Ethereum developers summarized the technical roadmap of the anticipated merge of the original Ethereum network with the Beacon chain to realize the potential glitch that could occur in the MEV boost. While the contingencies of an impediment like this is slim but it has been addressed by the team to ensure the Eth merge happens smoothly.
In the 92nd Consensus Layer call, researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, Alex Stokes raised possible technical disruption of the MEV boost. The compromise in the MEV component could cause obstacles in the relay process between block builders and validators. A vulnerability like this could play havoc in the orderly addition of blocks.
In a statement to CoinDesk, Stokes mentioned that the MEV obstacle wouldn’t cause any change in the timeline of the Ethereum Merge
Additional Read: Ethereum Merge Update
MEV – Maximum Extractable Value refers to the income that miners of the POS network and block builders and validators of the Proof of Stake will receive for contributing to the network. To avoid centralization of authority the MEV boost is designed to let validators request blocks from the builders on the network. Post the Ethereum merge, participants interacting with the blockchain will send these transactions to the block builders. The MEV boost will collect these blocks and send them to the validators of the network. Validators will propose profitable blocks to the Ethereum network.
If the MEV boost fails or runs into downtime the entire Proof of Stake chain will be compromised. Any flaw or bug would affect the relay operators as they won’t be able to send the blocks at the right time. This in turn will cause the entire line of blocks addition a major delay and network congestion which has been the original obstacle of proof of work blockchains.
During the call a proposal to create a circuit breaker was presented. With this solution, a simple line of code being sent to the validator to automatically turn off operations could be a feasible solution. But, this could also lead to validators maliciously withholding blocks from others and duping fellow validators to receive more rewards as a validator.
Some developers proposed to get a third party to keep a watch on the validator relay activity. According to the Ethereum developer team, the innovators of MEV are already working on a public monitoring system to track MEV activity.
Ben Edgington, the lead product owner for Teku at ConsenSys told CoinDesk that the right approach to solve the MEV issue is the best answer.
Christine Kim, a research associate at Galaxy Digital present at the meeting noted that the MEV system has placed its trust in the validators, the major concern with MEV is the potential downtime that may happen.
Stokes reiterated that the possibilities of an MEV-boost failure are very low, but it is pertinent to be ready with a solution like circuit breaker so in a mishap the network can be fixed in no time.
Additional Read: Vitalik Buterin says Ethereum will be 55% Complete ‘Post Merge’