There are two independent topics that have been at the forefront of the Stacks community recently. We want to provide a summary here by delineating these two topics, describing them, and explaining next steps. We’ve gathered some notes from Working Groups calls to begin the discussion here.
Here are the two topics:
- Orphan blocks (for information and updates on this topic, please see this thread.)
- Bitcoin MEV (read on)
The core developers are aware (and have been aware) of both of these for some time, and are currently taking steps to further explore and gather additional data about each issue.
The Bitcoin MEV is a known issue with several active proposals being researched.
A Bitcoin miner (F2Pool) is excluding block commit transactions from other Stacks miners in the Bitcoin blocks it produces. It thus has no competition, and is able to mine Stacks blocks for minimal cost.
Current impact on the chain: PoX participants (who receive bitcoin in exchange for supporting chain security) in blocks created by F2Pool’s Bitcoin miner have lower payouts. Maintaining healthy PoX action is important because it incentivizes users to support the overall security of the network via Stacking.
Next steps?: In short, conducting research to determine the best approach to solve this problem. There are three proposals discussed on the forum, two of which are smaller in scope and could be activated by network voting in a shorter time frame. These are outlined in the doc linked in the next section. These proposals, as well as some alternatives, are being analyzed and evaluated by token economics experts hired by the Stacks Foundation. The research is slated to conclude roughly around 4/21, after which engineering work and testing can promptly begin.
Get more information:
- In this doc, both the problem and two potential solutions are discussed in more depth: Proposals for Bitcoin MEV issue
- Github Discussion: Technical thoughts, questions, or comments.
Please follow this thread, updates will be posted as replies!