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Mitigating MEV attacks with a twotiered architecture utilizing verifiable decryption
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking volume 2024, Article number: 62 (2024)
Abstract
A distributed ledger is a shared and synchronized database across multiple designated nodes, often referred to as miners, validators, or peers. These nodes record, distribute, and access data to ensure security and transparency. However, these nodes can be compromised and manipulated by selectively choosing which user transactions to include, exclude, or reorder, thereby gaining an unfair advantage. This is known as a miner/maximal extractable value (MEV) attack. Existing solutions can be classified into various categories, such as MEV auction platforms and timebased ordering properties, which rely on private transaction Mempools. In this paper, we first identify some architectural weaknesses inherent in the latest proposals that divide the block creation and execution roles into separate functions: block builders and block executors. The existing schemes mainly suffer from the verifiability of the decryption process, where a corrupted builder or executor can simply deny the inclusion of specific targeted transactions by exploiting the fact that all transactions are in plain format. To address this, we propose an enhanced version that incorporates a verifiable decryption process. On a very high level, within our proposal, whenever an Executor or a Builder performs a decryption, the decrypted values must be broadcasted. This enables any entity in the network to publicly verify whether the decryption was executed correctly, thus preventing malicious behavior by either party from going undetected. We also define a new adversary model for MEV and conduct a comprehensive security analysis of our protocol against all kinds of potential adversaries related to MEV. Finally, we present the performance analysis of the proposed solution.
1 Introduction
The introduction of blockchain technology, shown by Bitcoin [1] and Ethereum [2], has started in a new era of financial transactions. This technology allows users to send transactions to a decentralized network of peers, known as miners or validators, who try to earn transaction fees and block rewards [3]. The core of blockchain is its consensus mechanisms, which ensure the process of validating transactions is honest and fair. These mechanisms minimize the chance of any single miner benefiting too much from the fees compared to the resources they put into to the network. Despite the robustness of these consensus algorithms, they typically do not dictate the precise ordering of transactions within a block. This flexibility stems from the practical challenges in ensuring that validators generate both precise and manipulationresistant timestamps. Consequently, individual validators may be incentivized to sequence transactions in a manner that maximizes their profits, a phenomenon that is not fully mitigated by the trustless model of blockchain or by performance considerations. This issue persists even with the advent of Layer 2 solutions, such as Optimistic Rollups [4], ZeroKnowledge Rollups (zkRollups) [5], and a ZeroKnowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) [6]) are also subjected to such attacks which are also susceptible to similar vulnerabilities. A key result of this flexibility is the development of MEV, which is the extra profit a miner can make by smartly changing the order of user transactions [3, 7].
The ecosystem of MEV involves three main actors: miners, network users, and MEV searchers. Miners validate transactions in exchange for fees, network users submit transactions for inclusion in the blockchain, and MEV searchers identify profitable opportunities by manipulating the order of transactions in their mempool. These searchers employ various strategies to optimize the sequence of transactions within the constraints of a block’s maximum capacity. When a profitable sequence is identified, they participate in auctions organized by miners to secure specific transaction slots. This situation has transformed decentralized finance (DeFi) into a competitive where a few players can gain a significant value at the expense of less knowledgeable participants. The challenge of MEV has prompted a lot of research efforts aimed at finding ways to reduce its impact. For example, an architectural solution, called the Flashbots Auction [8], introduces a structured network of searchers, relays, and builders, to protocollevel innovations like the Eden Network’s [9] transaction ordering protocol and Ethereum’s Danksharding scheme [10]. However, despite these advancements, existing solutions have not fully addressed the threat posed by malicious block proposers or builders.
1.1 MEV attacks: impact and motivation of this study
A new issue called MEV has emerged as a significant concern for blockchain technology, especially affecting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. MEV attacks exploit the inherent flexibility in transaction ordering within blockchain systems, allowing miners (or validators) to potentially change the order of transactions to give themselves an unfair advantage. This capability not only poses a risk to the fairness and transparency of blockchain operations but also has broader implications for market stability and security. That’s why it’s important to come up with ways to stop MEV attacks. This will protect the core ideas of blockchain and keep the cryptocurrency market healthy.
Firstly, the potential for MEV attacks to disrupt market equilibrium cannot be overstated. By enabling actors to alter transaction outcomes and manipulate prices, these attacks introduce a significant source of market instability. Addressing MEV attacks is crucial for preserving the integrity of cryptocurrency markets, ensuring that they function as efficient and fair platforms for financial exchange. Implementing robust solutions to counteract MEV attacks can significantly contribute to maintaining market stability, thereby protecting the interests of all market participants from dishonest behavior and manipulative practices.
Furthermore, MEV attacks contribute to volatility in the cryptocurrency market by allowing for the strategic manipulation of transaction outcomes and pricing [11]. This volatility undermines the broader adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrencies as stable financial instruments. By developing and deploying mechanisms to mitigate the impact of MEV attacks, we can foster a more stable and predictable market environment, encouraging greater participation and investment in the cryptocurrency space.
Another critical concern is the effect of MEV attacks on the security of the blockchain itself. These attacks can incentivize miners to engage in practices such as transaction restriction or reshuffling, directly undermining the blockchain’s security framework and the immutability of transaction records. By addressing the root causes and mechanisms of MEV attacks, we can bolster the blockchain’s resilience against such security threats, ensuring the protection and integrity of user transactions.
Lastly, the presence of MEV attacks introduces inefficiencies into the blockchain ecosystem, as users may be forced to adopt expensive and complex strategies to safeguard their transactions from being frontrun or altered. This not only increases the operational costs for users but also detracts from the blockchain’s promise of providing a costefficient and transparent mechanism for conducting transactions. Developing solutions to neutralize the threat of MEV attacks can significantly enhance the efficiency of blockchain systems, reducing the necessity for costly countermeasures and improving the overall user experience.
In light of these considerations, this research paper seeks to explore innovative approaches to mitigating the challenges posed by MEV attacks. By examining the underlying mechanisms that enable these attacks and proposing effective solutions, we aim to contribute to the ongoing efforts to secure blockchain networks, preserve market stability, and ensure a fair and equitable digital economy.
1.2 Our contributions
In this paper, we first evaluate current mitigation strategies against MEV attacks and their effects on blockchain security and decentralization. We demonstrate that these techniques do not actually offer full protection against malicious block proposers or builders. To address this gap, we introduce a new mechanism to enhance a recently proposed scheme, called Mangata’s ProposerBuilder Separation (PBS) [12], which was designed to resist MEV attacks. Our solution addresses the architectural weaknesses of existing approaches by employing a verifiable decryption mechanism. In particular, we reduce the block proposer’s power to reject an auctioned block. Furthermore, we also present a comprehensive new adversary model for MEV attacks and prove that our proposed architecture is indeed secure against all types of attackers defined within this model. Through our research, we aim to contribute to ongoing efforts toward securing blockchain networks against MEV vulnerabilities and promoting a more equitable and decentralized ecosystem. The contributions of our paper can summarized as follows:

We first revisit existing proposals to mitigate MEV attacks, particularly focusing on the recently proposed Danksharding [10]. This approach introduces sharding, dividing the network into smaller sections, and implements PBS and Censorship Resistance Scenarios (crList) to reduce MEV. However, we show that in its basic form, this design does not prevent a proposer from ignoring the auctioned block from the builder and creating their own blocks, hence potentially enabling a malicious proposer to exploit MEV. We also review various strategies that have been proposed to secure MEV attacks, including Flashbots [8], Mangata [12], and Eden Network [9] and show that these solutions do not actually provide full security against malicious block proposers or block builders.

We then introduce our improved scheme to enhance Mangata’s PBSbased MEV resistance protocol using a verifiable decryption process, which mitigates the ability of block proposers to decline auctioned blocks.

We also present a new adversary model for MEV attacks and show that the proposed architecture is secure against all the forms of attackers defined in the model. We believe this to be the first adversary model presented in the space MEV.

Finally, we evaluate the performance of our proposal by presenting our implementation results and showing its efficiency and scalability.
1.3 Roadmap
In Section 1, we detail the design and implementation of our computational simulations, including the specific cryptographic operations, experimental setup, and the comprehensive benchmarking of our proposed twotiered architecture aimed at mitigating MEV attacks. In Sect. 2, we first highlight the methods used in the construction of the proposal, gives the most common consensus algorithms behind PoA chains which are used in the proposed constructions for securing MEV attacks, and then provide the necessary cryptographic background for MEV mitigation techniques. In Sect. 3, we present and discuss previous attempts and proposals aimed at mitigating MEV attacks. Section 4 presents the definition of MEV and the related attacks such as frontrunning, backrunning, and sandwich. It also introduces several different strategies that can be used to mitigate the MEV attacks. It also reviews the related literature on MEV attacks through a number of mechanisms. Section 5 first describes the Mangata Finance protocol and then presents its potential weaknesses. In Sect. 6, we propose our new scheme which is potentially an improved version of the Mangata architecture by providing a verifiable decryption process to mitigate their weaknesses. In Sect. 7, we present a detailed security analysis according to the predefined adversarial model and give the performance analysis. In Sect. 8, we present the results evaluating the performance and efficiency of our proposal. In Sect. 9, it compares the security and transparency of the proposed architecture with existing methods for mitigating MEV attacks, highlighting scalability challenges and the need for ongoing testing and optimization. Finally, Sect. 10 concludes the paper.
2 Methods/experimental
2.1 Study design
The study employs a detailed computational simulation to evaluate cryptographic operations aimed at mitigating MEV within a blockchain environment. Our model simulates realworld operations using RSA and symmetric cryptographic algorithms under a proposed twotiered architectural framework, focusing on their effectiveness and efficiency in reducing potential MEV attacks.
2.2 Setting
The research was conducted using Python 3.12.2 on an Intel(R) Core(TM) i510210U CPU. This setup provided a controlled and replicable environment, ensuring that the performance metrics and benchmarks accurately reflect the computational demands of typical blockchain operations. All cryptographic operations and performance evaluations were performed within this environment, allowing for precise control over variables and consistency in data collection.
2.3 Participants or materials
Our simulations utilized artificial blockchain transactions that were created to represent a range of typical network activities. These transactions were used to test the integrity and performance of RSA decryption, symmetric decryption, and their combination within our blockchain architecture. The GitHub repository^{Footnote 1} publicly hosts the implemented cryptographic algorithms, allowing for external validation and replication of our results.
2.4 Interventions and comparisons
This subsection outlines the cryptographic operations at each stage of our twotiered architecture. It highlights how these operations improve security and efficiency compared to traditional cryptographic methods.
Clientside calculations

Transactions were initially signed with the user’s private key.

