Funding research about MEV on alternative chain structures

Hey everyone at Flashbots!

Last year, my team at Equilibrium took on an exciting project where we explored the Narwhal-Bullshark mempool and consensus framework for a client. Diving into these innovative transaction/block propagation and consensus models was enlightening and something I’d highly recommend for those unfamiliar.

What stood out to me was the potential for MEV within chains that adopt these frameworks. This project piqued my curiosity about how MEV might differ across various blockchain architectures. My interest was further sparked by the recent buzz around Solana, particularly its unique FIFO turbine model for transaction ordering and the creation of a private separate mempool (Jito) to address MEV concerns.

In my opinion, it’s crucial for the public to support research in this area through public goods funding. Without it, the pursuit of alternative profit avenues, such as exploiting MEV, could lead to negative externalities.

I recall coming across research on Tendermint four years ago (FRP-8: Flashbots on Alternative Chain Architectures), which made me wonder if Flashbots might consider issuing an RFP for research into MEV across different chain architectures. The timing now is very important as instead of an explosion of new alt L1s, the current status quo of L1s - or at least their architectures - seem to be solidfying.

Alternatively, specific chains could collaborate with Flashbots to highlight the need for such research, focusing on aspects like message propagation, mempool observance (or its existance), transaction ordering, and leader election processes.

This is my first post in the Flashbots forum, so please forgive me if this isn’t the right place for such a discussion. I’m eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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We studied FCFS MEV on Algorand [1,2]

Happy to chat further!

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Nice! This is very cool - especially as Solana is also FCFS/FIFO, yet the results on this study seem to be quite different which I assume might come from how the leader election and the “no mempool” part of Solana affects the whole.

Was this a university-led project or was it commissioned or funded by the Algorand Foundation?

Regarding “no mempool”: Yes, I think this is an important factor which requires further research (also on L2s). e.g., FCFS MEV game on a network with a public mempool and a distributed set of proposers vs no mempool, centrally-sequenced network

This research started as part of a funding we got from the Algorand foundation (ACE program) and then we just continued.