According to CoinDesk, Blocknative, a provider of tools for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, announced on Tuesday that it will exit services related to its MEV-Boost Relay, a type of software used by network validators. The decision came after internal discussions among the company's leadership and board of directors. Blocknative has advised users to remove the Blocknative Relay from their validator configurations by September 27.
CEO Matt Cutler stated that Blocknative will continue in other core services, including mempool explorer, transaction simulation, Ethereum gas estimator, and Polygon estimator. Cutler explained that the business was not meeting the company's economic expectations, and efforts to introduce economic incentives at the relay layer did not materialize.
MEV, or Maximal Extractable Value, is an 'invisible tax' that validators and builders can collect from users by reordering or inserting transactions in a block before they are added to the blockchain. Validators on Ethereum primarily earn MEV through MEV-Boost, a middleware developed by research and development firm Flashbots. However, Cutler noted that running a relay and block-building services require a lot of work and expertise, with little economic incentive for a neutral player like Blocknative. Some figures in the MEV-Boost space have expressed concerns about the business becoming excessively centralized.