Public Key Podcast

[CHAINALYSIS PODCAST EPISODE 17] MEV Dark Forest: The Mystery Behind Ethereum Frontrunning

Episode 17 of Public Key, the Chainalysis podcast, is here! In this episode, we talk with “Hazard”, the anonymous CEO of Rook, who explains everything you need to know about maximal extractable value (MEV).

You can listen or subscribe now on Spotify, Apple, or Audible. Keep reading for a full preview of episode 17.

Public Key Episode 17 preview: MEV and Ethereum’s frontrunning problem, mempools and market manipulation

In this episode of Public Key, our host, Ian Andrews (CMO at Chainalysis) is joined by the podcast’s first anonymous guest.  Nicknamed “Hazard”, the CEO of Rook, demystifies the “Dark Forest” of one of the greatest challenges of the Ethereum, MEV, which stands for maximal extractable value.  Hazard clarifies extremely technical concepts around frontrunning, sandwich attacks, and flashbots.

Class is in session for this episode as Hazard provides informative insights into how MEV impacts users of Ethereum and explains why simple solutions being suggested could potentially compromise the decentralization of the network. 

Quote of the episode

“You can’t build a system as amazing as Ethereum and expect users to just kind of go along with the fact that there’s a bunch of money being taken out of their pockets. That’s not good user experience, right? Nobody’s gonna want to do that.” -Hazard (CEO of Rook) 

Minute-by-minute episode breakdown

  • (2:05) – Hazard’s origin story as a Mathematician and stumbling across the Bitcoin Whitepaper and progressing from Discord to Core Team at Rook
  • (7:45) – What is MEV is and how it fits into the cryptocurrency technology stack 
  • (13:49) – How do large mining pools and private mempools impact MEV
  • (20:00) – Should Ethereum users be genuinely concerned about market manipulation connected to MEV
  • (25:05) – How does the MEV problem get fixed or is it just a cost of doing business to ensure miners are actively participating
  • (28:55) – What is and how is it helping individuals and developers manage MEV
  • (32:15) – The methodology on how to ensure that the MEV goes back to the user versus only going to the miner

Related resources

Check out more resources provided by Chainalysis that perfectly complement this episode of the Public Key.

  • Report:The Chainalysis State of Web3 Report
  • Webinar: The State of Web: Watch On Demand (with Ethan McMahon and Kim Grauer)
  • Article: Flash Boys 2.0: Frontrunning in Decentralized Exchanges, Miner Extractable Value, and Consensus Instability
  • Case Study: Whale Case Study
  • Blog: Introducing Chainalysis Government Solutions

Speakers on today’s episode

  • Ian Andrews * Host * (Chief Marketing Officer, Chainalysis)
  • “Hazard”  (CEO, Rook)

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