[READY TO VOTE] Implement a Prototype of an OP Stack Chain with Mempool Encryption

Delegate Mission Request Summary:

Implement a functional prototype of an OP stack chain with mempool encryption to draw insights regarding censorship resistance and front-running protection for OP stack networks.

S5 Intent 15 :
Intent 1. Progress Towards Technical Decentralization

Proposing Delegate: @404DAO

Proposal Tier 13 : Fledging Tier

Baseline grant amount: 100 K OP (Up to 50 K OP per applicant)

Should this Foundation Mission be fulfilled by one or multiple applicants: Multiple

Submit by: To be set by Grants Council

Selection by: To be set by Grants Council

Start date: If applicable

Completion date: 6 months


How will this Delegate Mission Request help accomplish the above Intent?

MEV front-running and censorship are vectors of centralization. R&D of solutions that can protect users from front-running and censorship are key to optimize for security, resilience and decentralization. Moreover, advancing towards providing optionality to deploy an encrypted Mempool chain with the OP stack is also aligned with growing the Superchain (Intent 2) and improving the consumer experience (Intent 3), nobody likes to be front-ran or in a sandwich attack.

Encryption is powerful in this regard, because the inability to observe transactional contents during validation (e.g. by the sequencer or other transaction supply chain intermediaries) precludes the possibility of discriminatory processing and thus makes it a lot harder (or even impossible) to front-run or censor.

What is required to execute this Delegate Mission Request?

  • Research and evaluate different mempool encryption technologies.
  • Assess how these technologies can integrate with the OP stack.
  • Define generalized mempool encryption interfaces.
  • Prototype and deploy one or more mempool encryption technologies.
  • Documentation of the implementation process and codebase.

How should the Token House measure progress towards this Mission?

  • Quality of mempool encryption research.
  • Assess functionality and effectiveness of the deployed prototype.
  • Assess quality of the documentation and codebase.

How should badgeholders measure impact upon completion of this Mission?

  • See total amount of transactions and contracts deployed in the prototype.
  • Measure amount of censored transactions using various methodology such as https://censorship.pics/ .
  • Total number of OPStack based chains implementing an encrypted mempool.

Have you engaged a Grant-as-a-service provider for this Mission Request? If so, please disclose the details of this arrangement, to the extent possible:

404 DAO has not engaged as a Grant-as-a-service provider. This mission request draft was written by @Cotabe, a core contributor of General Magic, an organization that offers Grant Management services. Cotabe has stated that General Magic, nor himself are getting paid or expecting any compensation for the draft.

Has anyone other than the Proposing Delegate contributed to this Mission Request? If so, who, and what parts of this application did they contribute to?

It was created based on the original idea of Shutter Network and their recommendation.


i see that this builds off shutter’s research funded by a previous grant. Has there been consensus by anyone other than shutter that this is the right path forward for us?

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This mission is more of an experiment than a definitive path forward. It does not strongly suggest that Optimism or all OP Stack chains must implement mempool encryption; rather, it presents it as one of the options.

In comparison to the research funded by the previous grant you mentioned, this mission request is more flexible regarding the choice of encryption method. Considering that it will be up to the OP Stack chains and their communities to decide whether to encrypt the mempool or not, this mission could lead to a positive outcome in terms of technological differentiation within the OP Stack.

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The main problem I see here is that mission requests are supposed to act more as RFPs for any entity to come and implement.

This one is quite obviously something that the people behind Shutter would end up taking on, so I believe a mission request is not the right path for this. Rather a grant is. And there already is an optimism grant paid for this.

In a similar fashion to this: [WITHDRAWN] RetroPGF for any DAO mission request and this: [WITHDRAWN] Run an OP Intern account mission request which ended up being withdrawn.


Generally in favor of this proposal. It aligns with the intents and seems like a technically feasible research and prototyping project.

Will this could very well be the case it does seem like the proposal is set up for up to two independent parties to research this? Also who’s to say that Shutter will come in to acquire the project, maybe other researchers will bid for it?

Although I don’t really mind that it builds off of Shutter’s work as long as it’s reasonable that other teams could apply and that it has broad benefit for the OP ecosystem, I don’t feel technically knowledgeable enough about the subject to determine if those two things are true. Probably won’t be approving this unless this is somehow credibly established.

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I am for this if this is focused on information theory and applied cryptography and sufficient literature review on the state of the art is done as a preliminary deliverable.

Yeah i think we just need to know Shutter is not the only game in town, otherwise, I think it is a great proposal.

Who are the other players in the ecosystem that offer mempool encryption?

Hey @Cotabe – just wanted to flag this as a proposal that still needs delegate approvals in order to move to a vote. If you are no longer interested in pursuing this proposal – please disregard this message. In order to see the delegates assigned to your proposal those can be found here. The deadline to provide feedback and approvals for Mission Requests is February 7th at 19:00


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Hey @op_julian thanks for the ping.

Thanks everyone for all the comments and feedback.

