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What is a Relay?

Relays are neutral communication intermediaries between block-builders and validators, ensuring secure and fair interactions. Block-builders utilize relays to provide fair routing for payloads, while proposers trust relays to ensure the validity, accuracy, and availability of data in the proposed blocks.

Relays can establish connections with one or multiple block-builders, and it’s expected that both variants will exist. A relay will gather the bids received from multiple block-builders and aggregate them. The relay ensures that the blocks submitted by builders include payment to the validators, and then selects the highest valid bid, which is then forwarded to the validator to sign and enter the blockchain.

How Auctions Work

In the PoN Relay, users must configure their validators to access the PoN Relay. The bids are publicly visible with pricing determined by supply and demand. The PoN Relay will give the validator the most profitable block from all block bids. Validators can connect to as many relays who are accepting bids for the PBS payout pool registered proposers.

To get a visualization of how relays work, see this video.

The Role of Relays

Relays are responsible for handling various functions, such as:

  • Maintaining the highest bid for proposal of blocks from various builders
  • Building beacon chain block from the execution payload hash provided by the builder
  • Providing a platform for builders to bid in the auction for block space
  • Receiving validator signature and verifying the signatures for the builder
  • Providing builder with the signed block by the validator
  • Helping reporters in ensuring all the parties abide by the rules