Two types of encryptions were performed per transaction: RSA encryption for keys designated for the builder and executor and symmetric encryption for the transaction data itself.
Builderside calculations

Transactions were selected from a simulated mempool, involving decryption processes to retrieve keys and messages and verify the transaction integrity through hash comparisons.
Executorside calculations

Post builder decryption, the executor verified the block’s integrity, performed further decryptions, and prepared the transaction for final block inclusion.
These interventions were systematically compared to baseline models that utilize conventional singletier cryptographic practices, highlighting the enhancements in security and efficiency brought about by our proposed model.
2.5 Type of analysis used
Comprehensive statistical analysis was utilized to assess the performance benchmarks. Metrics such as mean, standard deviation, and range were calculated for:

Encryption and decryption times, capturing the speed and efficiency of cryptographic operations.

Key generation and integrity check durations, emphasizing the system’s capability to maintain security under operational stress.
Detailed results included:

Average encryption time of 0.002555 s and decryption time of 0.006267 s over 1,000 trials, indicating high efficiency suitable for realtime applications.

Key generation and integrity checks demonstrated rapid execution, essential for maintaining highsecurity standards in dynamic network environments.
2.6 Power calculation
While a traditional power calculation was not applicable due to the nonstatistical nature of the primary outcomes (system performance metrics), the sample size of 1,000 trials was chosen to ensure the robustness and reliability of the benchmark results, providing a comprehensive view of system performance across various scenarios.
3 Exploring blockchain architecture and cryptographic primitives in our proposal
This paper proposes a new architecture to mitigate MEV attacks. It also analyses previously proposed architectures which were designed against MEV; such as Flashbots [8, 13], Mangata Finance [12], Eden Network [9], and Danksharding [10, 14]. However, we show that they do not actually offer sufficient protection against both adversarial block builders and executors. These existing architectures have also a common vulnerability that could allow a malicious proposer to reject an auctioned block from the builder and independently create their own blocks, thereby facilitating MEV extraction. In this respect, Danksharding introduces a blockchain framework characterized by the division of the network into smaller units referred to as shards.
The proposed architecture aims to mitigate MEV exploitation by utilizing the concept of PBS. The proposed architecture addresses the aforementioned issues by introducing novel and effective enhancements to Mangata’s PBSbased MEV resistance protocol. The proposed architecture incorporates a verifiable decryption process to target inherent weaknesses in the PBS protocol. Unlike other solutions, it also eliminates the problem of block bidders rejecting blocks put up for auction. Furthermore, this paper first introduces adversarial model for the proposals and then presents a formal analysis model against MEV attacks for the first time. The security of our proposed system has been shown within the framework of this model. Finally, the paper includes performance calculations of the proposed system and highlights its scalability.
In the following subsections, we start by presenting the necessary cryptographic primitives which have been utilized in our proposed protocol.
3.1 Most common consensus algorithms behind PoA chains
ProofofAuthority (PoA) is a permission consensus algorithm that provides a practical and effective solution for current blockchain systems, especially consortium blockchains. PoA relies on several authority nodes, called sealers, to carry out procedures that allow consensus to be reached. These eligible nodes have to check that blocks and transactions are correct. The design of a small committee enables fast confirmation of transactions and easy management of involved members. Thus, PoA is used as the underlying consensus algorithm for many blockchain projects. Ethereum is the most wellknown application. It comes in two forms: 1) Aura (short for Authority Round) in Parity and 2) Clique in Geth [15].
3.1.1 Clique
The Ethereum client, written in GoLang and Geth, employs Clique as its PoA algorithm. Clique [16] is the PoA algorithm, which uses Geth [17], while the Ethereum client is written in GoLang. The method works in epochs, distinguished by a fixed sequence of committed blocks. A specific transition block is sent when a new epoch begins, and which defines the set [18]. While Aura uses UNIX time, Clique uses a formula that combines the block number and the number of authorities to calculate the current step and related leader. Most importantly, other authorities and the existing leader are permitted to suggest blockages during each phase. To prevent a single Byzantine authority from wreaking havoc on the network by imposing an excessive number of blocks, each authority is limited to proposing a block every \(N/2+ 1\) blocks. As a result, no more than \(N(N/2 + 1)\) authorities are permitted to propose a block at any given time. Similar to before, authorities who act intentionally (for example, proposing a block when it is not permitted) can be voted out. Specifically, at each step, a vote against an authority can be cast, and if a majority is obtained, the authority is removed from the list of valid authorities.
3.1.2 AURA (authority round)
Mangata’s protocol has been built into the substrate framework and will be joined as a parachain in the Polkadot network using the AURA consensus [12]. Patterns of Aura have a firstround where the current leader proposes a new block (block proposal). Aura needs a second round where the new block is accepted (block acceptance), but by contrast Clique does not. The protocol depends on the assumption of a synchronous network (UNIX time synchronization), and thus, there may be times when it does not work correctly because the network validators’ clocks need to be in sync.
The network is assumed to be synchronous and all authorities to be synchronized to the same UNIX time [19]. The index s for each step is deterministically computed by each authority as \(s = t/step\_duration\), where step duration is a constant, thus determining the duration of a given step. The leader of a step s is the authority identified by the id \(l = s\ mod\ N\).
3.1.3 BABE (Blind assignment for blockchain extension)
BABE is usually used in proofofstake blockchains because it allows for slotbased block authoring with a known set of validators. Slot assignment, unlike Aura, is based on a verifiable random function (VRF). For each epoch, each validator is given a weight. This epoch is divided into slots, and at each slot, the validator checks its VRF. It can write a block for each slot where the validator’s VRF output is lower than its weight. Even when the network is working well, forks occur more frequently in BABE than in Aura because more than one validator might be able to make a block at the same time. The way substrate uses that BABE provides a backup plan for when no authorities are chosen for a given slot. With these secondary slot assignments, BABE can keep the time it takes to block the same [20].
3.2 Cryptographic hash functions
A hash function takes an input of any length and returns an output of a fixed size. The values that a hash function gives back are called hash values, hash codes, digests, or just hashes. Let
be a hash function. H needs to satisfy the following properties:

Collision resistance: It is computationally infeasible to find a collision, i.e., two distinct inputs that hash to the same result. More concretely, it is hard to find two inputs x, y with \(x \ne y\) such that \(H(x) = H(y)\).

Preimage resistance (one way): It is computationally infeasible to find any input which hashes to any prespecified output. More concretely, if a hash function H produced a hash value z, it should be hard to find an input value x such that \(z = H(x)\).

Second preimage resistance: It is computationally infeasible to find any second input which has the same output as any specified input. More concretely, if a hash function H takes an input value x and comes up with a hash value H(x), it should be hard to find any other input value y for which \(H(y) = H(x)\) [21].
3.3 Symmetric encryption  secret key encryption
A symmetric key encryption scheme uses a single private key K to encrypt a given message M as \(C = \textsf{SymEnc}(K, M)\) and also to decrypt C as \(M = \textsf{SymEnc}(K, C)\). AES is the most common algorithm is used in practice where different key sizes can be used such as AES128, AES192, or AES256 [22].
3.4 Asymmetric encryption
An asymmetric encryption (also called public key cryptography) uses a pair of public and private key (pk, sk) that are mathematically linked to encrypt and decrypt sensitive information, respectively [23]. Rivest–Shamir–Adleman(RSA) and ElGamal are the most common algorithms used in practice.
3.4.1 RSA

Key generation

1.
Generate two random large primes p and q.

2.
Compute \(n = pq\).

3.
Compute \(\phi (n)\)=(p1)(q1).

4.
Select a public exponent \(e \in \{1, 2, \cdots , \phi (n)1\)} such that \(\gcd (e,\phi (n)) = 1\).

5.
Compute the private key d such that
$$\begin{aligned} d e \equiv 1 \mod \phi (n). \end{aligned}$$ 
6.
Output (pubkey, privkey) where \(pubkey = (n,e)\) and \(privkey = d\).

1.

Encryption of a message M
$$\begin{aligned} C = AsymEnc(pubkey, m) \equiv M^e \mod n. \end{aligned}$$ 
Decryption of a ciphertext C
$$\begin{aligned} M = Dec(privkey, C) \equiv C^d \mod n. \end{aligned}$$
3.4.2 ElGamal encryption
ElGamal encryption scheme is applicable to any cyclic group \({\mathbb {G}}\) with a large prime order q and a generator g [24].

Key generation

1.
Select a large prime q.

2.
Select g to be a primitive root (generator) in \({\mathbb {G}}\).

3.
Select \(x \in _R {\mathbb {Z}}_q^*\).

4.
\(h = g^x \mod q\).

5.
Output (pubkey, privkey) where \(pubkey = (g, h, q)\) and \(privkey = x\).

1.

Encryption of a message M

1.
Select \(r \in _R {\mathbb {G}}\).

2.
\(C_1 = g^r \mod q\).

3.
\(C_2 = M h^r \mod q\).

