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Repeated Sandwich Attacks Force Solana to Disable Jitolabs’ Mempool

Jito Labs reacts to increased MEV threats

Jito Labs, a key developer for the Solana blockchain, has decided to discontinue the mempool functionality offered through its Jito Block Engine. This decision comes in the wake of a series of 'sandwich attacks' targeting Solana's retail traders, a nefarious strategy where attackers profit from pending transactions by placing their own transactions in a way that exploits these pending trades.

Traditionally, MEV attacks have been more prevalent on platforms like Ethereum, known for its built-in mempool. Solana, by contrast, lacks an inherent mempool feature. However, the introduction of the Jito Block Engine by Jito Labs had indirectly facilitated such attacks on Solana, despite these actions being against the firm's terms of service. In one notable instance in January, an MEV bot exploited this feature to gain $1.8 million in a matter of seconds by targeting a transaction involving the memecoin dogwifhat (WIF).

By removing the mempool, Jito Labs aims to curtail these exploit opportunities, reinforcing its commitment to the security and integrity of the Solana ecosystem. This move has been made after thorough discussions with both the Jito Labs team and prominent stakeholders within the Solana community.

The impact of MEV attacks and Jito Labs' response

Following the mempool removal, Jito Labs has been vocal about its unwavering dedication to the Solana network's prosperity, emphasizing its focus on supporting applications, users, validators, and stakers across the ecosystem. The decision, detailed in a comprehensive thread on social media platform X, was the outcome of deliberate conversations among the Jito Labs team and key stakeholders within the Solana ecosystem, underscoring a collective effort to fortify the network against security threats.

In addition to its proactive measures against MEV attacks, Jito Labs celebrated a significant milestone with the launch of its governance token in December. The unveiling was met with remarkable enthusiasm from the crypto community, evidenced by a trading volume of $1.1 billion on the first day alone. As of the latest update at 5:11 pm EST, the governance token is trading at $2.84, marking a 2.30% increase over the past 24 hours. 

This token introduction and the subsequent market response further solidify Jito Labs' position as an important player committed to fostering growth and security within the Solana ecosystem.