MEV in Crypto: An In-depth Guide By Coinetech

MEV in Crypto. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have revolutionized traditional finance by removing the need for centralized intermediaries and opening up new money exchange methods. Maximal extractable value (MEV) is one of the difficulties new decentralized ecosystems offer. MEV describes how validators and miners might influence the order and selection of transactions in a block to get the most value.

In this tutorial, we’ll explore the nature of MEV, its operation, the various value extraction tactics, and the discussion surrounding the pros and cons of MEV in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Furthermore, we will investigate how automated trading programs and bots take advantage of market inefficiencies to steal money that rightfully belongs to other users.

What Is MEV About?

The term “maximal extractable value,” or MEV, refers to the amount of money that may be extracted from a blockchain by tinkering with the inclusion, order, and exclusion of transactions. Those with control over a blockchain’s creation, such as miners in a proof-of-work system or validators in a proof-of-stake system, may manipulate the order and inclusion of transactions to maximize their gains at the expense of other network users. This is the basis of the MEV concept.What Is MEV About?

Researchers Phil Daian and colleagues first introduced the idea of “maximal extractable value” in their ground-breaking 2019 paper “Flash Boys 2.0,” outlining the underlying theories. MEV in Crypto: Initially, it was referred to as “miner extractable value,” emphasizing the role that miners had in proof-of-work blockchains before the merger, such as Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC).

However, when Ethereum switched to proof of stake, the term was expanded to maximal extractable value to recognize the possibility that parties other than miners could manipulate the transaction order for their benefit.

Although the idea of MEV has existed since the early days of Bitcoin, it has only just gained popularity due to the growth of the DeFi company founded on Ethereum. Compared to less adaptable systems like Bitcoin, Ethereum’s programmable intelligent contracts provide many opportunities for complex profit extraction strategies.

MEV Explained

MEV takes advantage of blockchains’ intrinsic latency and the competition between transactions to be included in fresh blocks. All user transactions are first broadcast to the blockchain network and then stored in the “mempool” until confirmed. To build new blocks, validators will access the mempool, which has a backlog of pending transactions.

Once validators have decided which transactions to include in their new blocks, they pull them from the mempool. They usually aim to maximize their income by prioritizing transactions with higher fees, such as gas prices. However, the ultimate selection and sequencing of transactions is up to the validators’ discretion.

For instance, validators can spot opportunities in the market, such as discrepancies in token prices across decentralized exchanges or predicted liquidation events in loan protocols. MEV in Crypto: To get the most out of these changes, they can rearrange the order of transactions related to these occurrences to do their transactions first.

MEV’s place in the crypto industry is particularly contentious. Some see it as just another way blockchain networks can monetize security measures already in place, such as transaction fees or mining/validation rewards. On the other hand, some see it as a threat to decentralization, threats to network integrity, non-transparent prices, and user experience. Research into ways to lessen the impact of MEVs on the environment without sacrificing their usefulness is ongoing.

Types of MEV in Crypto

There is a wide variety of strategies through which actors in crypto can extract value by exploiting their ability to influence the order and selection of transactions on blockchains. Here are some of the most common types of MEV:

  • Front-running:  To engage in front-running, one must keep an eye on the pending transactions in the mempool for any “attractive” ones that might significantly influence the market or pricing. When a desirable transaction is located, an actor might send a duplicate transaction with a more substantial cost to guarantee processing before the original in the following block. They can profit from price changes before the original user sees them by buying and selling tokens before the trade affects pricing.
  • Sandwich attacks:  Sandwich attacks combine two strategies, one of which is backrunning and the other is front-running. In this situation, a second transaction is sent after the victim’s transaction; the first one was sent before it. To profit from a price change in the other direction, one must buy before the original exchange in anticipation of the change and sell immediately after the trade.
  • Arbitrage between exchanges:  Using the momentary price differentials between centralized and decentralized exchanges for the same cryptocurrency asset is another typical tactic. The basic idea is to program bots to automatically purchase an item on one exchange when it’s cheap and then sell it on another exchange when its price is more excellent, making a profit.
  • Value extraction in liquidations: As decentralized lending protocols require collateral from borrowers, actors and creditors must first under-collateralize positions to claim the defaulting borrower’s liquidation fee.

Also Read: What is Tokenomics in Crypto? Beginner’s Guide By Coinindesk

Is MEV Good or Bad?Is MEV Good or Bad?

Providing a definitive answer to whether MEV is inherently good or bad is a complex task, as there are valid arguments supporting both perspectives. The potential benefits of MEV are as follows:

  • Arbitrageurs keep token prices aligned across different decentralized exchanges.
  • Bots liquidating excessively leveraged positions quickly in decentralized lending protocols help maintain the solvency and proper functioning of these protocols.
  • It could be argued that MEV helps strengthen the security of proof-of-stake networks by introducing more significant economic incentives for validators to compete in proposing and confirming new blocks.

Meanwhile, the risks and adverse effects of MEV include the following:

  • Harms the user experience by causing more significant slippage or higher network fees.
  • Incentivizes power concentration in validation if large groups are more effective at extracting MEV.
  • MEV could promote potential instability in the consensus mechanism if reordering transactions becomes more lucrative than validating blocks honestly.

Considering all of this, blockchain researchers have not reached a consensus on whether MEV is purely detrimental to the ecosystem or if it is a necessary evil to continue providing greater security to blockchain networks.


Broad financial incentives govern these new decentralized ecosystems, and MEV represents that. There are pros and cons to MEVs. The DeFi ecosystem relies on them to function efficiently. Conversely, proof-of-stake networks are more secure because of financial incentives. However, the consensus system might become unstable, user fees could rise, and power could become concentrated.

As a result, the crypto community is actively working to find ways to reduce the drawbacks of MEV without compromising its advantages. Maintaining the ecosystem’s social and technical integrity will depend on the industry’s ability to balance these practices as it develops.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button