Solana’s Spam Problems Persist Despite Tech Improvements, MEV Researchers Say

Arbitrageurs are eating up precious blockspace with pointless transactions, according to Jito Labs.

AccessTimeIconFeb 28, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:09 a.m. UTC

Despite efforts by Solana developers to discourage spammy transactions that could threaten to bog down the network, a majority of the network’s compute is still being wasted on failed trades, according to an analysis by crypto infrastructure company Jito Labs.

In one recent epoch (a time period on Solana roughly equivalent to two and a half days), arbitrage transactions took up 60% of overall compute space, per Jito. These transactions were attempts by bots to win slim margins on competitive trades – and 98% of their attempts failed.

The result is wasted blockspace for the network as well as capital burnt for no reason on losing trades, according to a blog post from Jito Foundation. It blames this on the way Solana’s infrastructure handles submitted transactions: give priority to the first in line. That creates an incentive for arbitrage bots to submit multiple duplicate transactions in the hopes they will get the winner.

Recent changes to Solana’s backend – particularly the introduction of priority fees and local fee markets – have changed the economics around spamming; and yet spam transactions will persist as long as MEV (maximal extractable value) opportunities remain, according to analysis by validator service Chorus One.

MEV refers to the methods through which traders can squeeze as much crypto as they can out of a given blockchain network, typically by previewing upcoming transactions and using this advanced information to squeeze in profitable trades.

Two popular strategies include winning arbitrage trades and fulfilling liquidation orders. On Ethereum, where MEV is a cottage industry, the network’s slower architecture and emphasis on fees combats spam transactions much more than Solana’s,

Jito Foundation is building a specialty client for the Solana network that optimizes for MEV, said the pseudonymous Buffalu, CEO of Jito Labs, which contributes to the work.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about