Social Media Speculates if F2Pool is Censoring Transactions, Founder Responds

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read

0x10BC, a Bitcoin development blogger, has unveiled data potentially suggesting that F2Pool has censored a number of recent transactions.

What 0x10BC’s data says

0x10BC, who runs a mining pool observation project with the aim of detecting potential unrecognized potential Bitcoin transactions, “detected six missing transactions spending from OFAC-sanctioned addresses.”

The United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC for short, enforces and administers international economic sanctions.

Four of these transactions belonged to F2Pool. Currently, F2Pool is the third largest Bitcoin mining pool, with over 13% of all mined blocks  existing within the pool.

“These four missing sanctioned transactions lead to the conclusion that F2Pool is currently filtering transactions,” the blogger wrote.

However, based on his current data, 0x10Bc is unable to tell “if F2Pool is filtering this single address or all OFAC-sanctioned addresses.”

“This raises the question of why F2Pool, a pool with origins in Asia, is the first pool to filter transactions based on US OFAC sanctions,” 0x10BC wrote.

Wang and social media respond

OX10BC’s revelatory blog post drew a wave of response on social media, including a response by F2Pool founder Chun Wang.

“A censorship-resistant system must be designed to resist censorship at the protocol level, rather than relying on each participant to act conscientiously and refrain from censorship,” Wang wrote in a post on X. “The Internet and TCP/IP have failed this. Bitcoin should learn from the failure.”

“Thankfully we have you, demonstrating how easily censored Bitcoin is,” one user replied. “Thank you for your public service.”

“Thanks but no, I’d like to keep my small blocks,” another user commented.

Shortly after the backlash, Wang posted a follow-up message to X.

“Will disable the tx filtering patch for now, until the community reaches a more comprehensive consensus on this topic,” Chun continued in a separate X post.

Emerging regulatory discussions

News of the potential censorship of OFAC-censored addresses comes as a wave of regulatory developments sweeps the U.S., including news of Binance founder, Changpeng Zhao, stepping down from his role as CEO and pleading guilty to a number of violations.

Zhao, who is expected to be sentenced on February 23rd, 2024, will have to pay nearly $1 billion to OFAC and $3.4 billion to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in penalties and forfeitures.

“Binance’s settlement is the largest in OFAC history, and Binance could face exposure up to billions of dollars in further penalties if it materially breaches its compliance commitments as described under the agreement,” the U.S. treasury said in a statement.

Beyond his posts on X, Wang has yet to address the speculation further.