Introducing the First Solana MEV Dashboard

Today we are excited to announce the first MEV Dashboard for Solana: an explorer aimed at illuminating MEV on Solana.

We classified more than 36 billion transactions since January 2022, labelling atomic arbitrage and liquidation across the two largest lending protocols, Mango and Solend.

While some think MEV doesn’t exist on Solana, it absolutely does. Solana has made tremendous strides to combat network bot spam, a form of MEV extraction, with the solutions being rolled out in 1.10 and subsequent releases. We’re determined to further that cause with a purpose-built MEV infrastructure for Solana that improves network stability while also increasing profitability for searchers, validators, and stake delegators.

The State of MEV on Solana

Solana has seen explosive user growth thanks to projects like Serum, Mango, Orca, and Magic Eden. As the number of users and composability across on-chain applications continues to increase on Solana, so has the presence of trading bots.

Solana’s low fees, lack of fee markets (local fee markets soon), UDP transaction propagation (QUIC soon), and commoditization of arbitrage and liquidation bots has resulted in spam wars which take up significant blockspace and resulted in degraded performance for normal users. During NFT mints and high market volatility, validators see incoming traffic that rivals those of nation-state attacks. These traffic spikes cause transaction confirmation times to spike, data center networks to fail, and network downtime.

Until today, the data correlating bot activity to network stability was hard to find.

Findings

In reviewing the data, some interesting findings emerge:

  • We estimate a lower bound of $36M* extracted from arbitrages and liquidations in 2022. As of release, we are still improving USD pricing and adding more advanced MEV detection algorithms. (Edit: our article initially included $45M lower bound for MEV which included arbitrages with incorrect pricing which occurred during the CASHIO hack. We have removed those arbitrages from the calculation.)
  • The median profit in the first 6 months of 2022 for USDC-based arbitrages is $0.0168.
  • Over 96% of arbitrage and liquidation attempts fail and the amount of transaction blockspace dedicated to MEV related transactions has grown from <1% to as high as 25% in 2022. Some blocks contain more than 50% MEV-related transactions as a function of non-voting transactions.
  • When the liquidation transaction counts are overlayed with packet counters inside the validator, we can see liquidation bots spamming millions of duplicate packets to land only several thousand liquidations, >99% of which fail.
  • The number of daily arbitrage and liquidation transactions consistently exceed the entire transaction volume of the Ethereum blockchain.

The dashboard is publicly available today. We invite you to explore it here.

The Future of MEV on Solana

Over the next several months, Solana will release and iterate on a few major features that will increase blockspace and minimize the negative user experience of MEV on Solana users. These include:

  • QUIC & link-level QoS based on stake weight
  • Local fee markets
  • Improvements in transaction scheduling and replay

As Solana onboards the first billion users into crypto and composability continues to increase, so will the amount of MEV. In order for Solana to succeed at this scale, we believe that Solana needs an MEV infrastructure layer that supports the ability to deterministically and efficiently express transaction ordering.

Following the release of the dashboard, we’re planning to introduce several products over the next several weeks. Some of these products include:

  • Jito Solana, the first third-party client for Solana that’s been optimized for efficient MEV extraction.
  • Jito Bundles, which allow searchers and decentralized applications to send bundles of transactions to Jito-Solana validators.
  • Jito Block Engine, a high-performance block builder, which builds the most profitable and efficient blocks for Jito Solana clients.
  • The first MEV distribution system on a proof-of-stake network that allows validators to distribute MEV to their delegators.

The validator client and on-chain programs are currently being audited by Neodyme, a top auditing firm in the security and blockchain space, and will be open-sourced in the following weeks.

If you are a validator and interested in running our client, please fill out this form. Join our Discord and follow our Medium and Twitter accounts to stay up-to-date on these upcoming releases and additions to our dashboard.

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