Addressing @lefterisjp concerns, the scope of Shutter’s grant in Cycle 10 was to perform a feasibility study of implementing Shielded Mempool in the OP stack. This grant was completed last year in November

In contrast, this mission request is proposing the implementation of a Prototype OP stack chain using Mempool encryption and it’s open for any project to participate. Some of the teams building suitable solutions are: Flashbots SUAVE, Radius, Ferveo, Secret Network & Shutter. There are also different types of encryption that can be used (TEEs (such as SGX/AMD SEV), VDF/VDE based approaches, MPC & fhEVM).

It’s true that only a handful of projects are working on this issue. However, IMO, having a trust-minimized sequencer that is censorship-resistant and prevents MEV front-running is a key element in the path towards technical decentralization & different approaches should be welcomed and encouraged, this is why this mission was drafted to allow multiple applicants.

I welcome all feedback to improve the mission and I will let the delegates decide if it’s a mission they would like to see in Season 5.

Pinging here the assigned delegates for visibility @olimpio @GFXlabs and @lefterisjp


Thank you for the response Cotabe!

I am still not convinced this fits the criteria for a mission request for the reasons I stated above.

Regardless of individual vendors or encryption technologies, encrypted mempools are seen as a thing that will need to happen for base layer neutrality and front-running protection.

Here’s Justin Drake very recently highlighting this: https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxVOkzboizla3EAF5qnmOU3vYSUezkqg0z?si=l5aeaMSTrWxDfwpU

Flashbot’s encrypted mempool in SUAVE, Anoma/Ferveo’s, Radius’s, Secret Network’s and Shutter’s (both for Gnosis Chain and the OPStack) work are only a few examples of this.

An overview: Encrypted Mempools - by Jon Charbonneau - Jon’s Newsletter

It’s also just common sense. No one should be able to see your transaction until its order and inclusion is finalized.

So I think the encrypted mempool mission is one of the most important missions to have and Optimism is uniquely positioned to innovate on this topic, because:

a) Optimism in general has always been leading in terms of L2 MEV and sequencer innovation and research.
b) some preparatory work in terms of feasibility and building a mock rollup with an encrypted mempool has already been done in the past by the Shutter team.
c) base layer (and in this case sequencer) neutrality will become increasingly more important for L2s.

So not going forward with this mission would potentially be denying the OPStack ecosystem a really interesting opportunity to make big leaps in regards to censorship resistance, a fair and efficient MEV supply chain and mempool accessibility.

The mission is framed extremely generalized (not even mentioning threshold encryption). Any of the above mentioned teams is perfectly positioned to apply (and we’ll probably see multiple proposals). That’s why I think it would be awesome to have a sort of generalized encrypted mempool interface will be key to this (and that’s part of the scope).

So at this point, I think the mission is super important and I’m not sure how the mission request could be even more generalized and technology/vendor agnostic.


Very much in favor of this proposal, I think that this is a reasonable amount requested for an important experiment. I particularly like the idea of prototyping this, as I believe that’s key to people realizing its usefulness. I worked in the past with Shutter as part of the shielded voting system we built at Snapshot and they’ve been nothing but professional and capable.

I’m an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal should move to a vote.


Looks like the ecosystem is competitive.

I’m an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote!

chuck noris


I’m tagging a few delegates here for visibility @polynya @kaereste @OPUser @Joxes @GFXlabs @olimpio @MinimalGravitas

Also, if delegates have any suggestions to improve the mission I suggest that the Grants Council consider them if the Mission Request passes the governance process.

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I’m willing to give my approval just to see what the resulting mission proposals will be. I see the value in having such a prototype of an op-stack chain, and I think this request can actually make room for projects other than Shutter to show up with what they have in stock in that regard.

I’m an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote!


With this mission, Optimism will induce more research on encrypted L2 mempools. I believe it will also generate healthy comparisons and competition between a few solutions. The size of this grant is small compared to what users of OP Stack chains could save if even one solution makes it into production.

I do think it’s important we see multiple applicants for this mission. Although the baseline was much larger, we saw a similar process with the zk proof RFP.

I’m an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


Looks like there are 4 approvals for this mission so we have updated the title to signal its ready for a vote. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and important context!

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The Developer Advisory Board has reviewed this Delegate Mission Request, and voted on its acceptance or rejection. The vote results are as follows:

ACCEPT: 6 votes
REJECT: 0 votes
ABSTAIN: 0 votes

therefore, the Developer Advisory Board accepts this delegate mission request.

The Developer Advisory Board views encrypted mempools as an important research area that can lead to better technical decentralization. A prototype implementation seems like a good next step.

We thank the proposer for putting this together.

Hey Brock what is the developer advisory board? Optimism governance has so many entities it’s hard to keep track what’s going on. Is it a delegate? So this is like one of the 4 required votes? Or is it something else?

Seems this mission proposal gathered enough approvals to go for a vote. Hopefully it’s taken seriously as a mission proposal and we see multiple serious applications and not by only a single entity.

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