Vitalik Buterin’s New Ethereum Road Map Takes Aim at MEV and Censorship – Yahoo Finance





Ethereum was founded on a vague, albeit tightly held set of principles around financial freedom and credible neutrality. Recently, those principles have been tested.
As regulators and big-money players bid for a larger role in Ethereum’s “decentralized” ecosystem, the blockchain’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, shared an updated vision for the network on Saturday – augmenting a road map he shared last month to include a new development track focused on ameliorating the censorship of transactions and an exploitative bot-driven trading practice known as maximal extractable value (MEV).
Censorship and MEV have become more existential for Ethereum in recent months, with governments and sophisticated users challenging key safeguards meant to ensure the network’s neutrality – the idea that anyone using or building on the network is treated without bias.
This article originally appeared in Valid Points, CoinDesk’s weekly newsletter breaking down Ethereum’s evolution and its impact on crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every Wednesday.
When the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctioned addresses associated with the Ethereum-based Tornado Cash – effectively calling on the network’s operators to stop processing (i.e., start censoring) transactions linked with the program – it directly challenged the idea that blockchains like Ethereum, which are supposedly operated in a decentralized manner, cannot be tamed by central authorities.
As for the scourge of MEV, the practice covers a mishmash of behavior but boils down to strategically ignoring, re-ordering or poaching transactions added to a blockchain – screwing over the person who originally placed a trade.
By formalizing an approach to these problems in a standalone section of Ethereum’s road map, Buterin is seemingly reminding the crypto community that MEV problems and censorship risks should be addressable – at least in part – by routine updates to the blockchain’s code.
Read more: What Is MEV, aka Maximal Extractable Value? – Ethereum
Buterin’s road map is divided into six development “tracks” that are all progressing in parallel, each track containing a hodgepodge of proposed upgrades for the blockchain’s core code.
Ethereum’s first track, “The Merge,” reached a key milestone in September when the network shifted to a proof-of-stake system, abandoning the significantly more energy-intensive proof-of-work system trailblazed by Bitcoin.
Slotted between the speed-focused second track, “The Surge,” and the efficiency-focused fourth track, “The Verge” (which also saw significant revisions with the new road map) is a new track: “The Scourge.”
The goal of the Scourge, according to Buterin’s new road map, is to “ensure reliable and credibly neutral transaction inclusion and avoid centralization and other protocol risks from MEV.”
Since the U.S. Treasury Department sanctions against Tornado Cash were announced over the summer, more than 51% of the validators that write and approve transactions on the network have begun ignoring those associated with the program, which is used to obscure where crypto is being sent to and from.
For many crypto developers and enthusiasts, that’s censorship, and so anathema to their goals.
Tornado transactions can still make it onto Ethereum, but they do so at a delayed rate relative to typical transactions. If enough validators refuse to process Tornado Cash transactions for fear of upsetting regulators, those transactions could, in theory, be censored from the chain entirely.
Also at risk of jeopardizing Ethereum’s neutrality is MEV – extra profit that validators operating the network can earn by re-ordering the transactions that they add to the network. The opportunity to extract MEV exists as a quirk of how blockchains like Ethereum operate, whereby the validators that run the network can effectively preview pending transactions from other users before they are finalized.
Though MEV may add some baked-in incentives to Ethereum that help the network operate more efficiently, it can also harm users. For an example of how, look up “sandwich attacks,” whereby a validator profits off of advanced knowledge of a trade, ripping off other traders in doing so.
Though censorship and MEV pose major challenges to Ethereum, Buterin and other core contributors to the network say that their harms can be programmed away.
Included in the Scourge, one method for addressing censorship and MEV concerns is protocol-level proposer-builder separation (PBS).
Today, Ethereum’s validators are responsible for compiling transactions into blocks (building), as well as pitching those blocks out to other validators so they can be accepted onto Ethereum’s ledger (proposing).
PBS separates building and proposing into two distinct roles. As a result, validators should have less of an ability to directly censor or reorder transactions – both limiting the amount of exploitative MEV they can extract, and potentially reducing the ability (or necessity) for validators to censor transactions to comply with regulators.
Though PBS is not baked into Ethereum’s code, it is already the network’s status quo. Most validators today use “MEV-Boost,” software that pre-builds MEV-optimized blocks for validators so they can easily earn more for their work.
Flashbots, the research and development firm behind the software, apparently aims to make MEV extraction more equitable. It has been scrutinized, however, for contributing to Ethereum’s problem with centralization and censorship: anyone is allowed to build and deliver blocks through MEV-boost, but most validators opt to receive blocks pre-built by Flashbots itself, which censors out Tornado Cash transactions.
