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Solana Foundation expels validators after sandwich attack scandal



The Solana Foundation has expelled several validators following a scandal involving a sandwich attack, aiming to maintain network integrity.

The Solana Foundation has reportedly expelled more than 30 validator operators from its delegation program following their involvement in sandwich attacks. 

These operators, many of whom are believed to be based in Russia, collectively control 1.5 million SOL, representing approximately 0.5% of the planned stake. 

Solana is a proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol that utilizes validators to secure and maintain the integrity of its blockchain network. Validators play a crucial role in the Solana ecosystem by verifying transactions, proposing new blocks, and participating in the consensus process. 

These Validators are responsible for verifying transactions before adding them to the blockchain, proposing new blocks to be added to the blockchain, voting on the validity of new blocks, and ensuring the network reaches a consensus on its state.

Each Validator is required to stake a certain amount of SOL to participate in the consensus process. This stake acts as a security deposit, incentivizing validators to act honestly and follow the network’s rules. Validators earn rewards, via the Solana Delegation Program, in the form of newly minted SOL tokens for their services.

Tim Garcia, Solana Validator Relations Lead, announced on the Foundation’s Discord server that decisions regarding this issue are final and that ongoing enforcement actions are in place to detect and address validators participating in such activities. 

In other news, a Solana-based Cypher Protocol developer, Hoak, confessed to misappropriating and gambling $300,000 in user funds

Mert Mumtaz, co-founder of Solana RPC provider Helius, further explained that the foundation will ensure it does not delegate resources to validators engaging in sandwich attacks, thereby protecting retail users and maintaining network integrity.

On a broader scale, sandwich attacks are a subset of MEV (Miner Extractable Value) attacks and account for billions of dollars in extracted value. They represent the majority of MEV extraction, with attackers generating millions of dollars in profit each week.

Sandwich attacks are a type of front-running exploit where an attacker places two transactions around a victim’s transaction, manipulating the price to profit from the difference. These activities compromise the fairness and security of decentralized networks, prompting the Solana Foundation to remove the perpetrators.

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