Maximizing Extractable Value from Automated Market Makers

06/02/2021 ∙ by Massimo Bartoletti, et al. ∙ 0

Automated Market Makers (AMMs) are decentralized applications that allow users to exchange crypto-tokens without the need to find a matching exchange order. AMMs are one of the most successful DeFi use case so far, as the main AMM platforms UniSwap and Balancer process a daily volume of transactions worth billions of dollars. Despite this success story, AMMs are well-known to suffer from transaction-ordering issues: indeed, adversaries can frontrun user transactions to increase their gain to the detriment of honest users. Being specifically designated to arrange user transactions into blocks, miners can easily play the role of adversary, by suitably selecting and ordering transactions - and possibly inserting their own - to increase their gain. In this paper we formally characterize rational miners as players which follow an optimal strategy in the mining game. We identify relevant variants of the game, corresponding to specific real-world constraints that a miner might have. We devise effective procedures to construct solutions to mining game, both in its most general form and in some relevant variants. Most notably, miners can exploit these solutions to maximize the value extracted from user transactions.



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