Buterin, to prevent block builders from censoring in the future, includes a proposal for “inclusion lists” in the Scourge track on his road map. Once PBS is built into Ethereum, this proposal would give proposers the ability to effectively demand that builders include certain types of transactions in their blocks.
Ethereum’s open-source developer community is famously slow to implement big updates, and the release of a new road map should be viewed as much as a PR play from Buterin as a practical set of next steps.
Although Buterin’s updated road map includes myriad new additions outside of the new “Scourge” track, the introduction of an entirely new section focused on MEV and censorship shows how top-of-mind centralization has become for Ethereum in recent months. It shows that Buterin (and co.) are thinking deeply about some of the ecosystem’s most pressing headwinds – even as questions remain around whether regulations and community consensus may make them difficult to code away.
Related Quotes
Danushka Gunathilaka was in Australia for the T20 World Cup when he was arrested on four counts of rape.
Shoppers who buy a mid-length Kensington trench from Burberry in the UK will pay 1,790 GBP or $2,052. The same coat in the US, however, is selling for $2,490. And in China, getting that signature gabardine look will cost you 20,500 yuan or $2,827—around 32% more than buying it where the luxury label was founded.
Bitcoin recovered slightly in Wednesday afternoon trading in Asia after hitting a year-low of US$17,604 this morning amid news of Binance’s takeover of the FTX exchange following speculation of solvency issues at FTX, although several coins extended their declines.
Rumors of Alameda liquidating its Solana holdings are sending SOL’s price into free-fall; both Solana and Ethereum-based NFT markets are getting hit hard by the news.
The announcement comes following the company’s $27 million token sale
Crypto companies say the city’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority has promised a regulatory framework before year end.
The U.S.-based bank now expects the U.S. dollar at 155 yen in three months (previously 150), 155 in six months (135) and 140 in 12 months (125). The yen is particularly sensitive to moves in U.S. rates as Japanese authorities have stuck firmly to their ultra-dovish monetary policy stance, causing the gap between U.S. and Japanese benchmark yields to widen. The dollar, on Wednesday, was last at 145.7 yen having hit 151.9 in October, its highest since 1990.
The super rich celebs were sued in January for allegedly pumping and dumping an obscure Ethereum-based token.
Senior markets reporter Ines Ferre checks out how stocks are holding onto session gains ahead of the closing bell, as well as the losses crypto stocks and cryptocurrency prices are seeing.
The Falcons will be down a couple of defensive backs for Thursday night’s game against the Panthers. Cornerback A.J. Terrell and safety Erik Harris have both been ruled out on the team’s final injury report of the week. Tight end Feleipe Franks is also out this week after hurting his calf last Sunday. Terrell has [more]
It's been a chaotic week in the world of crypto. Here's how major cryptocurrencies are performing.
Following a months-long review, Amazon has told employees in some unprofitable units to look for jobs elsewhere in the company, while moving to redeploy staff from certain teams to more profitable areas and closing teams in areas such as robotics and retail, the WSJ reported. Amazon is closely evaluating its Alexa business and is currently considering whether it should focus on trying to add new capabilities to the voice assistant, which is available on a variety of Amazon devices, the report added.
Musk, who completed his $44 billion deal for the popular social media platform just two weeks ago, has laid off half its workforce and several top executives and announced a series of actions including charging $8 for the Twitter Blue subscription. Musk also told employees that he wants to see subscriptions account for half of Twitter's revenue, the report said, citing the email. When Twitter reopened offices in March, it had said employees could still work from home if they wanted.
(Bloomberg) — New Twitter Inc. owner Elon Musk emailed his workers for the first time late Wednesday to prepare them for “difficult times ahead” and ban remote work unless he personally approved it.Most Read from BloombergMusk’s First Email to Twitter Staff Ends Remote WorkSam Bankman-Fried’s $16 Billion Fortune Is Eviscerated in DaysUS Inflation Slows More Than Forecast, Gives Fed Downshift RoomFTX Warns of Bankruptcy Without Rescue for $8 Billion ShortfallMeta to Cut 11,000 Jobs; Zuckerberg S
Are the best days of cloud computing growth over for Amazon, Microsoft and Google amid rough third-quarter results?
Hackers post ‘naughty list’ of Australians treated for drug addiction or alcohol abuse
After years of emphasizing smaller-format stores, Target is thinking bigger again with a design that approaches the SuperTargets of yesteryear.
A Twitter lawyer reportedly warned that the company could face billions of dollars in FTC fines if it violates the conditions of a settlement with the agency.
FTX exchange sent Alameda Research 173 million FTT tokens on Sept. 28, worth US$4.1 billion at the time.
Fueled by the acquisition of Cloudways, DigitalOcean sees a big opportunity to help small businesses manage their cloud infrastructures.

source



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.