Blockchain infrastructure company Blocknative has announced the release of a new tool called ethernow.xyz, designed to examine the “mempool” of pending transactions awaiting processing on the Ethereum network. This tool aims to reduce instances of block-level manipulation and protect users from front-running bots. The real-time explorer tool provides insights into Ethereum mempool data and the block building process, serving as the Etherscan for pre-chain data. The development of this tool was made possible through a grant from the Ethereum Foundation.
Blocknative CEO Matt Cutler described the tool as instrumental in solving “observability” challenges faced by researchers, allowing them to understand why certain transactions fail or succeed and how they are added to specific blocks. Cutler further emphasized that protocol developers can leverage the tool to gain real-time visibility into application usage and predict increased or decreased volatility.
Recently presented at the Columbia CryptoEconomics Workshop in New York, ethernow.xyz allows users to gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the mempool and how transactions are organized before being added to blocks. Transactions first enter the mempool, acting as a waiting room where they await organization by validators. During this intermediary period, there is a potential for third-party players to manipulate the transactions to maximize profits, known as Maximal Extractible Value (MEV).
Cutler highlighted that ethernow.xyz has the potential to provide wallet providers with the ability to give end-users feedback on transaction status and offer suggestions for MEV protections. Additionally, stablecoin issuers can monitor potentially problematic transactions at an early stage in their lifecycle.
In an interview, Cutler commented, “It’s the first real-time interface to see the inner workings,” emphasizing the opportunities for further enhancement and growth.
This announcement follows Blocknative’s restructuring in October, which resulted in a reduction of one-third of its headcount. The company made this decision after suspending its services related to the MEV-Boost relay due to poor economics. Cutler explained that the company’s focus has now shifted to extending its runway, intending to pursue its Real-Time Observability thesis.
Overall, ethernow.xyz represents a significant step forward in the blockchain infrastructure space. By providing real-time insights into the mempool and block building process, the tool has the potential to enhance transparency, protect users from manipulation, and enable developers to make informed decisions regarding application usage and volatility predictions. With ongoing enhancements and growth, ethernow.xyz could revolutionize the way users interact with the Ethereum network and further advance the field of blockchain technology.