CoinCashew
English
Ask or search…
K

Guide | MEV-boost for Ethereum Staking

Quickstart guide to setting up MEV-boost for your ETH validator.
The following steps align with our mainnet guide. You may need to adjust file names and directory locations where appropriate. The core concepts remain the same.

What is mev-boost?

  • Enables solo and home stakers access to MEV, Maximal Extractible Value.
  • Enables validators to earn higher block rewards.
  • Optional and not required for ETH staking.
  • Open source middleware run by validators to access a competitive block-building market.
  • Built by Flashbots as an implementation of proposer-builder separation (PBS) for proof-of-stake (PoS) Ethereum.
  • home-staker (you) >> mevboost >> relay >> builder >> searcher +/- frontrun/sandwich += efficient markets :)
tldr: As of August 2023, MEV is estimated be 24% of a validator rewards. Other estimates suggest it can boost staking rewards by over 60%.
Estimated earnings per validator. Source: https://ultrasound.money

How to MEV?

Prerequisite: You run a full Ethereum node (Execution Layer client [e.g. geth/besu/nethermind/erigon] + Consensus Layer client [e.g. prysm/lighthouse/teku/lodestar/nimbus]) and a validator.

Step 1: Create mevboost service account

The systemd service will run under this account, mevboost
sudo useradd --no-create-home --shell /bin/false mevboost

