Miner Extractable Value (MEV) is a big topic in the life of ethereum users, and it creates an additional revenue source for the miners.

Is MEV possible on the bitcoin blockchain as well? And if yes/no, why and is it being used?

4 Answers 4


Yes, it's just less prominent in Bitcoin as there is less complexity involved with the transactions, but it is possible.

If you stick to the definition of MEV from the Ethereum foundation :

Maximal (formerly "miner") extractable value (MEV) refers to the maximum value that can be extracted from block production in excess of the standard block reward and gas fees by including, excluding, and changing the order of transactions in a block.

A miner optimizing its block creation process will purposely include / exclude transactions from it, which is actually a tradeoff between the sum of transactions fees that should be intuitively maximized, and the block size which is capped but should be minimized in order to increase the speed of diffusion (which in turn reduces the fork probability, securing the miner's reward). This is also a form of MEV where miners do have to solve a variant of the knapsack problem.

Of course in Ethereum this is more complex as reordering transactions can impact their individual gas usage, it's the same idea, just with more complexity, reward and potential for collateral damages, especially in the DeFi space.

There are proposals such as PBS to try to control the MEV economy, and it's impacts, if you are interested this proposal is also related to MEV in the sense that it complexifies the optimization problem faced by block builders.


It is possible on bitcoin. MEV stands for "Maximal Extractable Value". How much maximum value can be extracted from manipulating the order of transactions in mempool.

  • When a validator sees a good profitable transaction in mempool, (MeV bots increase the gas price for the same transaction to get executed first but the validator does not have to. validator has full autonomy over the mempool), it places the same transaction and puts its transaction in front of the original transaction so its transaction gets executed first, and gains that profit. It mostly happens for arbitrage opportunities. if you check MEV Explorer, 99% of transactions are for arbitrage. Arbitrage happens with Defi and since bitcoin has no Defi yet, there is no opportunity with "MEV" in the bitcoin blockchain.

  • Another use case for MEV is if a validator sees a big buy order for "X" token, the validator places a buy order for the "X" token, and reorder the transactions in mempool so that its order gets confirmed before that big order, then if big buy order gets confirmed, price of "X" token will go up and the validator will make a quick profit. Since bitcoin volume is very high and volatile, no validator can make a move if they see a big buy order for bitcoin.

Both examples are front-running examples.


Yes, it is possible. As others have pointed out Bitcoin gives miners the same tools. However, as Bitcoin has limited opcodes and no real smart contract support there is no defi stack untop of it. MEV really just took of because of all the financial applications built untop of Ethereum. Excellent question, this might change in the future as stuff like rootstock ist developed which may give SC functionity to btc.


It's not really possible because at the moment Bitcoin chain is not doing anything useful like trades. Unless there is a trading activity or similar where the order of the trade orders matter you cannot extract any value.

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