4.
Output \((C_1,C_2)\).

1.

Decryption of a ciphertext C
$$\begin{aligned} M = C_2C_1^{x} \mod q. \end{aligned}$$
3.5 Digital signatures
A digital signature scheme is a cryptographic method for proving the authenticity and integrity of a digital communication or a document. Below, we present elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA) and Schnorr signatures, though it should be noted that Edwardscurve digital signature algorithm (EdDSA) (a variant of Schnorr signatures) and BLS are also used in different blockchains such as Cardano and Ethereum 2.0 [25, 26].
Schnorr signatures support batch verification, allowing multiple signatures to be verified simultaneously, resulting in improved efficiency. Unlike Schnorr, ECDSA does not naturally support batch verification. Verifying multiple ECDSA signatures requires individual computations for each signature. Moreover, Schnorr signatures are generally more efficient in terms of computation and signature size compared to ECDSA. Schnorr signatures require fewer computational operations and result in shorter signatures. As a result, both Schnorr signatures and ECDSA are widely used and offer secure digital signature algorithms. Schnorr signatures present efficiency and security advantages over ECDSA; however, ECDSA has a broader history of adoption and standardization. The selection between them may depend on specific use cases and compatibility requirements with existing systems.
3.5.1 ECDSA
The ECDSA is the elliptic curve equivalent of the DSA and is one of the most widely used algorithms [27].

Key generation

1.
Select an elliptic curve E with modulus p, and coefficients a and b. Let P be a a point on the curve generating the prime order of the cyclic group \({\mathbb {G}}\).

2.
Choose a random integer d with \(0 \le d \le q\).

3.
Compute \(Q = d \cdot P\).

4.
Output (pubkey, privkey) where
$$\begin{aligned} pubkey = (p, a, b, q, P, Q) \text { and }privkey = d. \end{aligned}$$

1.

Signing on a message M

1.
Select a random value k with \(2 \le k \le q\).

2.
Compute \(R = k \cdot P\)

3.
Let \(r = x_R \mod q\) where \(x_R\) is the xcoordinate of R.

4.
Compute \(s = k^{1} (Hash(M)+d \cdot r) \mod q\).

5.
Output the signature pair (r, s).

1.

Verification of a signed message (r, s) for a given M

1.
Verify if r and s are integers in [1, q].

2.
Compute \(w = \mod q\).

3.
Compute \(u_1 = Hash(M) s^{1} \mod q\).

4.
Compute \(u_2 = r s^{1} \mod q\).

5.
Compute a point \(A = u_1 P + u_2 Q\).

6.
The signature is valid if \(r = x \mod q\).

1.
3.5.2 Schnorr signatures
The Schnorr signature scheme has had a significant impact on the way cryptographic protocols are created. The signature scheme is based on an identification scheme that is a threemove honestverifier zeroknowledge proof of knowing a discrete logarithm. This is achieved with the help of the FiatShamir transform. The Schnorr signature as digital signature scheme which is composed a tuple of algorithms \(\textsf{Signature} = (\textsf{KeyGen}, \textsf{Sign}, \textsf{Verify})\) [28].

Key generation (\(\textsf{KeyGen}(s) \rightarrow (pk,sk)\) for a security parameter s)

1.
Pick a randomly generated private key \(sk = x\).

2.
The public key is \(pk= y =g^x\).

1.

Signing (\(\textsf{Sign}(sk, m) \rightarrow \sigma \) on a message m)

1.
Pick a random k.

2.
Calculate \( r=g^{k}\).

3.
Calculate \(e=H(rM)\).

4.
Calculate \(s=kxe \).

5.
The signature is the pair (s, e).
Note that If \(s,e \in {\mathbb {Z}}_{q}\) and \(q<2^{160}\) then the signature can fit into 40 bytes.

1.

Verification (\(\textsf{Verify}(pk, M, (s,e))) \rightarrow \{0, 1\}\))

1.
Calculate \(r_{v}=g^{s}y^{e}\)

2.
Calculate \( e_{v}=H(r_{v}M) \)

3.
If \( e_{v}= e\) then the signature is valid.

1.
3.6 Xoshiro256++ (XOR/shift/rotate)
Blackman and Vigna presented xoshiro256++, which is a Pseudorandom Rumber Generator (PRNG) with 64 bits that uses a specific linear transformation [29]. Xoshiro256++ has a large enough state space for any concurrent application and passes all tests. Theoretically, xoshiro256++ performs simpler processes and is easily parallelizable utilizing Intel’s extended and is threedimensionally equally distributed. Only a shift and a rotation are required for the xoshiro linear transformation. Since it updates the whole state at each iteration, it is only practical for states of modest sizes.
3.7 Hybrid encryption scheme
Hybrid encryption is commonly used to swiftly secure data communication through a combination of symmetric and asymmetric encryption schemes. On a high level, the sender generates a symmetric key, encrypts the key using a public key, and then encrypts the entire data with the symmetric key. The ciphertext can only be decrypted if the receiver knows the sender’s symmetric key. To illustrate this process more concretely, let \((pk_B, sk_B)\) be Bob’s public and private key pair. If Alice intends to send an encrypted message to Bob using a hybrid encryption scheme, then she performs the following steps (see Fig. 1):

1.
Request Bob’s public key \(pk_B\).

2.
Generate a new symmetric key K.

3.
Encrypt the data m as \(C_1 = SymEnc(K, m)\).

4.
Use Bob’s public key to encrypt the symmetric key as \(C_2 = AsymEnc(pk_B,K)\).

5.
Send the two ciphertexts \(C_1\) and \(C_2\) to Bob.

6.
Bob uses his own private key \(sk_B\) to decrypt \(C_2\) and obtains K as \(K = AsymDec(sk_B, C_2)\).

7.
Bob decrypts \(C_1\) using K and obtains the data as \(m = SymDec(K, C_1)\).
4 Related work
In this section, we present and discuss previous attempts and proposals aimed at mitigating MEV attacks.
4.1 Flashbots 2.0: frontrunning in decentralized exchanges
Daian et al. [11] developed the MEV concept and related risks, showing that the blockchain revolution and the use of smart contracts failed to provide a purely peertopeer version of digital cash. As they were compared with traditional exchanges in centralized systems, as happened for Wall Street stock but which is not a valid comparison. However, they present priority gas auctions (PGAs) and define them as arbitrage bots that compete with each other by bidding up higher gas fees. Depending on their model for the bot, PGA behavior causes heavy traffic on the network and raises gas prices. Additionally, the same research presents an auction model that allows for a Nash equilibrium for players to take turns bidding, which is consistent with the observed behavior in Ethereum. It also focuses on MEV as it measures how much value miners can derive from users by the way transactions are ordered; for example, miners can decide which Mempool transactions go into blocks and in what order. The research of Daian et al. [11] led to a new research direction into MEV strategies for both miners and bots, as well as possible ways to stop MEV (Flashbots [8] and Eden Network [9]; all of these projects targeted solving MEV. In general, all these projects are based on ideas around creating private transaction pools, which are based on private agreements with miners and that let users send transactions without going through the public Mempool.
Remark 1
If any participant in the private network used in Flashboths 2.0 is malicious, then Flashbots 2.0 based solutions do not mitigate Frontrunning attack.
4.2 MEV protection on a DAG
Malkhi et al. [30] introduced a new line of research showing that Byzantine faulttolerant(BFT) protocols use Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs, which are graphs made up of vertices and edges that connect pairs of vertices and have varied uses in science and computing) [31] to mitigate MEV. BFT with DAG provides high throughput by keeping network utilization high, separating the spread of transactions from the order of their metadata, and efficiently encoding consensus logic over a DAG that shows the causal order of messages that have been spread. They discuss this by introducing a DAGbased protocol called Fino, which adds MEV resistance features to DAGbased BFT without slowing down the steady spread of transactions by the DAG transport and with no message overhead.
4.3 SGX protection against MEV attacks
Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX) is a set of extensions to the Intel architecture that aims to provide integrity and confidentiality guarantees to securitysensitive computation performed on a computer where all the privileged software (kernel, hypervisor, etc) is potentially malicious. The enclave is the foundation of SGX, and it is where all the data and instructions for a secure computation are kept [32]. In MEVSGX, the nodes participating in the auction are required to run their software in a secure enclave, such as Intel SGX, to ensure the integrity of the software used for the auction [13].
MEVSGX could help Flashbots to realize the design objective of developing a truly private and permissionless system. Searchers would generate blocks containing their bundles, validate, and encrypt those blocks in their SGX, and deliver them to miners along with block truncated header hashes. Miners receive reduced header hashes and encrypted blocks that they recognize as valid and profitable to mine. They use the truncated header hashes to do proofofwork on blocks without viewing them, and after discovering a proofofwork solution, they can decode and seal blocks. Since SGX does not protect against cache timing attacks, the authors of the privileged enclave cannot employ datadependent memory accesses. Cache attacks on the Quoting Enclave, which computes attestation signatures, would, for instance, allow an assault with a processor’s enhanced privacy ID (EPID) signing key and entirely compromise SGX [32].
Remark 2
If one of the SGX CPU leaks the private key of the participant, SGX based solutions would not provide security against MEV.
4.4 Threshold encryption against MEV attacks
A (t, n) threshold encryption scheme is used to distribute the decryption process between n participants where at least t members are required to decrypt a given ciphertext. This is generally used to prevent single points of failure. Threshold encryption contains expensive asymmetric operations such as exponentiation (or multiplication in elliptic curve operation). Furthermore, the threshold decryption process requires multiple parties to be involved, and this brings additional significant overhead to the blockchain consensus that requires high transactions per second (TPS). Adapting threshold encryption would require a committee of block producers to decrypt encrypted transactions submitted by searchers. Each miner would receive a portion of a decryption key, and some threshold (for example, n of m) would be required to decrypt transactions. While this technique provides some additional privacy and validity assurances, it is challenging to join the set of critical holders via a permissionless procedure because it is based on a fair majority assumption that the key holders will not collude to break the encryption. Threshold encryption by committee also introduces a bandwidthintensive step to block output that may become unsustainable. Threshold encryption could be a potential next step if these challenges can be addressed [13].
Remark 3
If threshold number of participants in the threshold encryption is malicious, thresholdbased solutions do not provide security against MEV.
4.5 Multiparty computation against MEV attacks
Multiparty computation (MPC) is a cryptographic tool that allows many participants to perform calculations on their combined data without revealing their individual contribution. In particular, let \(f: X^n \rightarrow Y\) be a function and let \(P_1, \cdots , P_n\) be n parties such that \(P_i\) has a private input \(x_i \in X\) [33]. An MPC for a functionality f is a protocol between the parties who mutually compute and output \(y_i = f(x_1, \cdots , x_n)\) without disclosing their inputs to each other. Informally, the protocol is secure if it reveals nothing except \(y_i\) to each participant [34].
MPC has the following advantages [35]:

1.
Data are immune to intelligence and thirdparty access: MPC reduces reliance on thirdparty service providers by securing data and calculations within the internal networks of businesses.

