Ephemeral Anchors and MEVil

Ephemeral Anchors and MEVil

Original Postby ajtowns

Posted on: January 20, 2024 04:52 UTC

The email in question raises concerns about the logic behind a certain transaction diagram, questioning the presence of non-zero fee transactions and the absence of ephemeral anchor outputs.

The writer appears to be puzzled over the strategies of two parties, Alice and Bob, in a scenario involving multiple transactions labeled TxA, TxB, TxC, and TxD.

Alice seems to have an interest in the combination of TxA, TxB, and TxD, while Bob is in the process of creating a conflicting transaction TxC that interferes with both TxB and TxD. Notably, TxC's conflict with TxD stems from an already confirmed unspent transaction output (utxo). The sender outlines that for Bob's TxC to avoid direct competition with TxA, the ephemeral anchor from TxA must hold a value less than 5. This stipulation is based on the assumption that miners would otherwise opt to claim the anchor directly through a smaller OP_RETURN transaction, which would be more profitable due to its simplicity and lower byte size.

Further elaborating on the economic incentives for miners, it is suggested that if TxA carried a higher value, a miner would prefer claiming it directly rather than mining TxB or TxC. Therefore, to maintain a competitive edge and not rely on TxA, Bob's TxC must inherently contribute significant fees—101 units as posited—from other sources. This financial structure would allow Bob to create a direct conflict with TxD that presents both a higher total fee and a higher fee rate, eliminating the need to engage with TxA.

This analysis indicates a sophisticated understanding of the fee market dynamics and how participants might strategize in a blockchain environment to maximize their own benefits while navigating around the actions of others. It highlights the complexities of transaction fee economics and the strategic considerations involved in crafting transactions that are attractive to miners within a competitive blockchain space.