What is MEV?

What does the term MEV mean?

MEV is Miner (or Maximum) Extracted Value. In cryptocurrencies, the network is formed based upon the consensus algorithm, which is a process used to achieve agreement among distributed systems. However, consensus controls the network on the macro scale, across multiple blocks. Contents of each block, on the other hand, are managed by the miner that mines that block. The miner is able to choose which transactions go into the block and thus is able to manipulate them to extract maximum value for themselves, giving it this name.

What is frontrunning?

Frontrunners in cryptocurrencies are bots (or even humans) that see a pending transaction that makes results in a profit for the sender, i.e. swapping currency A into currency B, then swapping B into C, and then C back into A to get more A than they began with. This is possible because exchange rates aren't perfectly aligned. The frontrunner then creates a new transaction that has higher gas fees than the one they saw so that their transaction gets included instead of the original one. As the fees for this transaction have risen, the miner is getting more out of this transaction than out of the original. From the frontrunner's perspective, it's a situation simple to an auction for an amount of money. Imagine a 100$ bill on auction — the rational participant of such auction would continue to compete with others, rising their bet until the buy price (with fees) is a tiny bit below that 100$. In this case, the auction is the transaction fee, and the bill is the transaction itself.

How are pools participating?

Pools noticed the ability to profit from such swaps and decided to integrate their own (or partner) bots to extract as much value as possible. It also makes sense for the pools to provide some of the reward they're getting to their users as to attract more miners and reach higher profits.

Do I as a miner need to do anything to profit from MEV?

If you're a regular miner and want to get rewards from MEV, just make sure that you're on a pool that shares the profits to its' users. Pools that support MEV and share rewards with miners:

  • Ethermine
  • Ezil
  • 2miners
  • F2pool
  • Flexpool

If you're a SOLO miner, you should contact the pool or try to research this yourself.

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