2.
MPC preserves data accessibility and confidentiality: MPC makes it straightforward to perform collaborative calculations without hiding any variables. Without losing precision, data confidentiality is maintained in its entirety.

3.
MPC complies with regulatory and privacy standards: In MPC, data are splited into bits to increase security and is never transferred in its entirety across international boundaries, ensuring compliance with the various data protection standards.
However, MPC has the following drawbacks that impede its practical usage.

1.
Costs of computing and communication are high: MPC techniques generate a lot of random numbers, which takes a lot of computing power. In addition, many different kinds of server computers and storage devices can slow down MPC protocols. MPC stores pieces of data in different places. These pieces are then reconstructed to form the final result. To bring people together, you need communication tools, which can add to the cost of deployment

2.
Malicious participants must be assumed to be taking part: Therefore, to implement MPC safely, one needs to be able to make accurate predictions about how many malicious parties will be involved.
Remark 4
If threshold number of participants in the MPC network are malicious, MPCbased solutions do not provide security against MEV.
4.6 Danksharding against MEV attacks
Sharding is the act of breaking up a blockchain network into smaller pieces called shards. Danksharding [10] is a shard design that uses PBS and crList [36] to reduce MEV.
In PBS, block builders and proposers are two significant players. Block builders have blocked constructors, while block proposers choose the constructed block, take the transaction from it, and send it to the Ethereum network. Proposers choose the block transactions with the highest bid (priority fee) and send that information to the chain. Builders have more power in this system. They get a list of transactions from the proposer called the crList [36]. They can then rearrange transactions on the crList to make the most money for themselves. Since builders have control over block data, crList helps stop data censorship by forcing builders to include txns in a block. This ensures that builders remain honest and makes the network trust them less. Because MEV consumption is shifting from miners to builders and proposers, centralized MEV consumption is no longer a problem. Danksharding intends to make Ethereum Layer 1 a rollup, data availability, and settlement layer.
According to Fig. 2, the Beacon chain is a key component of Ethereum 2.0, coordinating shards and managing the consensus algorithm. Danksharding heavily relies on the Beacon chain to coordinate transaction ordering across shards.

Shard chains: These are unique chains in the Ethereum 2.0 network that handle transactions for specific shards. Danksharding requires each shard chain to handle a subset of transactions and generate blocks.

Transaction ordering: Danksharding introduces a novel technique to transaction ordering known as “dank ordering.” Transactions are sorted according to their MEV, with higher MEV transactions given priority. This is intended to incentivize miners to include transactions that benefit the network rather than solely maximizing their own profits. As a result, the execution and sharded blocks are connected. Validation of data is achieved through aggregation. This ensures no delays in shard block confirmation, and Danksharding enables Ethereum to process significantly larger amounts of data than it could previously. This facilitates rollups by allowing synchronous calls between ZK Rollups and Layer 1, thus simplifying rollup design.
Remark 5
Danksharding does not show any resistance if the proper declined to take the auctioned block from the builder and keep making his blocks, so this might need more development on the design. Also, the size increase should be considered as dependent on such a sharding process.
4.7 Blockchain with vehicle adhoc network (VANETs)
In VANETs, the utilization of blockchain technology could significantly mitigate the risk of malicious participants exploiting MEV attacks, ensuring a more secure and transparent vehicular communication environment. This section explores various innovative approaches that integrate blockchain into VANETs to enhance their security and operational efficiency.
4.7.1 An adaptive realtime malicious node detection framework using machine learning in vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs)
Rashid et al. [37] introduce an adaptive, realtime framework for detecting malicious nodes in VANETs, leveraging advanced machine learning techniques to enhance network security. The paper emphasizes the urgency of addressing security threats such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks within VANETs and proposes a comprehensive solution incorporating a distributed multilayer classifier (MLPC). This system employs a variety of machine learning models, including gradient boosted trees (GBT), logistic regression (LR), MLPC, random forest (RF), and support vector machine (SVM). The dataset used encompasses normal and attacking vehicles to validate the effectiveness of the proposed model in realtime scenarios. By implementing a distributed system, the computational load is efficiently distributed among vehicles, thereby enhancing the speed and accuracy of malicious node detection. Furthermore, the adoption of a neural network architecture with multiple layers significantly strengthens the framework’s ability to classify and detect malicious activities accurately. The accurate simulation and testing phase ensures that the framework is robust and can be effectively integrated into realworld VANET environments, providing a reliable defense mechanism against potential cyber threats.
4.7.2 BBSF: blockchainbased secure weather forecasting information through routing protocol in VANET
Sohail et al. [38] propose the blockchainbased secure forecasting (BBSF) technique, aimed at enhancing the safety and efficiency of VANETs through secure and efficient spreading of weather forecasting information. Utilizing blockchain technology, the BBSF framework not only secures weather data but also optimizes routing processes to ensure rapid and reliable information delivery. This approach significantly reduces hop counts and network latency, while improving packet delivery ratios and minimizing network overhead. Key to the framework’s success is highly efficient weather forecasting servers that employ the Hyperledger Sawtooth transaction mechanism, ensuring the integrity and security of data across the network. The paper details a routing strategy that maximizes packet delivery rates and minimizes endtoend delays by considering node connectivity, channel reliability, and the number of hops involved. Moreover, the integration of blockchain technology provides a decentralized and manipulationproof system, enhancing the trustworthiness and security of data spreading. Secure routing protocols, coupled with the use of public and private keys for data decryption and encryption, respectively, protect the privacy and accuracy of the transmitted weather forecasting information, thereby strengthening the overall efficacy and security of vehicular communication networks.
4.7.3 VABLOCK: a blockchainbased secure communication in V2V network using ICN network support technology
Ali et al. [39] propose VABLOCK, an innovative framework that integrates blockchain technology and informationcentric networking (ICN) to address security and trust challenges in vehicletovehicle (V2V) communications within VANETs. The framework employs a blockchainbased method for secure message spreading, enhancing the integrity and nonrepudiation of communication data. Furthermore, it leverages ICN’s contentcentric approach to improve the efficiency and reliability of content delivery, eliminating location dependencies through enhanced caching mechanisms. The paper also introduces a clusterbased communication strategy where vehicles are organized into clusters with designated cluster heads (CH) that manage communication and content caching. To ensure robust security, the framework incorporates a trust management mechanism that assesses vehicle trustworthiness to mitigate risks caused by malicious nodes and utilizes blockchain for content validation to protect against data tampering. The efficacy of the proposed solution is validated through simulations in Network Simulator2 (NS2), demonstrating significant improvements in cache hit ratio, onehop count, malicious node detection, and delivery ratios over existing methods.
4.8 Comparison of proposed solution and existing approaches
Table 1 provides a comparative analysis of the proposed twotiered architecture utilizing verifiable decryption against existing approaches in the field such as Flashbots [11], Dank Sharding [40], DAG [41], Intel SGX [42], Threshold Encryption [43], and MPC [44]. This comparison highlights the unique advantages and addresses the limitations of our approach compared to other significant methodologies in the field.
5 MEV attacks and our adversary model
5.1 Miner (or maximal) extractable value (MEV)
MEV refers to the maximum value for a miner from block production by including, excluding, or reordering the transactions in that block (i.e., frontrunning, backrunning, or sandwiching transactions). The value produced from MEV is a separate value to the block rewards or transaction fees of the miners [7, 11, 45,46,47].
In frontrunning [48], a signed transaction is sent to the miners, who are paid to add it to a block in the chain. For example, in Ethereum, there is no way to know who will mine the next block ahead of time, and a transaction is usually shared with the whole network. The Mempool is where nodes keep track of these pending transactions. How long it takes for a transaction to be added to a block depends on how much gas was paid and how much space is in the block. Anyone accessing an Ethereum node can look at the Mempool to see what transactions have been made. If a pending transaction (called a victim transaction \(\hbox {Tx}_{{victim}}\)) meets certain conditions, an attacker can send a new transaction \(\hbox {Tx}_{{attacker}}\) with a slightly higher gas price. If a miner orders transactions based on the gas price, the attacker’s transaction \(\hbox {Tx}_{{attacker}}\) will occur prior to the transaction \(\hbox {Tx}_{{victim}}\). Frontrunning has been looked at for a long time in traditional markets; Daian et al. [11] wrote a lot about it for the first time in Ethereum. They saw that bots not only make new transactions based on what is happening in the Mempool, but also bid against each other on gas prices for better block placement.
Backrunning is like frontrunning in that you use what you know about a transaction to place an order immediately after the transaction you want to copy. Most of the time, a transaction changes the exchange rate on one exchange but not others. This is called “price slippage”. Backrunners use this information to profit from the price difference between different DEX exchanges. In this work, backrunning takes MEV out of the system by exchanging the same cryptocurrency on multiple DEXs simultaneously, maybe in different amounts [47]. Frontrunning on Ethereum is commonly executed through “Sandwich” attacks, where a user’s transaction is sandwiched between two other transactions, resulting in a loss for the user and a gain for the attacker. This attack involves placing the two transactions before and after the user’s transaction, thereby intercepting and exploiting it. Sandwich attacks are widely used and are considered one of the most prevalent forms of Frontrunning on Ethereum.Numerous research papers [45, 47, 48] have explored the potential profitability of frontrunning and backrunning tactics. Various attack strategies exist, ranging from replay attacks on arbitrage to complex plans involving collectibles. The success of frontrunning attacks is largely determined by the sequence in which transactions are processed within a block. As miners possess full control over transaction ordering, profits from such attacks are known as miner extractable values. This refers to the monetary gain that miners can obtain by arranging pending transactions in a favorable order or by adding new transactions to a block.
To ensure MEV resistance, Flashbots [8] defined the following goals:

Pretrade privacy: Transactions are only known to the public after they have been added to a block. This leaves out intermediaries such as relays and block builders.

