What Is Flashbots?
Flashbots is an independent research and development organization that aims to address the negative impacts of Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) extraction and mitigate the existential risks it poses to stateful blockchains like Ethereum.
It focuses on three main objectives:
- Making MEV revenue public
- Making MEV activity transparent
- Making the distribution of MEV revenue fair
Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) refers to the maximum value extracted from block production in Ethereum.
MEV benefits both transactors and miners/validators.
The surge in DeFi demand has led to network congestion on Ethereum.
In response, Flashbots, an independent centralized R&D organization, was established to remove MEV transactions from the main public chain.
Flashbots ensure transaction privacy and enhance network security by facilitating direct connections between mining pools and searchers, making them particularly suited for DeFi applications.
How Flashbots Work
Searchers actively scan the network for MEV opportunities. When they identify an opportunity, they initiate the transaction protocol for that specific opportunity and upload it to the Flashbots server rather than broadcasting it to the entire Ethereum chain.
The Flashbots server then facilitates the transfer of transaction details to network miners, enabling a private auction where miners bid on the transaction to include it in a block. Miners also have the option to include non-MEV transactions from the public network in these blocks.
While Flashbots strives to make MEV public to achieve its goal of a transparent and permissionless blockchain network, the mechanism is not yet fully transparent.
The process of generating MEV remains somewhat opaque to users.
Additionally, Flashbots is not the sole solution to the MEV crisis.
Several other networks have also launched their own programs and initiatives to address the issue.