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Solana Foundation Cuts Off Support for Validators Involved in Sandwich Attacks

Starting today, June 10, 2024, the Solana Foundation has removed an undisclosed number of validators from its pool for participating in sandwich attacks against other on-chain SOL accounts.

According to Mert Mumtaz, co-founder of Helius, these violators will no longer receive subsidies from the Solana Foundation.

Mumtaz explained on X that the detection of malicious validators was made possible through specific modifications.

Solana’s architecture does not allow MEV (maximum extracted value) practices natively since its clients do not access mempools.

Removing these validators from the Solana Foundation’s support pool does not mean their termination or additional penalties.

Instead, the foundation is merely withdrawing financial backing to prevent retail users from being exploited.

Mumtaz emphasized that the Solana Foundation only accounts for 16% of the validator pool in its consensus mechanism.

Despite these measures, Mumtaz pointed out that the impact of this action is limited.

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Validators can still operate independently, leading to potential MEV attacks. MEV, which stands for “maximum extracted value” or “miners extracted value,” involves taking advantage of on-chain traders by sniping mempools.

Mumtaz admitted that Solana still faces many other forms of MEV, indicating that while the foundation’s decision is a step forward, it does not entirely eliminate the risk.

MEV snipers are known to spend substantial amounts on gas, as previously reported by U.Today.

In the last 24 hours, Solana’s core cryptocurrency, SOL, experienced a 0.8% decline, currently trading at $158.65 on spot crypto exchanges.

This move by the Solana Foundation underscores its commitment to protecting retail users and maintaining the integrity of the network.

However, it also highlights the challenges of completely eradicating MEV practices in a permissionless network where validators have considerable freedom.

In summary, while the Solana Foundation has taken significant steps to penalize malicious validators, the broader issue of MEV attacks remains a complex challenge within the Solana ecosystem.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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