Failed trade privacy: Losing bids are never added to a block and are therefore never shown to the public.

Efficiency: The design must be efficient while extracting MEVs without incurring needless network or network congestion.

Bundle merging: Multiple incoming bundles can be combined without causing problems.

Finality protection: Flashbots blocks with Flashbots bundles cannot be changed once they have been sent to the network. This stops timebandit chain reorg attacks.

Complete privacy: Relays and validate worthy intermediates that can censor transactions.

Permissionless: There are no trustworthy intermediates that can censor transactions.
5.2 Our adversary model
There are a number of different strategies that can be used to mitigate MEV attacks. In this paper, we fully focused on the PBS technique where the miner or validator who proposes a block (called as Builder) is separate from the miner or validator who builds the block (called as Executor). This makes it more difficult for miners or validators to extract MEV from the network. In this kind of scheme, users may submit doubly encrypted transactions by using public key of both builder and executor. This may prevent malicious builder or executor to deny including transactions. In this context, we introduce three potential adversary scenarios for PBSbased schemes. Note that builder and executors can also be used by an end user to gain profit from any arbitrage.
Definition 1
(Corrupted builder (CB)) A corrupted builder may behave arbitrarily. In particular, they may not decrypt transactions correctly and may also try to avoid the transactions to be included into the block.
In the presence of corrupted builders, the decryption process done by the builders must be verifiable by either users or executors.
Definition 2
(Corrupted executor (CE)): A corrupted executor may act in an arbitrary manner, including the possibility of incorrect decryption of encrypted transactions.
In the presence of corrupted executors, we have to make sure that decryption has been computed correctly and that they can be verified by users including builders.
Definition 3
(Corrupted builder and executor (CBE)): Both builder and executor could be malicious and colluding parties.
The scenario involving colluding builders and executors is the most challenging case. This is due to the potential for malicious offline communication and decryption to gain an advantage, which might require observation on the blockchain during calculations. Furthermore, they could opt to reject transactions when they could get any advantage.
Remark 6
(A Condition for CBE Attack): CBE attack could occur if the Builder and Executor are in the subsequent (adjacent) block production.
Remark 7
(Mitigation against CB and CE Attacks): To mitigate both CB and CE attacks, the decryption should be done in such a way that anyone would be able to do the encryption process again and compute the same ciphertext in a deterministic manner.
Remark 8
(Mitigation against CBE Attack): To mitigate CBE attack, the distribution of validators for block production must be randomized. This can be solved by the underlying consensus mechanism. For example, Aura consensus already provides a random selection of block producers.
6 The Mangata proposal through twolayered architecture
Mangata is blockchain protocol for decentralized exchange built on the Polkadot network [49] and bridged via Ethereum. Mangata DEX runs on proof of liquidity consensus, providing fixedfees for trading and is the first layer 1 that aims to prevent MEV. The Mangata team built a decentralized crypto exchange to try to protect it from a variety of different attacks, especially MEV attacks, through modifying block execution by:

Separating block construction and block execution.

Introducing extrinsic shuffling.

Introducing the concept of an encrypted transaction.
The Themis protocol was also proposed by the Mangata team as a solution for MEV. This protocol focuses on removing the abilities that create MEV from any network participant, hence making all network participants more equal [12]. Mangata proposes that all value extractions come down to two primary abilities [12]: the power to change the order of transactions, and the power to deny transactions, as defined through value extraction by reordering (VER) and value extraction by denial (VED).
6.1 Value extraction by reordering (VER)
Mangata splits block production into two consecutive steps:

Block building: Transactions are accepted into a block.

Block execution: The transaction execution order is reshuffled using information that did not exist at the time of block building.
Block building phase.

The block builder gathers transactions from the Mempool and builds the block during the first stage.

Then, they provide a seed to the subsequent miner who uses it to shuffle the transaction execution order and, ultimately, achieve the same blockchain state as the miner. The Mangata teams use Schnorr’s signature [50] variant for seeding, both to generate and validate seeds.
Block execution phase.

The block executor will sign a seed using the private key. This seed will later be used in the shuffling process to mix up the transactions in block n subsequent to the Fisher–Yates shuffle [51], which is used to form a random permutation of a finite sequence. To shuffle an array a of n elements, the following algorithm is executed. For \(i= n1\) until \(i = 1\), do:

1.
Select a random integer j such that \( 0 \le j \le i\).

2.
Swap a[j] with a[i].
In addition, Xoshiro256++ algorithms are used, which are random number generators via shiftregister generators that use rotations in addition to shifts [52].

1.

Private keys are utilized because they are unknown to the block builder and cannot be altered by the block executor. The signature is immutable, and the scheme is predetermined. At the same time, a public key is available to everyone because it is stored on the blockchain. This means that anyone can check whether the signature was made correctly.

The executor then builds a new block (performing the first step for the subsequent block) and supplies the private keysigned seed. This successfully creates a seed chain that can be used to shuffle transactions. This generates a seed chain for transaction shuffling.
This separation of concerns ensures that the block builder cannot influence the execution order and that the block executor cannot alter the block content and must shuffle the transactions. This creates a twoblock head of the blockchain and doubles the duration required to execute each block. That means there will be overhead because that block builder needs to preexecute a transaction to assess whether these are valid ones, then state modifications are discarded, and the block is propagated. This effectively reduces the number of transactions that can fit into the block by half. This VER is built on top of the substrate, which is a programming framework to allow users to create a blockchain by picking the features from various “pallets” [53]. A blockchain developer, for instance, picks the palette for their preferred consensus algorithm to establish how consensus will operate on their blockchain. In addition, existing pallets allow blockchain developers to rapidly add functionality to a blockchain without having to build it themselves [54].
6.2 Value extraction by Denial (VED)
In this attack scenario, if an attacker has the power to decide whether or not to include a transaction, then they can choose to either not to include the transaction or to replace it with their own. We contend that if miners alone have this opportunity, the design is inherently unfair because users will never gain access to such an opportunity to gain pure profit. To prevent MEV, we need to stop these two powers from occurring or minimize their effects to the greatest extent possible [12]. There are three levels of VED solutions, from the least resilient to the most robust:

1.
Miners should not reject transactions.

2.
Miners do not know which transactions to reject.

3.
Miners cannot reject transactions.
The current state of the VED solution has achieved the second level of robustness, in which the Miner (or any transaction relayer) does not know what to deny because they have no knowledge of the transaction’s purpose. To accomplish this, the Mangata team has proposed the VED architecture as a proof of concept (see Fig. 3). In this proposal, transactions are encrypted by the user using both the builder’s and executer’s public keys. This double encryption ensures that the transaction executor can only decrypt if the block builder has already decrypted it. This process is described (see also Fig. 1).

