Ethereum is bearing the brunt of censorship after a leading cloud service provider Hetzner which powers roughly 15% of ETH nodes has categorically stated that it won’t allow its products to be used for either mining or staking for any application.
“Even if you just run one node, we consider it a violation of our ToS,” Hetzner wrote in a Reddit discussion.
The German-based cloud services firm was responding to a user’s inquiry about running a blockchain node on the web hosting platform. The firm sought to clear out any confusion and said that the ban is extended to trading as well.
While it is aware that many Ethereum users are using Hetzner, the firm is having discussions within its team to address this issue.
The development has caught many by surprise and even raised questions about how truly decentralized blockchain really is.
As per reports, the majority of the Ethereum ecosystem runs on Amazon.com, which hosts 54% of the total Eth nodes. Other well-known cloud providers include Oracle Cloud [4.1%], Alibaba [2.8%], and Google Cloud [2.7%].
Founder of Web3 infrastructure platform W3bCloud Maggie Love took to Twitter to express her disappointment saying, “Ethereum cannot be decentralized if the stack is not decentralized… “Where is the dialogue on this?”
The latest news also correlates with recent U.S. Treasury Department sanctions on Tornado Cash, an Ethereum-based utility that allows users to send and receive funds anonymously.
Ethereum Nodes Faces An Uncertain Future
The Tornado Cash situation has raised concerns in the Eth community on sanctions extending to nodes operating the network or the infrastructure powering them.
Last week, Ethermine, the largest Ethereum mining pool stopped processing blocks containing Tornado Cash transactions, one crypto analyst revealed. Circle too blacklisted USDC on the ETH network freezing all USDC tokens that had passed through the crypto mixer.
This sparked a huge debate on censorship resistance.
Vitalik Buterin was reportedly furious over the possibility that validators may have to comply with OFAC sanctions after the Merge.
He however agreed with the sentiment that actions that do not include Tornado Cash transactions should be considered “an attack on Ethereum and burn their stake via social consensus.”