Ethereum mining pool Ethermine introduced software that could mollify miners upset by a coming steep cut in mining fees by allowing them to eke out greater profit from each block mined.
The Austria-based pool – which comprises some 20% of the Ethereum network’s hash power – became the first majority pool to introduce a Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) software strategy to compensate the “upcoming mining reward reduction caused by the adoption of EIP 1559,” according to a tweet Wednesday. MEV automates transaction sequencing in blockchains based on possible arbitrage opportunities, which Ethermine expects to increase mining rewards between 1%-10%. Ethermine plans to distribute 80% of MEV profits to the pool.
That EIP is slated for inclusion in the Ethereum network in July with the London hard fork. The proposal burns network transaction fees instead of giving them to miners, who process transactions. Miners are not very pleased with the proposal – even going as far as to threaten a 51% attack against Ethereum – but have few options on the table given Ethereum’s governance structure. So, many mining pools are adding MEV to supplement lost income, such as Flexpool.
In Ethereum, MEV is a general term relating to numerous strategies for front running or back running transactions in order to secure an arbitrage profit. The strategy has garnered wide attention in the trading community over the past year as decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols rose in popularity. Indeed, MEV research group Flashbots shows some $1.7 million in MEV-based profits were made in the last 24 hours alone.
Developers and miners alike have begun turning to MEV as a way to supplement miners who are certain to face steep revenue declines with fee burnings.
Ethermine did not return questions for comment by press time.