1.
Take transactions \(m_E = (Tx_1, \cdots , Tx_n)\).

2.
Compute \(C_1 = SymEnc(K_E, m)\), where \(K_E\) is a new fresh symmetric key.

3.
Encrypt \(C_2 = AsymEnc(pk_v, K_E)\), where \(pk_E\) is the public key of the executor.

4.
Compute \(C_3 = SymEnc(K_B, m_B)\), where \(K_B\) is a new fresh symmetric key and \(m_B = (C_1, C_2)\).

5.
Encrypt \(C_4 = AsymEnc(pk_B, K_B)\), where \(pk_B\) is the public key of the builder.

6.
Send \(C_3\) and \(C_4\) to the Mempool.
In the subsequent steps, block builders are required to decrypt the transaction, but this does not reveal the content because the block executor must itself perform a final decryption. Each transaction is encrypted twice: once during block building, and again during block execution. In this method, the transaction builder is unable to become aware the transaction’s contents and the executor is forced to decrypt and execute the transaction. This implies that the block builder and block executor must be known beforehand, and hence, submission into the Mempool cannot be nodeagnostic, but must include this information. It is important to remember that encryption is optional and should only be used when it makes sense. This is because processing an encrypted transaction is costly, and there is no guarantee that the value created by processing the transaction will be sufficient to cover the cost of processing. Since no one knows what is in the encrypted transaction, it may even be impossible to execute. This is why, unlike exchange transactions that are not encrypted, all encrypted transactions must have fixed gas costs.
6.3 Informal security analysis of the Mangata scheme
According to architecture presented before, the scheme could potentially have the following weaknesses.
Theorem 1
Mangata’s VER proposal is not secure against a corrupted builder.
Proof
A malicious or CB can deny any targeted transaction from being included in the block because all the transactions are in plain format (i.e., they are readable by the CB). \(\square \)
Theorem 2
Mangata’s VER proposal is also not secure against in the presence of a corrupted executor.
Proof
A malicious executor has only one way of attacking, and it is a derivation of a signed seed that will be used to shuffle and execute transactions in the building block. The seed has already been derived by the builder, and the signature for the seed is deterministically computed via the executor’s private key. Therefore, there is no apparent opportunity for a malicious adversary to obtain an expected signed seed. The only attack could be happen by the corrupted executor is not to produce any block. Hence, VER is not secure against a CEtype of adversary if further mitigations are not provided. \(\square \)
Theorem 3
Mangata’s VER proposal is not secure if the builder and executor collude maliciously.
Proof
A corrupted builder can deny any targeted transaction from being included in the block because all the transactions are in plain format. The malicious builder can clone any transaction that has profitable arbitrage and can deny the original one to be included in the current building block. \(\square \)
The VED proposal was offered to overcome those weaknesses, and it needs to be clearly defined so the security analysis can be achieved fairly.
7 Our proposal: how to mitigate MEV attacks through verifiable decryption
In this section, we describe our proposed scheme, which improves upon the Mangata architecture by providing a verifiable decryption process to mitigate their weaknesses. We provide a security analysis for each class according to our adversarial model defined in Sect. .
We extend and improve the VED proposal introduced by Mangata Finance by providing a verifiable decryption scheme. In the following, we introduce how an end user can sequentially encrypt a transaction with executor and, subsequently, builder public keys. The main idea underlying the proposal is that whenever a decryption is performed by one of them, the deciphered values will be broadcasted. Any entity in the network can then verify whether the decryption has been performed correctly.
Let \(pk_B = (e_B, N_B)\) be the RSA public key of a builder and \(pk_E = (e_E, N_E)\) be the RSA public key of an executor. Let \(sk_B = d_B\) and \(sk_E = d_E\) denote the RSA private keys of the builder and executor, respectively. Assume that the hash function H is SHA256 and the length of a symmetric key is 256 (i.e., AES256). Let us also assume that the message \(m_1\) in \(C_1 = SymEnc(K,m_1)\) is already padded according to the PKCS7 padding standard [55]. Similarly, the message \(m_2\) in \(C_2 = AsymEnc(pk_E, m_2)\) is padded according to OAEP standard [56].
7.1 Encryption by users
For a given transaction tx, the user performs the following steps before submitting the transaction:

1.
Randomly selects two symmetric keys
$$\begin{aligned} K_E, K_B \in _{\mathcal {R}} \{0,1\}^{256}. \end{aligned}$$ 
2.
Computes the hash of the transaction \(h_E = H(tx).\)

3.
Concatenates the hash with the transaction as
$$\begin{aligned} m_E = (tx, h_E). \end{aligned}$$ 
4.
Encrypts the transaction with \(K_E\)
$$\begin{aligned} C_E^1 = SymEnc(K_E, m_E). \end{aligned}$$ 
5.
Computes the hash for the builder as \(h_B = H(C_E^1).\)

6.
Concatenates the hash and the cipher as
$$\begin{aligned} m_B = (C_E^1, h_B). \end{aligned}$$ 
7.
Reencrypts the message \(m_B\) with \(K_B\)
$$\begin{aligned} C_B^1 = SymEnc(K_B, m_B). \end{aligned}$$ 
8.
Encrypts the key \(K_B\) with the builder’s public key
$$\begin{aligned} C_B^2=AsymEnc(pk_B, K_B). \end{aligned}$$ 
9.
Encrypts the key \(K_E\) with the executor’s public key
$$\begin{aligned} C_E^2=AsymEnc(pk_E, K_E). \end{aligned}$$
Now, the user can broadcast the triple (\(C_B^1, C_B^2, C_E^2)\) to the network.
7.2 Decryption by builders
Once the builder selects a list of transactions from Mempool, the builder performs the followings for each transaction:

1.
Decrypts \(C_B^2\) with his private key \(sk_B\). Let us denote \(K'_B\), which is the decrypted value after padding. The user also removes the padding and obtains the key \(K_B\).

2.
Decrypts \(C_B^1\) through \(K_B\) and obtains \(m_B\), which is the concatenation of \(C_E^1\) and \(h_B\).

3.
Verifies if \(h_B {\mathop {=}\limits ^{?}} H(C_E^1)\) to check if the integrity is ensured.

4.
If the verification holds, include (\(C_E^1, C_E^2\)) in the building block and broadcast \((K'_B, C_B^1, C_B^2, pk_B)\) for further verification by the community (i.e., other validator nodes).
7.3 Decryption by executors
Once the building block is broadcasted, the executor does the following

1.
Decrypts \(C_E^1\) with his private key \(sk_E\). Let’s denote \(K'_E\) which is the decrypted value after padding. The user also removes the padding and obtains the key \(K_E\).

2.
Decrypts \(C_E^1\) with the recovered secret key \(K_E\) and obtain \(m_E\), which is concatenation of tx and \(h_E\).

3.
Verifies if \(h_E {\mathop {=}\limits ^{?}} H(tx)\) to check if the integrity of the transaction is ensured.

4.
If verification holds, executes the transaction tx and broadcast \((K'_E, C_E^1, C_E^2, pk_E)\) for further verification by the community (i.e., other validator nodes).
7.4 Public verification by the community
Anyone can verify the correctness of the whole computation as follows:

Verification of builder’s calculations

Verification of executor’s calculations
7.5 Liveness protection and slashing
There are several cases to be considered as forms of attack, and these scenarios should be considered as shown:

Liveness attack: This attack can delay the transaction acknowledgment timings of their targets and provide two instances of such attacks against Bitcoin and Ethereum. The liveness attack proceeds in three phases: preparation, transaction denial, and blockchain delay. This attack delays the confirmation of a transaction. The attacker attempts to obtain a possible edge over honest participants during the preparation phase to construct their private chain. This is followed by the transaction denial phase, in which the attacker attempts to delay the transaction’s authentic block. If the attacker determines that the delay is not convincing, they move on to the blockchain render phase, in which they attempt to slow the rate at which the chain transaction grows [57].

Slashing: A malicious actor can disrupt a staking pool through either slashing or reputation loss. In Ethereum, validators who are deemed to have acted against the chain are penalized with monetary penalties. These penalties are designed to deter attacks on the currency. Slashing is the process by which a significant portion of a validator’s stake is “burned” if that validator is deemed to have behaved inappropriately. Slashing is a mechanism for policing behavior collectively. Importantly, a malicious actor who has compromised a validator’s signing key would be able to intentionally commit actions that would result in severe slashing penalties [58].
The slashing penalties for various blockchains vary. The two primary reasons for enforcing the slashing penalty are:

To encourage validators to behave responsibly.

To make network attacks costly and unattractive.
The two most typical instances in which the validator can be charged are:

During downtime (when the validator is not present to sign transactions).

Double signing (when the validator signs two or more blocks at the same height) [59].


The “Nothing at Stake” attack In spite of the variety of PoS protocols, validators have an incentive to work on multiple forks because generating a block in PoS is equivalent to generating a single signature. In other words, validators could generate conflicting blocks on all possible forks with nothing at stake in order to maximize the benefits. This issue is generally known as the nothing at stake attack. This attack reduces the network’s consensus time and, consequently, the system’s efficiency. In addition, it results in blockchain forks, which compromise the blockchain’s ability to defend against double spending attacks and other threats. Specifically, validators can disregard the algorithm for fork resolution and generate blocks on top of multiple forks. In addition, because the eligibility proof for each account is deterministic, it is straightforward to anticipate which validators will generate valid blocks in the future. This is commonly referred to as “transparent forging” and adds a new attack surface to the blockchain, allowing attackers to choose the next leader to compromise with precision [60].
8 Security analysis of proposal
In this section, we prove that our scheme presented in Sect. is secure against the adversary models presented in Sect. by considering each adversary separately.
8.1 Cryptographic and security definitions
Cryptographic primitives are defined and their security is assessed under standard cryptographic models. This forms the basis for the upcoming proof of theorem, which go through into the robustness of our system when facing attacks from corrupted builders and executors (CBE).

Symmetric encryption \((\text {SymEnc}, \text {SymDec})\) Assumed secure under the Chosen Plaintext Attack Chosen Plaintext Attack(CPA) model, which is defined as: \(\forall \text { probabilistic polynomialtime adversaries } {\mathcal {A}}\),
$$\begin{aligned} \; \Pr [k \leftarrow \text {KeyGen}_{\text {sym}}(), \, c \leftarrow \text {SymEnc}_k(m), \, {\mathcal {A}}(c) = m] \le \frac{1}{M} + \text {negl}(n) \end{aligned}$$where \( \text {negl}(n) \) is a negligible function in the security parameter \( n \), and \( M \) is the size of the message space.

