EthGlobal NY Hackathon - Sept 22 – 24

Flashbots is excited to sponsor a series of prizes at the EthGlobal NY hackathon September 22 – 24, 2023. We invite all MEV curious hackers, market design tinkerers, and many more to come hack on these fun challenges and maybe learn some alpha while you’re at it :wink:.

Don’t hesitate to reply to this thread, or reach out to dmarz#8851, sui414 or taarushv in the #hackathon channel in Discord if you’re participating in our challenges!

:rocket: Open/Innovation Track - $1500 - Unveiling the MEV Potential

To seize this prize, construct a project that showcases SUAVE, MEV, or programmable privacy concepts, including but not limited to DeFi, Gaming, or any auction market in real life use cases.

:earth_africa: Ecosystem Track - $2000 - Broaden the MEV Landscape

:game_die: MEV GAME

Develop a game which leaks MEV that searchers can compete on to stress test order flow solutions like mev-share or new chains testing their MEV-proofness (see Base leaky mempool). Ideal projects might feature a weakly random encrypted password that challenges searchers to brute force for MEV rewards. Ideally this could easily be deployed on any chain.

:computer: MEV-aware Uniswap frontend / Flashbots Protect UX

Produce an MEV-aware Uniswap frontend fork, informing users about potential MEV from their trade and directing them towards MEV-share and showing an estimated refund amount.

:diya_lamp: Backrun My Oracle (MEV-share for Oracle Usecase)

Craft a system where oracle updates can be auctioned via MEV-share or similar services, promoting transparency and dynamic updates.

All projects in the Ecosystem Track should integrate core MEV principles and tools.

:chart_with_upwards_trend: Data Analysis Track - $1500 - Illuminate the MEV Supply chain

:face_with_head_bandage: (MEV Lookup Tool for Uniswap Users)

Construct a info site, with lookup function for anyone to query their past Uniswap DEX Trades’ MEV related metrics, e.g.:

  • the MEV extracted from MEV Bot;
  • the slippage caused by Trade Collision
  • the ideal price on top-of-block, so to compare the execution result.

:bar_chart: Swap Execution Dashboard

Design a simulation bot, to query across major DEX/DEX-aggregators’ execution quality based on same trade request, so to help the community understand if really:

  • aggregators (e.g. 0x API, 1inch) are providing better quotes than DEX? (e.g. Uniswap)
  • meta-aggregators (e.g. DeFiLlama, CowSwap) are providing better quotes than DEX/aggregators?
  • is solver system (1inch Fusion, Coswap) providing better quotes than traditional aggregators?

and/or, combine with empirical analysis on historical data:

  • How vulnerable are each platforms’ orders towards MEV?
  • How are price execution (settled token amount onchain) compared between each platform?

:thermometer: Mempool Hygrometer

Is the public mempool really drying up, with orderflow moving to private mempool (i.e. each builder’s)? With the copy of public mempool dataset, build a website to showcase how the private orderflow landscape look like: by checking the onchain transactions included in each builder’s block, and cross checking the public mempool history, we shall be able to identify how much of the flow are public vs private, per each builder. How did that evolve over time? How MEV valuable are they? Add metrics and visualizations to inform the mempool evolution after the adoption of MEV-boost, order flow auctions.

Projects in the Data Analysis Track should focus on illuminating the dark corners of the MEV supply chain. Additionally there are already tools which attempt to do some of these so a compelling project will do something that hasn’t been done yet.



Ahoy :pirate_flag:

ETH Global hackathons are always interesting. They often attract a mix of new developers who have barely touched web3 before, alongside some very experienced pirates who have been around since the start. ETH NY saw this same pattern.

:rocket: Open/Innovation Track - $1500 - Unveiling the MEV Potential

We awarded this prize to a team called “Integrity Proof”, who developed a way to ensure the integrity of bundles using ZKP. Proof of Bundle Integrity allows bundle senders to specify the exact slot they wants their bundle to be placed in a block and trustlessly prove whether a block builder has tampered with the bundle, leveraging zero knowledge proofs.

This goes a long way to solving the trust issue between block builder and bundle sender.

Source code

:earth_africa: Ecosystem Track - $2000 - Broaden the MEV Landscape

We awarded this prize to a team called Lime, who developed a way to handle pricing offchain in a manner that we thought could be applied in an interesting way on SUAVE.

Lime is an active hook manager which allows fillers or market makers to set prices and fill Intents / RFQ based swap requests. This system is intended to be used through UniswapX or other intent based mechanism. Lime believes that RFQ/Intents are the future of MEV.

Source code

:chart_with_upwards_trend: Data Analysis Track - $1500 - Illuminate the MEV Supply chain

We awarded this prize to a team called MEVictim Rebate. While this is not specifically a data project, we felt that their use of a subgraph in order to collect information about MEV used to allocate NFTs, which can then be used on other domains for rebates came closest to the goal of this particular track.

Their aim is to design better market incentives by identifying MEV victims using historical on chain data and then airdrop victims a token to access a token gated Uniswap v4 pool on Scroll. They aim to showcase the detrimental impact of MEV attacks on users and highlights how it is possible to detect MEV attacks using Axiom to qualify wallet addresses for benefits in the next generation of DeFi protocols.

Source code


General Thoughts

We received 8 submissions in total, which is fairly high given that we did no advertising and were one of the minor sponsors. Major sponsors, with bigger prizes and greater presence, tend to receive 30-40 submissions. Receiving 8 is indicative of a growing interest in MEV and the tools Flashbots has made available. As we move towards SUAVE, and the need to cultivate a network of people with different skills, backgrounds, perspectives and experience levels, these kind of events will likely become even more important.

While some were elementary, they nevertheless illustrate interesting and novel ways people new to MEV conceptualise it, which can help us iterate over and improve our products. In this sense, such hackathons are great venues for in-the-wild UXR. They also serve as wonderful places to nerdsnipe up and coming talent: something we already do fairly well.

On that note, some interesting students who run the University of Purdue Blockchain Club presented sndwch_protocol (code, paper), which proposes a (fairly naive) method to mitigate Sandwich Attacks in DeFi using Uniswap V4’s action hooks and the OZ defender. We talked at length about their approach and they will continue to work on it and iterate towards something better over time. I personally think that teams like this are good to focus on and develop: they’ve won previous hackathons, but this time wanted to “do something long-term and meaningful”.

In general, their attitude highlights the incentive landscape at these events. Most teams try and do generic projects which use as many sponsor’s tech stacks as possible in order to make them eligible for the most prizes. This often comes at the cost of doing something really great, focused and meaningful. Nevertheless, over time, people fall into the rabbit hole and - after a few experiences - tend to start optimizing for work that will get them noticed by more skillful, long-term focussed people.

Other Submissions

  1. Solvify. A solver implementation for an intent-centric future on Etheruem - all with a delightful web2-like UX and powerful AI agents from LangChain to optimally satisfy intents and retain value for users.
  2. Arb Controller. A uniswap v4 hook that sets dynamic fee for a pool based on the price movements. The dynamic fee partially discriminates informed order flow from arbitrageurs. It gives LPs similar efficiency to the dynamic spreads in tradfi, while still allowing LPs to be passive.
  3. SUAVE intents. An exploration on using Suave as a privacy preserving intent mempool.
  4. Oracle Flow. A more efficient solution for oracle updates using MEV-Share.

I look forward to many more such events and all the cool ideas that will come from them, especially as SUAVE begins to get used in the wild.