After Ethereum's merge from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake and the subsequent Shanghai upgrade, the development surrounding this cryptocurrency has not ceased. On the contrary, developers and the community are rapidly advancing, evident through Flashbots and its SUAVE architecture. What is SUAVE, and how can it impact the future of Ethereum?
What is SUAVE?
Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) is an intriguing concept in the world of cryptocurrency. It describes the maximum amount of value that can be extracted from producing a block. This occurs after validators include or reorganize transactions within any given block.
Once the block reward can exceed the standard block reward, validators can decide to reorganize the block to earn more from fees. This allows them to profit more while increasing transaction costs, all within the rules and principles of the network. However, this can lead to issues such as centralization of power, exclusive transaction flow, cross-domain MEV, and MEV extraction ability. These are some challenges that SUAVE aims to address, among others.
SUAVE stands for Single Unifying Auction for Value Expression and is proposed by Flashbots. This new architecture is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible blockchain that serves as a shared memory pool and block-building network for all blockchains. It also aims to become a decentralized queue across multiple chains.
SUAVE is being developed to separate the current roles of the memory pool and block-building network from existing blockchains. SUAVE will also provide a highly specialized and decentralized solution, expected to become one of the project's most significant innovations. Sharing the same queue, which SUAVE will provide, can bring numerous benefits to all members of the network, such as:
- Enabling users to perform optimal transactions with enhanced security and lower fees.
- Providing open access to user transactions and facilitating block builders' search.
- Maximizing revenue for validators from their block space.
- Reducing economic concentration pressure in various fields.
- Maximizing decentralization and network resilience for the blockchain.
Another notable benefit of SUAVE is its intention to become an open-source project. The SUAVE team has repeatedly stated that they invite everyone, from users and researchers to blockchain developers, to participate and collaborate on the project, which they have been developing for nearly two years.
SUAVE's Goal: Decentralizing and Democratizing MEV-Boost Flashbots, along with many other advancements in the Ethereum network, is driving SUAVE's implementation.
What is Flashbots?
Flashbots is a research and development group that has been active for quite some time, aiming to improve everything related to MEV.
After the announcement of SUAVE at Devcon, the largest Ethereum conference, held in Bogota, Colombia, we can be certain that Flashbots' development in this field will continue. During the event, Philip Daian, a member of the Flashbots team, made the following statement:
“We will provide users with optimal transaction execution using MEV. So we will use MEV as a decentralized long-term driving force, ensuring that users truly get the best execution on their transactions quickly, making TradFi look very pale.”
The team also gained significant attention when the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Tornado Cash and related transactions. Flashbots responded by open-sourcing their MMEV boost, ensuring that other developers could contribute by creating, deploying, or improving their own censorship-resistant channels.
SUAVE is one of the major projects being built on the Ethereum platform. Therefore, having a development roadmap is essential for people to truly consider the progress of this architecture. That's why Flashbots has created and introduced a dedicated roadmap for SUAVE.
SUAVE Centauri: The first phase in the program is SUAVE Centauri, which will introduce sensitive order flow auctions with privacy. Initially, the auction will assume trust in Flashbots, but it will be secure for users and searchers. The SUAVE Chain devnet is also under development in this phase for community testing and experimentation.
SUAVE Andromeda: The next phase will include the SUAVE Chain mainnet, allowing users to express preferences and submit them to the execution market. This phase, called SUAVE Andromeda, will remove reliance on Flashbots through an SGX-based order flow auction. Additionally, building a centralized SGX-based block will enable public and private order flow for concentrated builders.
SUAVE Helios: The final planned phase in SUAVE's roadmap is SUAVE Helios, expected to introduce an SGX-based decentralized block-building network. This will enable private and permissionless block building. Furthermore, Helios will connect a second domain to SUAVE to address MEV across different domains. This will serve as a building block for integrating MEV between different domains in the future. Importantly, MEV solutions across different domains will help enforce or express MEV preferences through different domains.
Concerns about SUAVE
Although SUAVE has received praise from the community, there have also been objections and concerns regarding this project. This is not uncommon, as the cryptocurrency world is always divided on various issues. So, what are the main concerns related to SUAVE?
First and foremost, the accumulation of value only occurs at the upper layer, which can negatively impact the security of Ethereum. Secondly, some have pointed out that becoming a transaction confirmer (validator) is costly and not accessible to everyone, limiting participation and benefiting from this development. Lastly, according to some opinions, there may be doubts about whether this solution truly helps in censorship resistance. They argue that it only leads to the “best-case plausible deniability.”
These are just some of the main concerns related to SUAVE. While there are no significant threats that render this project irrelevant, it may be worth examining them in the future as SUAVE is developed and deployed, to see if they are truly addressed in the process.
SUAVE is another ambitious project being developed by Flashbots. The goal of this project is to improve MEV and address some of its key issues. The project has been under development for nearly two years, and the team at Flashbots is striving to attract attention and assistance from anyone in the community to contribute to the development and deployment process.