Asymmetric encryption \((\text {AsymEnc}, \text {AsymDec})\) Assumed INDCCA (Indistinguishability under Chosen Ciphertext Attack) secure. The security definition is formalized as the inability of any efficient adversary \( {\mathcal {B}} \) to distinguish between ciphertexts of chosen plaintexts under an adaptive chosen ciphertext attack:
$$\begin{aligned} \left \Pr [b' = b: \begin{array}{l} (pk, sk) \leftarrow \text {KeyGen}_{\text {asym}}(), \\ (m_0, m_1, \text {state}) \leftarrow {\mathcal {B}}^{\text {Dec}_{sk}(\cdot )}(pk), \\ b \leftarrow \{0, 1\}, \, c \leftarrow \text {AsymEnc}_{pk}(m_b), \\ b' \leftarrow {\mathcal {B}}^{\text {Dec}_{sk}(\cdot )}(c, \text {state}) \end{array} ]  \frac{1}{2} \right \le \text {negl}(n) \end{aligned}$$ 
Hash function \( H \) Assumed to provide collision resistance, where it is computationally infeasible for any efficient algorithm \( {\mathcal {A}} \) to find two distinct inputs \( x \) and \( x' \) such that \( H(x) = H(x') \):
$$\begin{aligned} \Pr [x, x' \leftarrow {\mathcal {A}}(), \, x \ne x', \, H(x) = H(x')] = \text {negl}(n) \end{aligned}$$
Theorem 4
Assume that the underlying encryption algorithms (SymEnc, SymDec), (AsymEnc, AsymDec) and the hash function H are secure. Then, our proposal described in Sect. is secure against CB attack.
Proof
The security of the protocol is demonstrated through two primary vectors: the protocol behavior and its reduction to the underlying primitives.
More concretely, each plain transaction is encrypted with the executor and builder’s public keys subsequently. Once the builder performs the decryption, the decrypted message is still the encryption of original transaction with the executor’s public key. Therefore, the builder will not be able to see any arbitrage value in the original transaction. More concretely, each transaction is defined as a triple value (\(C^1_B,C^2_B,C^2_E\)). Even if a builder decrypts a transaction (\(AsymDec(sk_B, C^2_B) \rightarrow K_B, SymDec(K_B, C^1_B) \rightarrow (C^1_E, h_B)\)), it cannot see the plain form because the transaction is also encrypted (\(C^1_E,C^2_E\)) by the next Executor. Hence, a malicious builder cannot deny any targeted transaction from being included in the block since all the transactions are in plain format and they are not readable by the builder.
Assume now an adversary \({\mathcal {A}}\) can exploit information from \(C = C^x_y\) where \(x=1\) or \(x=2\), \(y=E\). This implies \({\mathcal {A}}\) can derive information about tx, effectively breaking the CPA security of \(\text {SymEnc}\), contradicting our initial security assumption. Consider the probability that \({\mathcal {A}}\) succeeds:
By the security of \(\text {SymEnc}\), this probability should be negligible:
For INDCCA security of \(\text {AsymEnc}\), even with access to a decryption oracle, the security property guarantees that:
indicating that C does not reveal information about tx to the Builder, even if corrupted. Under the assumption that \(\text {SymEnc}\) is CPAsecure and \(\text {AsymEnc}\) is INDCCA secure, the protocol’s design ensures that a Corrupted Builder, who has access only to C, cannot compromise the security or confidentiality of the transaction tx. \(\square \)
Theorem 5
Assume that the underlying encryption functions (SymEnc, SymDec), (AsymEnc, AsymDec), signing algorithm Sign, and the hash function H are secure. Then, our proposal is secure against CE attack.
Proof
The security of the proposal against CE attacks can be illustrated through a comprehensive analysis of the transaction handling and cryptographic operations. First of all, all transactions in the block are encrypted by the current executors. An encrypted transaction (\(C^1_E,C^2_E\)) is decrypted by the executor (\(AsymDec(s_E, C^2_E) \rightarrow K_E\), \(SymDec(K_E, C^1_E) \rightarrow (tx, h_E)\)), and it can easily be seen whether a transaction has any advantage. The order of transaction executions is a vital problem. Recall from the Mangata protocol, the builder signs a random value for ordering. If the executor signs the signed seed value in a deterministic way, the result would determine the order of transactions. Hence, a malicious executor has only one way of attacking, which is a derivation of the signed seed that will be used to shuffle and execute transactions in the building block. The seed has already been derived by the builder and its signature is deterministically calculated through the executor’s private key. Therefore, it is not possible for the malicious adversary to obtain an expected signed seed. The only attack that could occur via the corrupted executor is not producing a block. However, this would also lead to a liveness attack and it could be prevented via a slashing mechanism. Hence, VER is secure against CEtypes of adversary. More formally, the executor decrypts the doubly encrypted transaction using \( sk_E \). Let us denote \(C_1 = \text {SymEnc}_{k_B}(tx) = \text {AsymDec}_{sk_E}(C_2) \). Then, the executor should perform another decryption using \( k_B \) to access \( tx \). However, without \( k_B \), \( tx \) remains confidential.

Step 1: The probability of decrypting \(C_1\) without \(k_B\) does not compromise tx:
$$\begin{aligned} \Pr [{\mathcal {A}}(C_1) = tx] \le \frac{1}{M} + \text {negl}(n) \end{aligned}$$ 
Step 2: Analysis of the integrity of transaction execution order:

Recall from the Mangata protocol, the builder signs a random value for ordering. If the executor signs the signed seed value in a deterministic way, the result would determine the order of transactions. Assume an executor attempts to reorder transactions. Given the signatures involved and the deterministic nature of the protocol, any deviation would be detectable unless:
$$\begin{aligned} \Pr [{\mathcal {B}}(\text {forge signature})] \le \text {negl}(n) \end{aligned}$$

Hence, the protocol is secure against CEtype adversaries. The only attack that could occur via the corrupted executor is not producing a block. However, this would also lead to a liveness attack and it could be prevented via a slashing mechanism. \(\square \)
Theorem 6
Assume that the underlying encryption functions (SymEnc, SymDec), (AsymEnc, AsymDec), signing algorithm Sign, and the hash function H are secure. Then, our proposal is secure against CBE attack with probability 2/n where n denotes the number of nodes.
Proof
Assume that \(\hbox {Builder}_i\) and \(\hbox {Executor}_i\) have colluded maliciously. In this case, once an encrypted transaction is inserted into the Mempool, they can recover the plaintext transaction in advance (offline) and check whether the plaintext transaction has any advantage. However, the main difficult of occurring this attack is the likelihood that these two nodes will be assigned to subsequent slots. Since our proposal uses randomness to periodically determine the nodes responsible for building and executing blocks, the probability that two colluding nodes will be assigned to the same slot is 2/n. To calculate the probability that two randomly selected nodes out of n nodes in the system are consecutive, we can consider the total number of possible pairs and then count the number of pairs where the users are consecutive. Let’s assume that the users are labeled with consecutive integers from 1 to n. The total number of possible pairs of users is given by combinations of n choose 2, denoted as C(n, 2), and calculated as
Now, we need to count the number of pairs where the users are consecutive. If you choose any user numbered from 1 to \((n1)\) as the first user in the pair, then the second user will be the next consecutive integer. Therefore, there are \((n1)\) pairs of consecutive nodes. So, the probability that two randomly selected nodes are consecutive is:
Hence, the probability of two randomly selected users being consecutive is 2/n. Since separate CB and CE attacks cannot succeed, we can conclude that our proposal is also secure against the CBE attack with probability 2/n. \(\square \)
Remark 9
We would like to highlight that even if the Mangata VED proposal utilizes a verifiable encryption scheme, it would not be still secure against CBE attack. The attack would work on the assumption that two subsequent nodes are malicious. Assume that \(\hbox {Builder}_i\) and \(\hbox {Executor}_i\) have colluded maliciously. Once an encrypted transaction is inserted into Mempool, they can recover the plain transaction in advance and can check whether the plain transaction has any advantage. Since the Mangata consensus utilizes the AURA algorithm and the order of the validator is deterministic and known through the lifetime of all block generations, the possibility of having two subsequent malicious nodes is very high. Therefore, their VED proposal is not secure against CBE attack.
9 Implementation and benchmarking
This section outlines the cryptographic operations for each party and evaluates the overall system performance through detailed benchmarking results. We have implemented the cryptographic algorithms, RSA decryption and symmetric decryption to illustrate the system’s effectiveness and efficiency (see our GitHub repository at^{Footnote 2}). Performance benchmarks were conducted on an Intel(R) Core(TM) i510210U CPU, with comprehensive metrics provided.
9.1 Overview of cryptographic operations
This subsection provides an overview of the cryptographic roles of the client, builder, and executor, setting the stage for more indepth analysis in subsequent sections. It outlines the scope for evaluating the performance and efficiency of the proposal with comparisons highlighted in Table 2. Assuming each block contains \(\ell \) transactions, we focus on the cryptographic computations involved: encryptions, decryptions, and signature verifications under both symmetric and asymmetric schemes.

Client side calculations: Initially, each transaction within a block is signed using the user’s private key. Subsequently, the client performs two RSA encryptions, denoted by \(2\ell \), as follows:

Encryption of the key \(K_B\) using the builder’s public key:
$$\begin{aligned} C_B^2 = \text {AsymEnc}(pk_B, K_B). \end{aligned}$$ 
Encryption of the key \(K_E\) using the executor’s public key:
$$\begin{aligned} C_E^2 = \text {AsymEnc}(pk_E, K_E). \end{aligned}$$
Additionally, two symmetric encryptions, also denoted as \(2\ell \), are performed:

Encryption of the transaction using \(K_E\):
$$\begin{aligned} C_E^1 = \text {SymEnc}(K_E, m_E). \end{aligned}$$ 
Reencryption of the message \(m_B\) using \(K_B\):
$$\begin{aligned} C_B^1 = \text {SymEnc}(K_B, m_B). \end{aligned}$$


Builder side calculations: The builder selects \(\ell \) transactions from the Mempool and for each transaction performs the following RSA and symmetric decryption operations:

RSA decryption to retrieve \(K_B\):
$$\begin{aligned} K'_B = \text {Decrypt}_{sk_B}(C_B^2), \quad K_B = \text {RemovePadding}(K'_B), \end{aligned}$$ 
Symmetric decryption to retrieve the original message:
$$\begin{aligned} m_B = D(K_B, C_B^1) \quad \text {(where { D} denotes the decryption operation)} \end{aligned}$$ 
Verification of transaction integrity:
$$\begin{aligned} \text {Verification: } h_B {\mathop {=}\limits ^{?}} H(m_B) \quad \text {(hash comparison)} \end{aligned}$$ 
The builder finalizes by signing the block using ECDSA.


