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SoK: Transparent Dishonesty: front-running attacks on Blockchain

by   Shayan Eskandari, et al.

We consider front-running to be a course of action where an entity benefits from prior access to privileged market information about upcoming transactions and trades. Front-running has been an issue in financial instrument markets since the 1970s. With the advent of the blockchain technology, front-running has resurfaced in new forms we explore here, instigated by blockchains decentralized and transparent nature. In this paper, we draw from a scattered body of knowledge and instances of front-running across the top 25 most active decentral applications (DApps) deployed on Ethereum blockchain. Additionally, we carry out a detailed analysis of initial coin offering (ICO) and show evidence of abnormal miners behavior indicative of front-running token purchases. Finally, we map the proposed solutions to front-running into useful categories.


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