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Crypto: Solana takes drastic measures

Tue 11 Jun 2024 ▪ 5 min of reading ▪ by Mikaia A.
Getting informed Blockchain

The Solana Foundation did not mess around. It took radical measures against crypto validator operators involved in so-called “sandwich” attacks against traders. These deceptive practices, booming on decentralized networks, have led to the outright expulsion of the culprits. This initiative, in line with the Foundation’s strict rules, aims to preserve the integrity of the Solana crypto ecosystem and protect individual investors from any exploitation.

Balaie, pelle et sandwich avec un logo de Solana

A malicious crypto practice unveiled

“Sandwich” attacks exploit the sequencing of transactions on networks like Ethereum and Solana. The principle is simple but devilish: a malicious actor places an order just before a pending transaction and another immediately after.

This maneuver allows the manipulation of a crypto asset’s price to profit from the difference, guaranteeing retail investors the worst possible price. The benefits fall into the attacker’s pocket.

These crypto validators, identified for their participation in mempools facilitating these attacks, were immediately excluded from the Solana Foundation’s delegation program.

Tim Garcia, Solana’s validator relations head, announced this decision on Discord, reaffirming the Foundation’s zero-tolerance policy against any malicious activity.

Decisions in this regard are final. Enforcement actions continue as we detect operators participating in mempools that enable sandwich attacks,” he stated.

Validators caught red-handed in these practices see their participation in the program suspended indefinitely, a decision without appeal.

Outlaw crypto validators

The Solana Foundation highlighted harmful practices where certain validators did not hesitate to modify their configuration to allow these attacks.

Warning from Helius Co-founder – Source: Mert Mumtaz (X)

Mert Mumtaz, co-founder of Helius, a Solana RPC provider, emphasized the severe consequences of these actions. In a post on X, he described how some crypto operators perverted the system to profit personally, at the expense of retail users.

Some actors added mods to their validators to enable sandwiching on Solana,” he revealed.

The Solana Foundation, which delegates SOL tokens to help validators start, finds itself unwittingly supporting fraudsters.

The reaction was immediate: anyone caught engaging in these activities is immediately excluded from the program, and any stake from the Foundation is removed.

In short, the Foundation does not fund those who steal from retailers through sandwich attacks. However, these crypto validators can continue their schemes on the network, without Foundation subsidy.

An incentive for transparency

In response to this situation, Solana decided to give 100% of transaction priority fees to crypto validators. This change, voted at 77%, aims to encourage validators to prioritize network security and functionality.

A report from, a group of validators, indicates that this measure could cause a slight increase in inflation but is essential to improve transparency.

Our role here is mainly to help facilitate the vote, regardless of the outcome,” the report explains, adding that this measure is a key part of a reward distribution overhaul.

The debate around this proposal was intense, with some concerned about the potential impact on the network’s inflation rate. Half of the fees related to priority transactions was removed, raising fears of “side deals” between validators.

Additionally, exploitation cases like that of the 2Fast bot, which profited $1.8 million using MEV (maximum extractable value), were highlighted.

Despite this, optimistic voices, such as crypto investor Brian Kelly, suggest that Solana could be the next to have a spot ETF in the United States, although skepticism persists about clear regulation.

The Solana Foundation did not hesitate to hit hard to protect the integrity of its crypto network. By eliminating malicious validators and reforming financial incentives, it demonstrates its commitment to ensuring a safe and fair environment for all its users.

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Mikaia A. avatar
Mikaia A.

La révolution blockchain et crypto est en marche ! Et le jour où les impacts se feront ressentir sur l’économie la plus vulnérable de ce Monde, contre toute espérance, je dirai que j’y étais pour quelque chose


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.