Solana Punishes Validators for Sandwich Attacks After Backlash

After a community vote highlighted validators were abusing their power, the Solana Foundation removed several from their program.

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  • Solana Foundation removed validators from its delegation program.
  • Validators involved in sandwich attacks on the network.
  • Aim to protect user safety and maintain network integrity.

Validators play a key role in any blockchain network, keeping accurate records of transactions and ensuring all users get the same treatment. This is why when validators abuse their power, consequences can be extremely damaging. Recent action by the Solana Foundation suggests that some of the validators on Solana were doing just that. 

The Foundation recently took strict enforcement action against several validators involved in so-called “sandwich attacks,” where validators front-run transactions for profit. The decision came after a broader community backlash against validator practices.

Solana Foundation Punishes Validators Involved in Sandwich Attacks 

After significant community backlash over validator misconduct, the Solana Foundation has recently taken steps to address the issue. On Monday, June 10, the Foundation announced the removal of several validators from its delegation program due to their involvement in sandwich attacks. 


Tim Garcia, Solana Validator Relations Lead, announced the removals, stating, “Decisions in this matter are final. Enforcement actions are ongoing as we detect operators participating in mempools which allow sandwich attacks.” 

The removed validators were accused of placing transactions before and after those of the users. This trade, known as a sandwich attack, enables validators to profit from a small change in the price after a user places their order. Worse, sandwich attacks can also lead to losses for regular network users. 

The removal of these validators from the delegation program means they will no longer receive SOL token delegations from the foundation, effectively ending their subsidies. However, they can still operate independently on the Solana blockchain. 

Recent Upgrade Proposal Revealed Issues with Solana Validators 

This action comes after a recent governance vote on Solana’s fee structure. The Solana Improvement Document number 96 (SIMD-0096), aimed to allocate 100% of transaction priority fees to validators to address issues with validators looking for additional income. 


The proposal noted that validators on Solana need more income to prevent them from engaging in side deals that enhance their income through mechanisms like sandwich attacks and other forms of transaction manipulation.

Understandably, despite the proposal receiving 77% approval, many Solana holders were dissatisfied. This was especially true for smaller holders, who argued that the proposal did not sufficiently tackle the underlying issues of validator misconduct.

On the Flipside

  • The recent Solana vote on validator fees highlighted the outsized influence big players have on most blockchain networks. As votes are proportional to tokens held, a small number of large holders can dominate the network’s direction. 
  • Validator abuses also highlighted concerns over whether Solana meets the standards of decentralization for blockchain networks. 

Why This Matters

Validators have a key role in any blockchain network, so ensuring they do not abuse their power is crucial for maintaining trust in the network. 

Read more about the criticism of Solana’s validators: 
Solana Validators to Get More Fees, Amid Side Deal Concerns

Read more about the concerns over decentralization in Solana: 
Solana Network: Is Solana Truly Decentralized?

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.