Ethermine refuses to process Tornado Cash transactions.
Ethereum’s Largest Mining Pool Shuns Transactions From Ethereum Addresses Associated With Tornado Cash.
In a tweet on Saturday, Wu Blockchain confirmed reports that Bitfly-owned Ethermine, Ethereum’s largest mining pool, has been shunning Tornado Cash-related transactions over the past week.
“Ethermine, the largest Ethereum pool, has refused to pack Tornado Cash-related transactions into blocks in the past week. Several pool technicians also confirmed the news and said it was the first time in history,” Wu Blockchain tweeted.
Ethermine, the largest Ethereum pool, has refused to pack Tornado Cash-related transactions into blocks in the past week. Several pool technicians also confirmed the news and said it was the first time in history. https://t.co/XLC3ZjddLR
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) August 20, 2022
It is worth noting that blockchain censorship has become a pressing concern for the crypto faithful in recent weeks, following the sanction on Tornado Cash by the US Treasury. Notably, it is the first time the regulator has placed a sanction on technology or code, not an entity.
Understandably, the move has sparked outrage from many in the crypto space who see it as an attack against privacy. However, the US Treasury maintains that the use of the Ethereum mixer to hide the trail of stolen crypto loot, especially by state-backed North Korean hackers, could not be ignored. Moreover, what concerned crypto enthusiasts more was the decision of stablecoin issuer Circle to block Tornado Cash transactions, effectively freezing about 75,000 USDC of user funds.
Meanwhile, according to recent statements from Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, miners can do what they want as only a 51% consensus of miners can be constituted as an attack and entirely block transactions. It is worth noting that in November, CryptoCompare estimated that Ethermine constituted 25% of the total Ethereum mining pool.
Individual miners can refuse to include whatever they want, but it has little effect; the transaction just gets into the next block.
Need a 51% attack (so, reverting blocks and not just excluding txs) to fully prevent txs from being included.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) August 19, 2022
While Ethereum remains fairly censorship-resistant, there are concerns that this would change post-Merge. On Sunday, elyonverse X highlighted that 66% of Ethereum validators are susceptible to US regulations. Notably, several members of the Ethereum community, including Buterin, have made it clear that staked Ethereum of validators that would enable censorship will be burnt.
The Ethereum community expects the Ethereum Merge to go live on the mainnet on September 15.