On September 27, Toni Wahrstätter, an Ethereum researcher, published studies that showed that maximum extractable value (MEV) operator Flashbots censors all Tornado Cash transactions. According to Wahrstätter, out of the 19,436 Ethereum blocks created on Ethereum following The Merge utilizing Flashbots’ relay software (for MEV Boost) had a transaction related to Tornado Cash.
It would seem that Flashbots have begun filtering transactions automatically on their platform in order to ensure that they are following the various regulatory standards. This is consistent with the statements that Flashbots Strategy Lead Hasu made back in August, when he said that the company intended to screen out sanctioned transactions.
Toni Wahrstätter tweet:
While Flashbots are responsible for 23% of all Ethereum blocks by themselves, it is probable that the real proportion of compliant Ethereum blocks is substantially higher. According to The Block researcher Steven Zheng, “This data presently only displays validators who employ MEV-Boost, but those that don’t may also be OFAC compliant via their own internal procedures.”
Based on the data, Flashbots seem to be the sole MEV relay that is contributing to transaction censoring. According to Wahrstatter, MEV relay providers like Blocknative, Eden Network, Bloxroute, and Manifold are still issuing blocks that include Tornado Cash transactions inside of them. This is in contrast to the assertions made by BloXroute Regulated, Eden Network, and Blocknative that they are complying with the fines.
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