Understanding MEV bots and sandwich attacks

Understanding MEV bots and sandwich attacks

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What are MEV attacks?

Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) bots are a sneaky way to game the blockchain. MEV bots scan the network for transactions, especially those buying tokens. They then cut in line, place big orders for those tokens, and profit from the price hike they cause. This is called a sandwich attack.

Here’s how a sandwich attack works:

  1. Front-running: The bot spots a user’s transaction and places a buy order just before the user’s transaction goes through.
  2. Inflating the Price: This buy order makes the token’s price go up.
  3. Back-running: After the user’s transaction is processed at the higher price, the bot sells the tokens for a profit.

MEV bots exploit how transactions are processed on platforms like Ethereum and Solana, causing prices to spike, especially in meme coins. Users caught by MEV bots might have their transactions front-run, leading to missed chances and bad prices.

Impact on Solana Network

MEV attacks mess with the Solana network big time. They mess up fair transaction processing, especially in public ledgers. In the worst cases, this can push validators to censor or double-spend transactions. This shows why it’s so important to tackle MEV bot operations to protect users and keep things fair.

Impact Area Description
Fairness MEV bots mess up fair transaction processing, making users unhappy.
Transaction Costs Users end up paying more because of the inflated prices.
Network Integrity Validators might do shady stuff, hurting the network’s integrity.
User Trust Repeated MEV attacks can make users lose trust in the platform’s fairness and reliability.

Knowing how sandwich attacks work and their impact is key for anyone using the Solana network. By being aware of these issues, you can take steps to protect your transactions and make sure your Solana wallet stays full. 

Solana’s response

MEV bots have been wreaking havoc on the Solana network. These sneaky bots mess with transaction orders to make a quick buck, leaving regular users in the dust. To put a stop to this, the Solana Foundation has stepped up its game.

They’re cracking down on operators who let sandwich attacks happen in mempools. These validators were part of a series of sandwich attacks, hurting users and taking advantage of the network’s weak spots. Mert Mumtaz, co-founder of Solana RPC provider Helius, shared that the foundation’s move is all about protecting everyday users from these nasty attacks. 

Over 30 validator operators got the boot from the Solana Foundation Delegation Program and lost their payout boosters for validating transactions on the Solana blockchain.

The Solana Foundation’s blacklist includes 32 operators holding 1.5 million SOL, which is about 0.5% of the program’s stake. So if you were ever planning to stake Solana, make sure the validator you chose is not on that list. 

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