A comprehensive and complete guide to the MEV landscape

Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) is a radically new financial phenomenon that takes advantage of transaction ordering economics on public blockchain networks. It was an unexpected and new occurrence for most and came to the limelight during 2020’s Decentralized Finance (DeFi) boom. Some, like Phil Daian and numerous other researchers, were forward-looking enough to expect it unlike most; extensively documenting early signs of MEV back in 2019 [and even as far back as 2014!], preparing the research community for the mempool war that would ensue.

But what is MEV?

MEV is fundamental to blockchains. Any decentralized network that has some mechanism that allows users to…


The Nervos Network aims to be a generalized network and protocol layer that provides cost-effective, scalable, and interoperable computing, storage, and identity services to decentralized applications. Nervos’s CKB handles state storage and computation in different environments, dissimilar to Ethereum which is mono-contract. It is state-focused in that blocks and transactions to store the new resulting state from a transition; rather than the state transition itself (event-focused) like Ethereum. The nature of the state-focused design will better equip nodes to determine dependency variables (i.e balances) between transactions (using both new and old states) enabling more efficiency and parallelity. Instead of users…


Special thanks to Vasiliy for early feedback/comments.

Coda is a project aiming to create a truly decentralized blockchain by having nodes validate a recursive composition of zero knowledge proofs, rather than the entire transaction history. A zero knowledge proof is a cryptography scheme that allows for a party to prove knowledge of a certain value without unveiling the actual information used to derive that value. That means a zero knowledge proof could also prove knowledge of a value (i.e validity of a block) without the need to know the information used to get that value (transactions in that block). In…


Avalanche is a leaderless consensus algorithm that uses randomized sampling of nodes on a network to achieve metastability and probabilistically safe consensus. Rather than achieving consensus through votes from nodes, it operates in quorums that emit confidence thresholds to other quorums. Avalanche is able to reduce the currently standard communication cost of O(n²) to O(kn)! The Snowflake to Avalanche paper was introduced by the pseudonymous Team Rocket in May 2018. The paper walks the reader first through the underlying metastable voting mechanism then eventually to the Avalanche DAG consensus protocol. It was promoted by Emin Gün Sirer, whereby discussions amongst…


State channels enhance blockchain performance by taking state-modifying operations off of a blockchain and executing them in a secondary environment where they can be performed at a lower cost. Celer is a sophisticated off-chain operating network deconstructed into hierarchical modules, the cStack; comprised bottom-to-top of: cChannel, cRoute, cOS, and cApps. cRoute is an optimal decentralised algorithm to solve state routing and cOS lets developers concentrate on the application logic and create the best user experience, without hassling with off-chain states exchange, tracking, or dispute. The lowest layer, cChannel integrates both on-chain contracts (security and verification) and off-chain protocols (logic execution)…


Solana offers a new insight to blockchain architecture by combining a new mechanism known as Proof of History (PoH) with Proof of Stake (PoS) to achieve high availability throughout. PoH is a sequence of computations on a secure hash function that provides a way to cryptographically verify time elapsed between two events. The process involves taking the hash computed by an iteration of the hash function and reusing it as the input for another iteration, while also periodically recording the current output and how many times the hash function has been called. In addition to this, data can also be…


— and here’s the only project addressing the issue

“The biggest issue in blockchains today is scalability”

This is a fallacy many people credit as the most critical issue in blockchains. This is what the hype around Nano last December was all about. A fast cryptocurrency that solves scalability is here, so we should now see adoption, right? Wrong. Not only was Nano not adopted by consumers for peer to peer payments, but all of the enthusiasm around it has diminished.

Let us take a second to gain some perspective here though — to truly understand the essence of what I’m getting at. What is the most historically established…

Obaid

Technologist

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