The Solana Foundation kicked out over 30 validators due to sandwich attacks.

The Solana Foundation has expelled over 30 validators from its delegation program for their involvement in sandwich attacks. These operators, many of whom are Russian, collectively control about 1.5 million SOL, which is around 0.5% of the planned stake.

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A sandwich attack involves placing two transactions around a victim’s transaction to manipulate the price and profit from the difference. While the validators are still part of the Solana network, they will no longer receive the payout boosters they previously earned for validating transactions.

Solana moves to stop sandwich attacks

Sandwich attacks are a type of maximal extractable value (MEV) strategy, notorious on blockchains that use mempools. Mempools act as waiting areas for unconfirmed transactions. While Solana doesn’t have a native mempool, the popular validator software by Jito Labs did at one time.

During Solana’s meme coin craze in March, Jito Labs disabled the mempool function to protect traders from constant and costly sandwich attacks. Jito’s CEO stated that this decision was in the best interest of the Solana ecosystem, even though it meant a potential loss of revenue for validators who keep the decentralized network running.

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However, this measure didn’t eliminate the problem. Instead, it drove it underground. Rumors surfaced about private mempools, with operators reportedly earning hundreds of thousands of dollars from enabling sandwich attacks. One proposal from infrastructure operator DeezNode offered validators who joined its private mempool 50% of the profits from MEV.

Last week, a Jito Foundation governance post revealed that 10% of the JitoSOL pool is delegated to validators using private mempools. The Jito Foundation proposed additional economic penalties for these validators by restricting more staked SOL. The Solana Foundation’s own blacklist targets 32 operators holding 1.5 million SOL, which is about 0.5% of the program’s stake.

Andrew Tate threatens Solana 

In another twist, controversial internet personality Andrew Tate has captured attention by announcing plans to crash the Solana network. Tate, who previously dismissed cryptocurrency as a scam, now aims to buy a large amount of SOL tokens to overwhelm the network’s transaction capacity.

This move is seen by the community as part of a broader strategy to maintain his ‘clout’ amid ongoing legal battles. Experts warn that if Tate follows through, Solana, which handles about 1,900 transactions per second, could face unprecedented strain. Such an attack might significantly impact the network and potentially cause a decline in SOL’s value.


Cryptopolitan reporting by Jai Hamid