Step 2: Install mevboost

  • Downloading binaries is often faster and more convenient.
  • Building from source code can offer better compatibility and is more aligned with the spirit of FOSS (free open source software).
Option 1 - Download binaries
Run the following to automatically download the latest linux release, un-tar and cleanup.
RELEASE_URL="https://api.github.com/repos/flashbots/mev-boost/releases/latest"
BINARIES_URL="$(curl -s $RELEASE_URL | jq -r ".assets[] | select(.name) | .browser_download_url" | grep linux_amd64.tar.gz$)"
echo Downloading URL: $BINARIES_URL
cd $HOME
# Download
wget -O mev-boost.tar.gz $BINARIES_URL
# Untar
tar -xzvf mev-boost.tar.gz -C $HOME
# Cleanup
rm mev-boost.tar.gz LICENSE README.md
Install the binaries.
sudo mv $HOME/mev-boost /usr/local/bin
Option 2 - Build from source code
Install build dependencies.
sudo apt -y install build-essential
Install Go and removing any previous Go installations.
cd $HOME
wget -O go.tar.gz https://go.dev/dl/go1.19.6.linux-amd64.tar.gz
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/go && sudo tar -C /usr/local -xzf go.tar.gz
rm go.tar.gz
echo export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin >> $HOME/.bashrc
source $HOME/.bashrc
Verify that you've installed Go 1.18+ by printing the version information.
go version
Install mev-boost with go install
CGO_CFLAGS="-O -D__BLST_PORTABLE__" go install github.com/flashbots/mev-boost@latest
Install binaries to /usr/local/bin and update ownership permissions.
sudo cp $HOME/go/bin/mev-boost /usr/local/bin
Create the mevboost systemd unit file.
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/mevboost.service
The ExecStart line lists relays: Flashbots, UltraSound, Aestus, bloXroute Max Profit, WenMerge. Remove or add other relays according to your preferences. Add as many or as few relays as you wish.
Find relay endpoints at:
Multiple relays can be specified by -relay
Example:
-relay https://RELAY1.COM \
-relay https://RELAY2.COM \
-relay https://RELAY3.COM
Important: Ensure each relay line ends with \ except the last relay line.
Paste the following into your mevboost.service file. To exit and save from the nano editor, press Ctrl + X, then Y, thenEnter.
Ethereum Mainnet
Holesky Testnet
[Unit]
Description=MEV-Boost Service for Ethereum Mainnet
Wants=network-online.target
After=network-online.target
Documentation=https://www.coincashew.com
[Service]
User=mevboost
Group=mevboost
Type=simple
Restart=always
RestartSec=5
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/mev-boost \
-mainnet \
-min-bid 0.03 \
-relay-check \
-relay https://0xac6e77dfe25ecd6110b8e780608cce0dab71fdd5ebea22a16c0205200f2f8e2e3ad3b71d3499c54ad14d6c21b41a37ae@boost-relay.flashbots.net \
-relay https://0xa1559ace749633b997cb3fdacffb890aeebdb0f5a3b6aaa7eeeaf1a38af0a8fe88b9e4b1f61f236d2e64d95733327a62@relay.ultrasound.money \
-relay https://0xa15b52576bcbf1072f4a011c0f99f9fb6c66f3e1ff321f11f461d15e31b1cb359caa092c71bbded0bae5b5ea401aab7e@aestus.live \
-relay https://0x8b5d2e73e2a3a55c6c87b8b6eb92e0149a125c852751db1422fa951e42a09b82c142c3ea98d0d9930b056a3bc9896b8f@bloxroute.max-profit.blxrbdn.com \
-relay https://0x8c7d33605ecef85403f8b7289c8058f440cbb6bf72b055dfe2f3e2c6695b6a1ea5a9cd0eb3a7982927a463feb4c3dae2@relay.wenmerge.com
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
[Unit]
Description=MEV-Boost Service for Holesky
Wants=network-online.target
After=network-online.target
Documentation=https://www.coincashew.com
[Service]
User=mevboost
Group=mevboost
Type=simple
Restart=always
RestartSec=5
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/mev-boost \
-mainnet \
-min-bid 0.03 \
-relay-check \
-relay https://0x821f2a65afb70e7f2e820a925a9b4c80a159620582c1766b1b09729fec178b11ea22abb3a51f07b288be815a1a2ff516@bloxroute.holesky.blxrbdn.com \
-relay https://0xb1d229d9c21298a87846c7022ebeef277dfc321fe674fa45312e20b5b6c400bfde9383f801848d7837ed5fc449083a12@relay-holesky.edennetwork.io \
-relay https://0xafa4c6985aa049fb79dd37010438cfebeb0f2bd42b115b89dd678dab0670c1de38da0c4e9138c9290a398ecd9a0b3110@boost-relay-holesky.flashbots.net \
-relay https://0xaa58208899c6105603b74396734a6263cc7d947f444f396a90f7b7d3e65d102aec7e5e5291b27e08d02c50a050825c2f@holesky.titanrelay.xyz
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
Using -min-bid flag, you can set a minimum bid value in ETH.
  • If all relays cannot bid higher than your minimum value, then your local execution client will produce the block.
  • By setting this value, you can capture MEV opportunities for higher value blocks and maintain a degree of control for local block production which helps strengthen censorship resistance and a neutral Ethereum network.
Reload systemctl to pickup the new service file.
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
Good to know: If you add or remove relay endpoints, you'll need to re-run this systemctldaemon-reload command and restart the mevboost services.
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart mevboost
Enable mevboost to automatically startup at system reboots and start the service.
sudo systemctl enable mevboost
sudo systemctl start mevboost
Check that the service started successfully.
sudo systemctl status mevboost
Sample of systemd logs showing mevboost running nominally.
● mevboost.service - mev-boost ethereum mainnet
Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/mevboost.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Active: active (running) since Mon 2022-09-17 23:32:00; 10s ago
Main PID: 12321 (mev-boost)
Tasks: 11 (limit: 34236)
Memory: 15.4M
CGroup: /system.slice/mevboost.service
└─12321 /usr/local/bin/mev-boost -mainnet -relay-check -relays https://0xac6e77dfe25ecd6110b8e780608cce0dab71fdd5ebea22a16c0205200f2f8e2e3ad3b71d3499c54ad14d6c21b41a37ae@boost-relay.flashbots.net,https://0xad0a8bb54565c2211cee576363f3>
View Logs with the following command:
sudo journalctl -fu mevboost
Sample of logs showing mevboost running nominally.
Sep 17 23:32:23 ethstaker systemd[1]: Started MEV-Boost Relay.
Sep 17 23:32:23 ethstaker mev-boost[12321]: time="2022-09-17T23:32:32-00:00" level=info msg="mev-boost v1.3.1" module=cli
Sep 17 23:32:23 ethstaker mev-boost[12321]: time="2022-09-17T23:32:32-00:00" level=info msg="Using genesis fork version: 0x00000000" module=cli
Sep 17 23:32:23 ethstaker mev-boost[12321]: time="2022-09-17T23:32:32-00:00" level=info msg="using 2 relays" module=cli relays="[{0xac6e77dfe25ecd6110b8e780608cce0dab71fdd5ebea22a16c0205200f2f8e2e3ad3b71d3499c54ad14d6c21b41a37ae https://0xac6e77dfe25ecd6110b8e780608cce0dab71fdd5ebea22a16c0205200f2f8e2e3ad3b71d3499c54ad14d6c21b41a37ae@boost-relay.flashbots.net} {0xad0a8bb54565c2211cee576363f3a347089d2f07cf72679d16911d740262694cadb62d7fd7483f27afd714ca0f1b9118 https://0xad0a8bb54565c2211cee576363f3a347089d2f07cf72679d16911d740262694cadb62d7fd7483f27afd714ca0f1b9118@bloxroute.ethical.blxrbdn.com}]"
Sep 17 23:32:23 ethstaker mev-boost[12321]: time="2022-09-17T23:32:32-00:00" level=info msg="Checking relay" module=service relay="https://0xac6e77dfe25ecd6110b8e780608cce0dab71fdd5ebea22a16c0205200f2f8e2e3ad3b71d3499c54ad14d6c21b41a37ae@boost-relay.flashbots.net"
Sep 17 23:32:23 ethstaker mev-boost[12321]: time="2022-09-17T23:32:32-00:00" level=info msg="Checking relay" module=service relay="https://0xad0a8bb54565c2211cee576363f3a347089d2f07cf72679d16911d740262694cadb62d7fd7483f27afd714ca0f1b9118@bloxroute.ethical.blxrbdn.com"
Sep 17 23:32:23 ethstaker mev-boost[12321]: time="2022-09-17T23:32:32-00:00" level=info msg="listening on localhost:18550" module=cli

