considered for massive reorging of other people’s blocks, not making wrong choices about what to put in your own.”

However, not everyone agrees with this view. Bert argued that the validator should be slashed or disincentivized because if a system tolerates network-level censorship for a good reason, it can tolerate it for any reason.

Slashed or otherwise disincentivized. If the system tolerates network level censorship for a “really good” reason, it tolerates censorship for any reason.

— Bert (@BertKellerman) October 16, 2022

The founder of Gnosis, Martin Köppelmann, agreed that censorship should be tolerated in this case. But he is concerned about the MEV boost censorship, which has now made 52% of all blocks.

For the record, in this specific poll, I would also vote for “tolerate”. But IMO the quick roll-out of MEV boost in hindsight was a mistake and should have been done more diligently to prevent a situation where the content curation of 1 entity currently affects 52% of all blocks.

— Martin Koeppelmann 🇺🇦 (@koeppelmann) October 17, 2022

In his view, the MEV boost quick rollout was a mistake and should have been done more diligently. Since the Merge, MEV boost relays have had more representation on Ethereum as validators outsource block production. Since they are centralized entities, they have to comply with the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance recommendations.

Meanwhile, the crypto community is divided in its response to the Twitter poll by latetot.eth. 47.4% of the 1,010 votes agreed that the solo validator should be tolerated, while 41.4% said they should be slashed for censoring. 11.2% of the votes believe the solo validator should voluntarily exit.

As of press time, 53% of ETH blocks produced were OFAC-compliant in the last 24 hours. 50% of the blocks were OFAC-compliant on the seven days metrics, according to data from mevwatch.

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