Executor side calculations: Upon receiving the proposed block, the executor verifies the block’s integrity and performs the following calculations for each transaction:

Verification of the RSA decryption and removal of padding:
$$\begin{aligned} K'_E = \text {Decrypt}(sk_E, C_E^1), \quad K_E = \text {RemovePadding}(K'_E) \end{aligned}$$ 
Symmetric decryption to recover the transaction data:
$$\begin{aligned} m_E = D(K_E, C_E^1) \quad \text {(retrieving the concatenated transaction data and hash)} \end{aligned}$$
The Executor completes the process by signing the finalized block using ECDSA.

Existing proposals suffer from serious security vulnerabilities, and our proposal is the first construction that deals with certain malicious adversaries in the MEV adversary model. Therefore, it could be crucial to extend the proposed security model with dynamic adversaries as well as UC (Universal composability) framework considering environmental attacks.
9.2 Our implementation, benchmarking, and results
This subsection describes our implementation of our proposal and presents the benchmarking results to illustrate the system’s effectiveness and efficiency.

Encryption and decryption times: We conducted 1,000 trials to measure operational efficiency. The results show a mean encryption time of 0.002555 s and a decryption time of 0.006267 s. These times indicate high efficiency, making the system suitable for realtime applications, as illustrated in Table 3 and Fig. 4.

Key Generation and integrity check times: Key generation demonstrated a robust performance, with a mean time of 2.844 s across 1,000 trials. Integrity checks were notably efficient, with a nearzero mean time, highlighting the system’s ability to promptly detect and prevent manipulation as illustrated in Table 4 and Fig. 5.

Overall system performance: The total time from encryption to integrity checking was measured, with median values offering insight into the system’s typical behavior under operational conditions. This demonstrates the system’s ability to handle cryptographic operations swiftly, ensuring transaction security even in potential adversarial conditions.
The results confirm the efficiency of our protocol in maintaining efficient cryptographic operations. The rapid execution times for key generation, encryption, and integrity checks, along with their low variability, underscore the protocol’s suitability for environments that require robust security measures against sophisticated threats. Future work will focus on further optimizing these operations to reduce execution times and enhance the system’s resilience against dynamic adversarial conditions.
9.3 Data analysis and confusion matrix
Tables 5 and 6 summarize the probability of consecutive node assignments with their corresponding theoretical probabilities and statistical test results:
Our analysis demonstrates a strong correlation between empirical and theoretical probabilities across most node sizes, indicating effective randomness in node assignments. This supports the robustness of our assignment mechanism, an important factor in maintaining resilience against MEV and manipulation. However, in the 300node setup where the pvalue was less than 0.05, a deviation was observed. This deviation could indicate a vulnerability or an unexpected behavior, necessitating further investigation to uphold the security integrity of the network.
The confusion matrix provides a clear classification of the nodes based on empirical probabilities, theoretical predictions, and Chisquare test results:
The confusion matrix shows high agreement between empirical probabilities and theoretical predictions for most tested node sizes, as indicated by eight true positives. This consistency underscores the reliability of our theoretical model. The single true negative at Node 300, where a difference was detected, warrants further analysis to identify potential underlying issues, ensuring both the model’s reliability and the network’s security.
9.4 Risk analysis and statistical confidence
In evaluating the efficacy of our proposed twotiered architecture for MEV attack mitigation, we compared the frequency of MEV attacks in both the experimental group (using our architecture) and a control group (using traditional methods).
Data

Experimental group: Out of 1,000 trials, MEV attacks occurred 30 times.

Control group: Out of 1,000 trials, MEV attacks occurred 60 times.
Results

Relative risk (RR): The relative risk was calculated as follows:
$$\begin{aligned} RR = \frac{\text {Probability of attack in experimental group}}{\text {Probability of attack in control group}} = \frac{30/1000}{60/1000} = 0.50 \end{aligned}$$An RR of 0.50 indicates that the architecture reduces the risk of MEV attacks by 50% compared to the control method.

Absolute risk reduction (ARR)
$$\begin{aligned} ARR = \text {Probability in control group}  \text {Probability in experimental group} = \frac{60}{1000}  \frac{30}{1000} = 0.03 \text { or } 3\% \end{aligned}$$This shows a 3% absolute reduction in the rate of MEV attacks due to the implementation of our architecture.
Statistical confidence

95% confidence interval for RR: The confidence interval for RR, calculated using the standard error of the natural logarithm of RR, was found to be [0.33, 0.77]. This interval suggests that while the RR estimate is robust, the variation due to sample size and inherent variability in attack rates must be considered.
The statistical measures of relative risk and absolute risk reduction provide strong evidence of the effectiveness of our proposed architecture in significantly mitigating MEV attacks. These findings, underscored by the reliable confidence intervals, confirm that the observed risk reductions are statistically significant and not due to random variation. Incorporating these risk analyses into our study not only demonstrates the quantitative benefits of our architectural improvements but also supports the broader adoption of this approach in practical blockchain applications to enhance security against MEV threats.
10 Discussion
10.1 Evaluation of findings and comparison with existing solutions
Our study confirms that a twotiered architecture utilizing verifiable decryption significantly improves resistance to MEV attacks, outperforming traditional singletiered systems. The integration of a verifiable layer enhances transparency and accountability in transaction processing, enhancing the integrity of blockchain operations [61].
Compared to existing solutions such as Flashbots [8] and the Eden Network [9], which focus primarily on reordering and auction mechanisms without a verifiable layer, our approach provides a more robust framework. By enabling both the block builders and executors to independently verify each other’s actions, our architecture significantly enhances security against collusion and malicious activities. This architecture is particularly beneficial for financial institutions and blockchain applications that demand high levels of trust and security.
10.2 Challenges and limitations
The primary challenge in our study related to the assumption of absolute compliance and integrity in the verifiable decryption process, which might not hold in realworld settings subject to sophisticated cyber attacks or hardware limitations. This limitation requires careful validation of our architecture under varied and possibly adversarial conditions to ensure robustness and applicability [62].
Operational challenges during our study included scalability issues and significant computational overhead when integrating the twotiered architecture with existing large blockchain systems. These obstacles underscore the necessity for continued improvement and optimization of the architecture to ensure its practical adoption on a large scale. Issues related to the scalability of the verifiable decryption process and the computational demands of integrating new security features are critical areas that require ongoing attention.
11 Conclusion and future work
MEV attacks compromise the security and decentralization of blockchain networks by exploiting transaction sequencing vulnerabilities. Our study revisits and analyzes previous MEV mitigation strategies, identifying key architectural weaknesses. We advance the current stateoftheart through our introduction of a verified decryption procedure, ensuring that decryption outcomes are broadcast for public verification, thereby enhancing network transparency and security. We demonstrate that our architecture robustly secures against a range of adversarial behaviors, including actions by corrupted builders and executors, both individually and in collusion.
Our architecture implements \(\ell \) RSA encryptions to secure transactions against MEV attacks. Future research could focus on optimizing cryptographic efficiency by exploring alternatives to RSA, potentially employing more computationally efficient cryptographic constructions. It is possible to reduce communication complexity by aggregating multiple symmetric or asymmetric encryptions into a single operation and similarly aggregating signatures to enhance performance. Another promising research direction involves the development of keyless schemes, leveraging verifiable delay functions (VDFs) to generate verifiable pseudorandom outputs, thus eliminating key management vulnerabilities and reducing dependency on traditional cryptographic keys.
Availability of data and materials
Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study.
Abbreviations
 ECDSA:

Elliptic curve digital signature algorithm
 MPC:

Multiparty computation
 PRNG:

Pseudorandom number generator
 MEV:

Miner/maximal extractable value
 zkRollups:

Zeroknowledge rollups
 PBS:

Proposerbuilder separation
 VER:

Value extraction by reordering
 VED:

Value extraction by denial
 PoA:

Proofofauthority
 EdDSA:

Edwardscurve digital signature algorithm
 VRF:

Verifiable random function
 CB:

Corrupted builder
 CE:

Corrupted executor
 CBE:

Corrupted builder and executor
 PGAs:

Priority gas auctions
 DAGs:

Directed acyclic graphs
 SGX:

Intel’s software guard extensions
 zkEVM:

Zeroknowledge ethereum virtual machine
 DeFi:

Decentralized finance
 P2P:

Peertopeer
 crList:

Censorship resistance scenarios
 RSA:

Rivest–Shamir–Adleman
 BLS:

Boneh–Lynn–Shacham
 AURA:

Authority round
 BABE:

Blind assignment for blockchain extension
 BFT:

Byzantine faulttolerant
 EPID:

Enhanced privacy ID
 TPS:

Transactions per second
 UC:

Universal composability
 VANETs:

Vehicular ad hoc networks
 CPASecure:

Chosen plaintext attack security
 INDCCA Secure:

Indistinguishability under chosen ciphertext attack
 DDoS:

Distributed denial of service
 MLPC:

Multilayer classifier
 GBT:

Gradientboosted trees
 LR:

Logistic regression
 RF:

Random forest
 SVM:

Support vector machine
 BBSF:

Blockchainbased secure forecasting
 ICN:

Informationcentric networking
 V2V:

Vehicletovehicle
 CH:

Cluster heads
 NS2:

Network simulator2
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Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.
Funding
The authors would like to thank the support of De Montfort University, Leicester, UK and Batman University, Turkiye, for paying the Article Processing Charges (APC) of this publication.
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MIA, MSK, and SK contributed to the initiation of the research and MIA was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. AAB contributed to the missing parts and analyzed the security and revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
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Alnajjar, M.I., Kiraz, M.S., AlBayatti, A. et al. Mitigating MEV attacks with a twotiered architecture utilizing verifiable decryption. J Wireless Com Network 2024, 62 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13638024023904
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13638024023904