Shedding light onto the dark forest


  • Author: @0xMo0nR3kt3r
  • Recipient: @0xMo0nR3kt3r
  • Category: Relays to archival nodes (Polygon, future: Arbitrum and Optimism)
  • Asking Amount: A high number of relays to archival nodes


MEV is a very obscure topic with very little public information and open-source code. This is true for Ethereum and even more so for L2s. We are a team of 2 researchers partnering with Flashbots to shed some light onto the dark forest by working on Quantifying MEV on L2s (Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism). To do so, we need to make a lot of requests to archival Polygon nodes.


What we offer

We want to partner with the Pocket DAO and/or PNI, to subside relays for the research, in exchange for which we shall thank and praise Pocket Network and how useful of a tool it is in our research. The media on which the research is going to be published includes:

  • a research paper
  • a Twitter thread
  • a Medium article
  • a presentation to the Flashbots team
  • a publication on Flashbots website
  • Flashbots will probably also share the research on their own media, thus increasing the reach

Note that the acknowledgement of Pocket Network’s support would be included in all media under our control, not just the twitter thread or the research paper.

MEV being such an “obscure” topic, most of the space is lurking on Twitter or the Flashbots website/forum/discord. There is not many MEV related conferences except for some Flashbots events nor is their particular journals. We are open to suggestions of conferences or journals where it could be published as well.

This is the opportunity to make Pocket known to the MEV community, where a lot of organizations are either:

  • searching for MEV on different blockchains
  • doing academic-like research like our own

“Pocket Network bringing transparency to the obscure MEV space” is a very attractive headline that shall increase Pocket Network’s popularity in the MEV space, where organizations constantly need to make lots of RPC requests.

What we are asking for

For each chain, we are looking at all MEV transactions and we will need to do 1 query per transaction.
It is quite hard to quantify the number of relays needed beforehand because this is precisely the end goal of the research. I can give a lower bound of 1 request per 2 blocks (assuming there is 1 MEV tx every 2 blocks on average) but this is very vague and the upper bound will be even more vague.
Below is the distribution of the number of MEV txs per block on a non representative sample on Polygon:
But it could very well be that there will be a single block or 2 that are very skewed and shift the average. Also note that it tends to jump over time:


We have been working for months on the topic, you can see the repo here. It is ready to run for the whole history of chains, the paper is 90% written, only the results and their interpretation are missing.

[EDIT to add answers to the below questions as information in the proposal]


Hi and welcome to the Pocket forum!
Personally I like the proposal, I’m particularly in favor for adding aggregate value to the Pocket Network, specifically funding research on crypto and show that we care about making things right (even though this is not Pocket central research).

I wanted to ask a few things:

  1. Where are you planning to publish the research paper? is there any target journal/conference? (already asked in TG, but please respond here to for everyone)

  2. This seems to be a reimbursement proposal, ask the DAO to fund your activities (pay for your relays). Do you have an estimate on how many relays will this research require?
    We need a rough number to know if you are asking for traffic that will affect our minting or it will just be a small bump.

  3. Just to clarify, your “praising” will be included in all your articles?
    I mean, if we are to fund this I would like the Pocket DAO to appear among the acknowledgement of your research paper, medium article and etc, not just a twitter thread.

  4. Is there an ETA for this?
    If the traffic that you are going to create is big it would be great to coordinate your efforts and the node-runners to achieve a better experience for everyone. Setting up chains take time and with more node-runners you will have better service and the rewards will be evenly distributed in the community.


I believe the proposal will be for the amount of $POKT that is needed to stake for each of the chains on which they are doing research in order to achieve the daily RPC throughput needed to conduct the research. While it would probably be structured as a grant since there is no funding category called “loan”, it could potentially be considered a loan - as in, the recipients can declare their intention to return the POKT to the DAO when they are finished doing the research, e.g., by the end of two years if staking via “pay as you go” model. Alternately , if RPC usage is only needed for a month or so, then a smaller grant can be made to cover RPC usage for just those couple months (in which case there would be no idea of returnin the tokens to the DAO)

If Arthur could enumerate the desired daily throughput per chain and how many chains an over what period of time, we can translate that to the right amount of POKT. I recommend that the DAO match the efficiency of effort which Arthur has brought this to the table by having GRIP get this proposal-ready within 48 hours and immediately to a vote thereafter, seeing that the vote itself needs to run 7 days. It is not a particularly complicated or controversial ask.