Flashbots co-founder warns of 'serious challenges' beyond MEV bots in departure letter

Quick Take

  • Alex Obadia, a co-founder of the Ethereum infrastructure service Flashbots formed to battle negative consequences of MEV extraction techniques on Ethereum, is departing the company.
  • “We’ve grown into an incumbent, we now also need to protect the system against ourselves,” he wrote on Twitter.

Alex Obadia, a co-founder of the Ethereum infrastructure service Flashbots formed to battle negative consequences of MEV extraction techniques on Ethereum, is departing the Paradigm-backed company. He used a farewell letter posted on Twitter to offer "gratitude for the friendships built and lessons learned" and also warned of "serious challenges" ahead. 

"The system we committed to protect is still vulnerable to centralization from phenomena such as cross-domain MEV and exclusive orderflow," he wrote in a letter posted to Twitter. "To top it off, as we've grown into an incumbent, we now also need to protect the system against ourselves, to avoid becoming the very Moloch we're fighting against."

Obadia said he was leaving the company for multiple reasons, "some more personal than others." 

Flashbots North Star

"What it boils down to is that I feel my vision and values will be better served somewhere else," he added. "This is normal, and happens in every growing organization. So please understand that my departure is not a reflection of the potential I see in you all, but rather an acknowledgement that organizations, like people, need to grow and change." 

Flashbots’ service proposes blocks for validators running the Ethereum blockchain, and the company earlier this year was looking to raise funds at a billion-dollar valuation. Its website says it was born out of the "the existential crisis of MEV."

Maximal Extractable Value, which MEV refers to, is a technique that involves manipulating transaction sequencing to capitalize on certain types of trades.

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