Every Ethereum node comprises two components: the Consensus Layer and the Execution Layer. These layers communicate with each other via the Engine API, which acts as an interface facilitating their interaction. Mikhail Kalinin recently proposed an amendment to the Engine API as part of the Deneb upgrade in the Ethereum blockchain.
Currently, the proposal seeks to use the upcoming Deneb hard fork as an opportunity to mandate all CL client teams to implement this field. Danny Ryan supported this idea and inquired whether this concept has been discussed with EL client teams. In response, Mikhail Kalinin agreed to circulate the proposal and begin dialogues with relevant EL developers.
The proposed feature is a "builder override flag" - a Boolean field that empowers the Execution Layer (EL) to suggest to the Consensus Layer (CL) that it should prioritize local block production over third-party block builders. This enhancement is intended to offer validators more control over block production.
In circumstances where censorship activities from third-party block builders are detected, the flag could serve as a convenient tool for validators to react. However, the ultimate decision rests with the Consensus Layer, which can choose to disregard the flag if it deems appropriate.
Initially, the flag was proposed for the Shapella upgrade. However, it was later decided to continue developing the flag and to permit CL client teams to implement it asynchronously, without necessitating a hard fork.
Since The Merge upgrade, Ethereum developers have been diligently striving to create a robust Proof of Stake environment for validators on the network. There is also a proposed amendment to the Consensus specs, which could potentially cause an edge case issue with Slashed Validators serving as proposers before exiting the chain.
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