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Bloxroute to Reject Blocks With OFAC Flagged Transactions

December 23, 2023 | by stockcoin.net

bloxroute-to-reject-blocks-with-ofac-flagged-transactions

Bloxroute, a company specializing in relaying services, has announced its decision to reject block bids containing transactions from wallets that are part of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN List). This move comes as Bloxroute aims to comply with OFAC regulations while still upholding Ethereum’s decentralized nature. The company, based in the United States, previously only applied OFAC rules to its regulated relay, with its max profit relay propagating all available transactions. Despite concerns about performance, Bloxroute’s two relays have demonstrated strong performance, participating in over 45% of the payloads in the last 24 hours. The increasing compliance in the crypto industry may have broader implications for network operability and lead to the adoption of privacy coins like Monero.

Bloxroute to Reject Blocks With OFAC Flagged Transactions

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Bloxroute to Comply With OFAC SDN List Designation

Bloxroute, a company that provides relaying services for Ethereum and other networks, has announced that it will begin rejecting block bids with transactions coming from wallets that are part of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN List). This designation from OFAC includes individuals and entities who are subject to financial sanctions and restrictions. Bloxroute, based in the U.S., has made it clear that while it is committed to supporting Ethereum’s decentralized nature, it must also maintain compliance with its legal jurisdiction.

Background

Bloxroute has been providing relaying services for Ethereum and other networks, allowing for more efficient propagation of information across the blockchain. This technology helps improve the scalability and performance of blockchain networks, allowing for faster processing of transactions and blocks. However, with the rise of regulatory requirements in the cryptocurrency space, Bloxroute has decided to implement measures to comply with OFAC regulations.

Bloxroute’s Relaying Services

Bloxroute’s relaying services involve the transmission of blocks and transactions across the network. This relaying process helps ensure that all nodes on the network have the latest and most accurate information, facilitating the consensus mechanism and maintaining the integrity of the blockchain. By relaying blocks and transactions quickly and efficiently, Bloxroute helps improve the overall performance and usability of blockchain networks.

OFAC SDN List and Transactions

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) maintains a list known as the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN List). This list includes individuals and entities that are subject to financial sanctions and restrictions due to their involvement in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy goals. When a transaction involves a wallet address that is flagged on the SDN List, it is subject to certain restrictions and may be subject to rejection or additional scrutiny.

Bloxroute’s Rejection of OFAC Flagged Transactions

With its recent announcement, Bloxroute has made it clear that it will start rejecting block bids that include transactions from wallets on the OFAC SDN List. This decision is in line with its commitment to maintaining compliance with U.S. regulations. By implementing this measure, Bloxroute aims to prevent the inclusion of transactions from sanctioned individuals and entities in the blocks it relays, thereby ensuring that the network remains free from any potential illicit activity.

Maintaining Compliance While Supporting Ethereum

While Bloxroute is implementing measures to comply with OFAC regulations, it remains committed to supporting Ethereum’s decentralized and permissionless nature. By rejecting block bids with transactions from OFAC-flagged wallets, Bloxroute aims to strike a balance between maintaining compliance with legal requirements and preserving the integrity and openness of the Ethereum network. This approach allows for the continued growth and adoption of Ethereum while also addressing regulatory concerns.

Performance of Bloxroute’s Relays

Bloxroute’s relays play a crucial role in the performance of blockchain networks by facilitating the efficient propagation of blocks and transactions. Despite the recent change to reject OFAC-flagged transactions, Bloxroute’s two different relays continue to perform well. In fact, they have been involved in over 45% of the payloads during the last 24 hours, indicating that the performance of Bloxroute’s relays remains strong and reliable.

Corporate Validators and OFAC Compliance

In addition to Bloxroute, several corporate validators based in the U.S. have also implemented OFAC-compliant relays. These validators play a significant role in the validation and consensus mechanisms of blockchain networks. According to MEV Watch, 42% of the blocks produced after Ethereum’s merge have been OFAC compliant. This adherence to OFAC regulations raises concerns about protocol-level censorship and its potential impact on network operability.

Network Operability and Compliance

Nikita Zhavoronkov, the lead developer at Blockchair, has raised concerns about the evolving compliance landscape in cryptocurrency. As more institutions enter the space, there is a higher likelihood of a majority of miners becoming compliant with OFAC regulations. This could lead to a scenario where sanctioned transactions are orphaned, effectively censored by the majority of miners. Such a situation could impact the operability of blockchain networks and raise questions about the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies.

Implications for Privacy Coins

Zhavoronkov suggests that in a future where a majority of miners become compliant and start orphaning blocks containing sanctioned transactions, privacy coins like Monero could become more prominent. This is due to their inherent fungibility characteristics and the impossibility of miners censoring transactions on these networks. The rise in compliance requirements could potentially drive users and developers towards privacy-focused cryptocurrencies that offer enhanced privacy and censorship resistance.

In conclusion, Bloxroute’s decision to comply with the OFAC SDN List designation is a reflection of the increasing regulatory scrutiny in the cryptocurrency space. By rejecting block bids with OFAC-flagged transactions, Bloxroute aims to maintain compliance with U.S. regulations while supporting the decentralized nature of Ethereum. However, the implications of protocol-level censorship and its impact on network operability raise important questions about the future of blockchain technology and the choices users and developers will make in response to evolving compliance requirements.

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