Vitalik Unveils He Is in Favor of Punishing Censhorship Tolerant Ethereum Validators

Vitalik Unveils He Is in Favor of Punishing Censhorship Tolerant Ethereum Validators

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Vitalik Unveils He Is in Favor of Punishing Censhorship Tolerant Ethereum Validators

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Key takeaways:

In a recent Twitter poll, over 60% of respondents, including Ethereum co-founder and lead developer Vitalik Buterin, said they would be in favor of punishing validators who adhere to censorship requests
The vote comes in response to the OFAC sanctioning cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash earlier in the month
According to recent data, 66% of Beacon Chain validators would likely succumb to OFAC’s requests

Ethereum co-founder votes in favor of burning ETH stake of sanction complying Ethereum validators

In light of the recent events surrounding blockchain transaction anonymizing service Tornado Cash and the subsequent debate about censorship in crypto, software developer Eric Wall posited a poignant question to the community in a Twitter poll on Monday.

Out of roughly 8,500 votes cast, 61.5% voted in favor of burning ETH stake of censorship-abiding validators, while 9.3% of users revealed they would tolerate the censorship. A little over 29% of users opted to see the results of the poll without casting a vote. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin revealed he stands firmly in support of zero censorship tolerance.


— Eric Wall X ? (@ercwl) August 15, 2022

Wall said he was surprised by the Ethereum community’s somewhat lackluster response to the censorship being enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC is a department of the US Treasury that enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy. The governmental body tasked with financial oversight recently imposed sanctions against popular digital currency mixer Tornado Cash. Shortly thereafter, a Tornado Cash developer was arrested by Dutch authorities in Amsterdam.

The poll and subsequent censorship debate were directly inspired by a Twitter user “eylonverse X”, who highlighted that about two-thirds of the Beacon Chain validators, including Lido Finance, Coinbase, Kraken, Staked, and Bitcoin Suisse “will adhere to OFAC regulations.” 

Share of Beacon Chain depositors over time. Image source: eylonverse X, Dune Analytics

In response to the OFAC putting Tornado Cash in its crosshairs, a leading non-profit crypto research and advocacy group Coin Center highlighted in a recent blog post that the OFAC has exceeded “its statutory authority”. The organization also noted that Tornado Cash is an unsanctionable entity due to it being an autonomous code and not a business or a collection of people. 

Coin Center is reportedly considering confronting OFAC to help “innocent Americans who have funds trapped at listed Tornado Cash addresses.” The non-profit also said they could resort to a “court challenge” if other interactions with OFAC prove ineffective.


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