Arthur Gervais Awarded Chainlink Research Grant for MEV Research

The Chainlink Community Grant Program provides financial resources to the many development teams and researchers building a more functional and accessible Chainlink Network. We encourage talented individual developers and development teams to apply to the grant program here, or if you are a researcher and want to collaborate, contact us.

We are excited to announce that Dr. Arthur Gervais, a faculty member at Imperial College London with a focus on the security, privacy, and financial aspects of decentralized systems, has been selected as a research grant recipient as part of the Chainlink Community Grants Program. As a part of the research grant, Dr. Gervais will be collaborating with the Chainlink Labs research team to examine the implications of Miner Extractable Value (“MEV”) in cross-chain bridges. 

MEV describes the ability of blockchain miners to extract profits at the expense of users by arbitrarily reordering, including, or excluding transactions within a block. Given its widespread effect on the integrity of blockchain systems, it’s a research topic of high importance. The research on cross-chain bridge MEV funded by this grant will play a key role in helping the development of the Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP), an open-source standard for cross-chain communication, supporting generalized messaging and the transfer of tokens across blockchain networks. 

MEV within a single decentralized ledger has previously been researched in-depth, most notably in the “Flash Boys 2.0” academic paper, whose co-authors include Chainlink Labs researchers Ari Juels and Lorenz Breidenbach. However, the occurrence of MEV across blockchain networks, within bridges, and for cross-chain applications is a new field of study that could have significant implications on the increasing reality of a multi-chain world. CCIP aims to be at the forefront of offering a highly secure and scalable cross-chain solution, making mitigating cross-chain MEV an important area for further research.

Dr. Arthur Gervais is a lecturer and assistant professor and part of the Decentralized Systems and Security Group at Imperial College London. He is also a lecturer at the University of Lucerne, the founder of blockchain scalability solution Liquidity Network, and a published author of multiple academic papers covering flash loans, smart contract vulnerabilities, MEV, DeFi, and more. He obtained a Master of Science in Computer Engineering at the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA), a Master of Science in Security and Mobile Computing at Aalto University, and, as a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at ETH Zürich, researched the security, performance, and privacy of proof-of-work blockchains. 

Currently, Dr. Gervais’ research is focused on the security, privacy, and financial aspects of decentralized technology, with particular attention paid to quantifying and systematizing system properties. With an emphasis on real-world systems, his research is inherently multidisciplinary and aims to uncover tension points and trade-offs in terms of the security, privacy, and performance of decentralized systems. His teaching on a wide range of topics including information security, Eiffel programming, security of wireless networks, principles of decentralized ledgers, and more demonstrates his capability to further research the topic of MEV in cross-chain bridges. 

“I’m excited to be collaborating with Chainlink Labs to study the implications of MEV in cross-chain bridges, and how the CCIP standard can be optimized to mitigate the extraction of value from users,” stated Dr. Gervais. “The Chainlink Labs research team is at the cutting edge of blockchain oracle and cross-chain technologies, and I’m looking forward to expanding upon their foundations by studying MEV in the context of a cross-chain ecosystem. By creating fairer and more equitable smart contract applications that span multiple blockchain networks, we can help improve financial systems around the world.”

Through the Chainlink Community Grants program, we look forward to continuing to empower Chainlink ecosystem teams, researchers, and social impact projects who are both researching and building key tools and infrastructure that accelerate the development of hybrid smart contracts, secure oracle networks, and impactful technology that improves the world. We will continue supporting the community as a key driver of Chainlink’s rapid growth, because only together can we make hybrid smart contracts into the dominant form of digital agreement.

About the Chainlink Grant Program

If you want to learn more about the Grant Program, check out our recent blog post that further expands upon its goals and the criteria for submission. If you would like to participate in the Chainlink Grant Program, please apply here. Chainlink Community Grants are provided in cash and/or LINK.