Step 3: Update consensus client and validator

Both the consensus layer client and validator will require additional Builder API flags.
Consensus Client Layer Changes (beacon chain)
Add the appropriate flag to the ExecStart line of your consensus client service file.
Select the tab appropriate to your staking setup.
To exit and save from the nano editor, press Ctrl + X, then Y, thenEnter.
V2 Staking Setup (Current)
V1 Staking Setup
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/consensus.service
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/beacon-chain.service
Lighthouse
Teku
Lodestar
Nimbus
Prysm
--builder http://127.0.0.1:18550

Option 1: Systemd service file configuration - Use for V2 Teku staking setup

If your Teku client is configured by --parameters in the systemd service file, add the following changes.
--validators-builder-registration-default-enabled=true --builder-endpoint=http://127.0.0.1:18550

Option 2: TOML Configuration - Use for V1 Teku staking setup

If your Teku client is configured by passing in a TOML file (i.e. teku.yaml), edit teku.yaml with nano.
sudo nano /etc/teku/teku.yaml
Add the following lines to the yaml file:
# mevboost
validators-builder-registration-default-enabled: true
builder-endpoint: "http://127.0.0.1:18550"
Use one configuration or the other but not both!
--builder --builder.urls http://127.0.0.1:18550
--payload-builder=true --payload-builder-url=http://127.0.0.1:18550
--http-mev-relay=http://127.0.0.1:18550
For example, here is the expected result of an updated ExecStart line of a V2 Staking Setup Prysm consensus client service file.
Flag is added on the last line.
When adding a new line, notice that previous lines require a backslash \
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/beacon-chain \
--mainnet \
--checkpoint-sync-url=https://beaconstate.info \
--genesis-beacon-api-url=https://beaconstate.info \
--execution-endpoint=http://localhost:8551 \
--jwt-secret=/secrets/jwtsecret \
--suggested-fee-recipient=0x_CHANGE_THIS_TO_MY_ETH_FEE_RECIPIENT_ADDRESS \
--accept-terms-of-use \
--http-mev-relay=http://127.0.0.1:18550
Validator Client Changes
If required, add the appropriate flag to the ExecStart line of your validator client service file. To exit and save from the nano editor, press Ctrl + X, then Y, thenEnter.
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/validator.service
Lighthouse
Teku
Lodestar
Nimbus
Prysm
--builder-proposals
For Teku running in standalone validator configuration,
--validators-builder-registration-default-enabled=true
For Teku running in combined BN+VC configuration, there is no extra configuration needed.
--builder
For Nimbus running in standalone validator configuration,
--payload-builder=true
For Nimbus running in combined BN+VC configuration, there is no extra configuration needed.
--enable-builder
For example, here is the expected result of an updated ExecStart line of a V2 Staking Setup Prysm validator client service file.
Flag is added on the last line.
When adding a new line, notice that previous lines require a backslash \
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/validator \
--mainnet \
--accept-terms-of-use \
--datadir=/var/lib/prysm/validators \
--beacon-rpc-provider=localhost:4000 \
--wallet-dir=/var/lib/prysm/validators \
--wallet-password-file=/var/lib/prysm/validators/password.txt \
--graffiti "" \
--suggested-fee-recipient=<0x_CHANGE_THIS_TO_MY_ETH_FEE_RECIPIENT_ADDRESS> \
--enable-builder
After configuring your consensus client and validator to enable mevboost, reload and restart your services. Finally, verify your logs look error-free and show use of the new MEV configurations.
V2 Staking Setup (Current)
V1 Staking Setup
Lighthouse, Lodestar, Prysm
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart consensus validator
sudo journalctl -fu consensus
sudo journalctl -fu validator
Teku or Nimbus
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart consensus
sudo journalctl -fu consensus
Lighthouse, Lodestar, Prysm
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart beacon-chain validator
sudo journalctl -fu beacon-chain
sudo journalctl -fu validator
Teku or Nimbus
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart beacon-chain
sudo journalctl -fu beacon-chain
Congrats! Your validator with mev-boost will earn more rewards when proposing a block.

