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I understand how Solana validators maintain censorship resistance.

However, client's transactions are being received by RPC nodes, which (at least in some/many cases) separate from the validators. The RPC nodes (at least the ones that are completely separate from validators) are not part of the consensus mechanism.

So if RPC nodes conspire to ignore my transactions, they would lock me out. WITHOUT needing some supermajority of stake.

I think this cannot (or at least should not) be that way.

What am I missing here? How can censorship resistance be maintained, while the work of accepting the clients' transactions is delegated to separate RPC nodes which are not part of the consensus mechanism?

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Client censorship resistance is not guaranteed. They have nothing at stake and therefore no incentive to behave responsibly. There have been multiple occurrences of abusive clients being censored for the sake of cluster stability/usability.

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  • Ok. So -- the validators don't offer me DIRECT access (RPC disabled there), so I HAVE TO go through external RPC nodes, and these RPC nodes can censor me. Now, why would I use Web3 rather than Web2? We're going through all the lengths of building a blockchain, but then delegate access control to centrally controlled RPC nodes? Jul 27, 2022 at 21:26
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    @AllBlooming You can always directly send your transactions to any validator via the TPU protocol. The "send-transaction-service", which you can run yourself, provides an API that does just that. There is no need to go through an RPC node at all. Note that you will also need your own full node.
    – terorie
    Jul 27, 2022 at 21:41
  • @terorie THANK YOOOOOUUU! That was my missing piece here. Great info, thanks a lot. Feel free to add it as a separate answer, to gain your reputation points. Jul 27, 2022 at 23:14
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    fwiw, the validator is just as free to drop transactions it receives via TPU on the floor as an RPC node is
    – trent.sol
    Jul 28, 2022 at 0:16
  • @trent.sol worth adding that users usually have two or three RPC providers to choose from but many more validators that can confirm transactions. There is no recorded evidence of successful TPU protocol censorship despite strong campaigns to do exactly that (candy machine blocking in early 2022).
    – terorie
    Jul 28, 2022 at 11:07

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