Solana-MEV Client: an alternative way to capture MEV on Solana

Chorus One
Chorus One
February 7, 2023
5 min read
February 7, 2023
5 min read

The MEV supply chain is critical to the future performance and business models of the Solana network. Solana is in a phase of actively searching for, and ultimately choosing its MEV supply chain. One approach is to replicate the model established on Ethereum, building a searching and block-building marketplace. This path has multiple downsides, such as artificially introducing a global mempool that would increase Solana’s latency, and may also increase the risk of centralization and censorship.

We’re happy to announce that Chorus One has released a whitepaper today where we contrast the most relevant characteristics of Ethereum and Solana; review some of the features of the block-building marketplace model, i.e “flashbots-like model”, and what retrofitting it onto Solana would entail.

Given the particularities of Solana, we also propose an alternative to the block-building marketplace: the solana-mev client. This model allows for decentralized extraction by validators, through a modified Solana validator client, capable of handling MEV opportunities directly in the banking stage of the validator. Along with the whitepaper, Chorus One is also releasing an open-source prototype implementation of the approach detailed inside the whitepaper itself.

Fig 1: How the solana-mev client works. Green blocks represent the modification in the client.

The client can be run by any validator. Even small validators or those with no specific expertise can benefit from MEV rewards by choosing to run the solana-mev client. That means the validators will be able to execute MEV strategies as they appear in their slot, in contrast with the current competitive aspect of searching, which results in a few winner bots extracting the value.

The model shrinks the incentive for independent bots to spam the network which ultimately contributes to episodes of intense traffic, as most of them send transactions targeting the same MEV opportunities.

Given that not all MEV strategies can be implemented inside the validator, independent searchers will continue to play a relevant role in the MEV space on Solana. That is guaranteed by their advantage of quickly building and updating sophisticated strategies, as well as expanding their focus to newly deployed programs and pools. This includes long-tail MEV.

In summary, the MEV client enables permissionless and decentralized extraction that benefits the ecosystem through transparent and ethical strategies, as well as increased financial returns for network participants.

For a comprehensive overview of the motivations and the model, please refer to the whitepaper here.

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