A consortium of Ethereum builders has banded together to launch MEV Blocker, a utility that promises to help people transact on Etheruem without succumbing to maximal extractable value (MEV) bots.
Maximum extractable value is a phenomenon wherein clever blockchain operators profit from the ability for anyone to preview upcoming transactions. By looking at Ethereum’s mempool – a sort of waiting area for yet-to-be-confirmed transactions – so-called MEV-bots can front-run trades and execute other strategies, like sandwich attacks, that eat into the profits of regular users.
MEV-Boost – a piece of MEV-optimizing middleware used by virtually all the validators that operate Ethereum – aimed to spread out the riches of MEV to more people, but it also turned MEV-extraction into a kind of cottage industry. By MEV Blocker’s estimate, MEV bots have siphoned more than $1.38 billion from everyday Ethereum users so far.
MEV Blocker joins a growing number of projects that provide custom RPC endpoints to users that want to avoid being sniped by MEV extractors (an RPC endpoint is a gateway that wallets and other crypto apps use to communicate with a blockchain).
With its endpoint, MEV-Blocker aims to give power back to regular users – providing them a way to not just circumvent the most common MEV attacks, but also to profit from less offensive MEV strategies. It was jointly created by CoW Protocol, Beaver Build and Agnostic Relay – some of the larger players in Ethereum’s MEV ecosystem.
“MEV Blocker works by directing transactions to a network of ‘searchers’ before sending them to the mempool,” the team behind MEV Blocker explained in a statement. “The searchers then bid for the right to backrun the transactions while simultaneously shielding users from frontrunning and sandwich attacks.”
Backrunning is a type of MEV strategy where a transaction is slipped in directly after another trade, with the backrunning transaction taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities raised by the preceding transaction. According to MEV Blocker, their utility will reward “at least 90% of the profits from winning bids back to users,” with the other 10% going to validators.
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MEV Blocker should be supported by all wallets that allow for custom RPC endpoints.