Can SPOs reorder transactions?

Staking pool operators (SPOs) produce blocks in the Cardano network. No one but them can control what transactions get into the blocks. This is a big responsibility but also an opportunity to abuse their position. Let’s describe the basic principles of distributed networks and explain that the ability to reorder transactions is not a bug in the network, but a feature that can be exploited.


  • The rules of the Cardano protocol are defined in the source code and anyone in the world can fork the code and change them.
  • The ability to change protocol rules is not a bug of the network, but a feature of open-source distributed networks.
  • Violation of fundamental rules is not possible, as other nodes would not accept it.
  • 100% compliance would require centralization or closed source.
  • If the majority is unable to enforce its demand, the network is not sufficiently decentralized.
  • A decentralized network is able to maintain its basic properties regardless of the small number of participants who break the rules.

This article was prepared by Cardanians with support from Cexplorer.

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