Due to a recent article published by Ari Juels and collaborators and a long tweet related to this, the debate in the Ethereum community on miners’ extractable value (MEV) and transaction ordering has heated up again. This debate often confuses some issues that I think should be separated. Therefore, based on the articles I published in the past (Translator’s Note: See the end of the text for the Chinese translation), I would like to make five points again, hoping to make these questions more clear.
Argument 1: Running off will hurt users.
The first point, and one that is most easily overlooked in this fierce debate, is: rushing will reduce market value and hinder user participation. A world with fewer runaway activities — a world with less user value extraction — is a better world.
At this point, you might argue that the start-up cannot be stopped, or that we are unfortunately trapped in an equilibrium that is full of more start-ups. These seemingly credible arguments can be evaluated on the basis of value. But rushing can only be regarded as an unavoidable evil at best, and the community should find ways to reduce this situation.
Argument 2: When other conditions are the same, if there is a runaway, the transaction sequence should be sold in a transparent market.
Today’s Ethereum is susceptible to preemption: miners have the right to control the ordering of transactions in the blocks they produce. As long as this does not change, miners can always run away from users, or sell positions in the transaction ranking.
If sorting is for sale, then it should also be sold openly and transparently, so that people can see what is happening, and the opportunity to pay for sorting should be open to all ordinary users, not just insiders. Systems like Flashbot didn’t cause the runaway problem, they just made the problem less bad.
Argument 3: Certain designs and protocols are more resistant to rush runs than others, and this resistance is a good thing.
Not all agreements are the same. How many preemptive runs can exist in a protocol depends on how the protocol is designed. So when we evaluate an agreement, we should ask whether it will increase or decrease the chances of a runaway. This is not the only thing to consider, but it should be a factor to be taken into consideration when we evaluate new agreements or change existing agreements.
Argument 4: There is still a lot of research to be done on how to make the system more resistant to rush runs and how to make various resistance systems more practical.
There are many unknown factors on how to reach a consensus through fair sorting. The current research is very promising, and it seems that major improvements can be found. It is very important to continue to advance this research and transition more mature research into practice. As time goes by, our system can better and better resist rush runs.
Argument 5: The worst thing we can do right now is to adopt an architecture that increases rush runs and trap ourselves in it.
First of all, don’t hurt the user. Adopting new protocols that increase the number of runaways, such as the use of “MEV auctions”, will make the runaway problem worse and should be avoided as much as possible.
The worst part is that this change will trap us in a world with more rushes. This will not only cause immediate damage, but will also leave the poison far behind, hindering us from accepting a better and more resistant system.
The community will deal with the problem of rush runs for a long period of time and is committed to reducing the occurrence of rush runs.