🎯
How to Update MEV-boost

Update to the latest release with the following commands.
Review the latest MEV-boost release notes for new requirements or breaking changes.
Option 1 - Download binaries
Run the following to automatically download the latest linux release, un-tar and cleanup.
RELEASE_URL="https://api.github.com/repos/flashbots/mev-boost/releases/latest"
BINARIES_URL="$(curl -s $RELEASE_URL | jq -r ".assets[] | select(.name) | .browser_download_url" | grep linux_amd64.tar.gz$)"
echo Downloading URL: $BINARIES_URL
cd $HOME
# Download
wget -O mev-boost.tar.gz $BINARIES_URL
# Untar
tar -xzvf mev-boost.tar.gz -C $HOME
# Cleanup
rm mev-boost.tar.gz LICENSE README.md
Stop the service, install the binaries and start the service.
sudo systemctl stop mevboost
sudo mv $HOME/mev-boost /usr/local/bin
sudo systemctl start mevboost
Verify the new version number.
/usr/local/bin/mev-boost --version
Option 2 - Build from source code
Compile new binaries and stop the service.
CGO_CFLAGS="-O -D__BLST_PORTABLE__" go install github.com/flashbots/mev-boost@latest
sudo systemctl stop mevboost
Install new binaries and start the service.
sudo cp ~/go/bin/mev-boost /usr/local/bin
sudo systemctl start mevboost
Verify the new version number.
/usr/local/bin/mev-boost --version

🗑
Uninstalling MEV-boost

sudo systemctl stop mevboost
sudo systemctl disable mevboost
sudo rm /etc/systemd/system/mevboost.service
sudo rm /usr/local/bin/mev-boost
sudo userdel mevboost
Finally, remove the Builder API changes made in step 3 to your consensus client and validator.

FAQ

How do I verify I'm registered with my relays?
Verify that your validator is registered with a particular relay by making a request to the relay's API.
You can either manually query the relay's API or use dabauxi's Check MEV-Boost Relay Registration script.

Check MEV-Boost Relay Registration by dabauxi

Review notes and source code here. Requires python.
# Install python
sudo apt install python3
# Download the script
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/dabauxi/check-mevboost-registration/main/check_mevboost_registration.py
# Assign execution permissions
chmod +x check_mevboost_registration.py
# Check mevboost registration
./check_mevboost_registration.py <your-validator-address>
Sample output showing your validator's registration to relays.
./check_mevboost_registration.py 0x8000a44457e18388c5be046e22e86aedae1a07638394df63adfcd32d29b4e86c030219e94782ebebe398c9a05a8a28e7
Validator '0x8000a44457e18388c5be046e22e86aedae1a07638394df63adfcd32d29b4e86c030219e94782ebebe398c9a05a8a28e7'
Relay: 'bloxroute.ethical.blxrbdn.com', ❌ not found
Relay: 'relay.edennetwork.io', ❌ not found
Relay: 'builder-relay-mainnet.blocknative.com', ✔️ registered
Relay: 'bloxroute.max-profit.blxrbdn.com', ✔️ registered
Relay: 'boost-relay.flashbots.net', ✔️ registered
Relay: 'bloxroute.regulated.blxrbdn.com', ❌ not found
Relay: 'builder-relay-mainnet.blocknative.com', ✔️ registered
Relay: 'relay.edennetwork.io', ❌ not found
Relay: 'mainnet-relay.securerpc.com', ✔️ registered
Relay: 'relayooor.wtf', ✔️ registered
Relay: 'relay.ultrasound.money', ✔️ registered
Relay: 'agnostic-relay.net', ✔️ registered

Check Manually

For example, to verify that your validator is registered with the flashbots relay, enter the following URL into your browser. Replace <myPubKey> with the public key of your validator and you will see registration data such as your fee recipient address.
https://boost-relay.flashbots.net/relay/v1/data/validator_registration?pubkey=<myPubKey>
Sample command:
https://boost-relay.flashbots.net/relay/v1/data/validator_registration?pubkey=0xb510871a4600b184e83b1ca28402e4de31b5db968f28196419ab64c6e4e2b39920815a61b0bdfe8c928ae8a4db308517
Sample output:
{"message":{"fee_recipient":"0xebec795c9c8bbd61ffc14a6662944748f299cacf","gas_limit":"30000000","timestamp":"1663454829","pubkey":"0xb510871a4600b184e83b1ca28402e4de31b5db968f28196419ab64c6e4e2b39920815a61b0bdfe8c928ae8a4db308517"},"signature":"0xaeaffeb2f67f378fc8e0e31929a958bf51895d64e93246372e6bb8609c15b3d64b4ad56a5454bc3ac1be0bc57dce031c12c066c973125312d7e4c5020509edd0aaf98a6a190081305723a89e3dcd7b3f6b1ca40b92bb1a50e5714c28407e1bf9"}
Where will I get MEV-boost payments?
When a block is produced using MEV-boost, you may receive your payment in 1 of 3 ways.
Specifically, your MEV payment may arrive as:
1) by setting you as the block's Fee Recipient
2) an internal transaction
3) or a normal transaction
Why run MEV-boost?
Refer to this article by Stephane Gosslin, which explains the benefits of MEV-boost to the network and you, as a validator.
How does MEV-boost work?
  • Ethereum stakers must run three pieces of software: a validator client, consensus client, and an execution client.
  • MEV-boost is a separate piece of open source software, which queries and outsources block-building to a network of builders.
  • Block builders prepare full blocks, optimizing for MEV extraction and fair distribution of rewards.
  • They then submit their blocks to relays.
  • Relays aggregate blocks from multiple builders in order to select the block with the highest fees.
  • One instance of MEV-boost can be configured by a validator to connect to multiple relays.
  • The Consensus Layer client of a validator proposes the most profitable block received from MEV-boost to the Ethereum network for attestation and block inclusion.
What are the risks of running MEV-boost?
  • Adding more relays increases risk of adding a "bad" relay (hacked, withholds bid, performance issues) and causes your validator to miss a proposal.
  • More relays = more chance of getting a high-bid block however this also increases chance of getting rugged by "bad" relays and missing a proposal.Requires trust that relays and block builders will act honestly. MEV is not yet a trust-less process until there is protocol-level proposer-builder-separation (PBS).
Summary of risks: Only add relays you trust.
What's the real-time status of MEV?
Track network participation, recent MEV blocks, top relays and block builders at https://www.mevboost.org
I'm using multiple relays. Which one is chosen?
If multiple relays are available, the relay bidding highest MEV reward will be chosen. If all relays are not available, the local execution client builds the block without MEV.
What's makes a MEV relay ethical or not?
Based on varying degrees of profit or censorship, MEV relays can decide on what transactions to bundle in a block.
  • Ethical relays: will not censor transactions or profit from front running / sandwich attacks, which is harmful to everyday users on Ethereum.
  • OFAC relays: will censor transactions according to the OFAC list.
  • Maximal profit relays: profit is all that matters, ethics have no meaning.
Do I need to open any incoming ports on the firewall?
No changes needed. mevboost only makes outgoing tcp calls.

Next Steps

📚
References

👍
Credits