In a letter shared on social media, Flashbots cofounder and co-lead of strategy Alex Obadia said he would be stepping down from his role for multiple reasons, some of which were more personal than others.

“We’ve often had differing opinions with leadership, and that has been part of our strength. However, I believe we will now achieve better results going our separate ways,” he said in the letter. 

He also warned that Flashbots faces “serious challenges” in the future and that the system was still vulnerable to centralization from cross-chain Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) and exclusive orderflow.

“To top it off, as we’ve grown into an incumbent, we now also need to protect the system against ourselves, to avoid becoming the very Moloch we’re fighting against. 

Flashbots is an Ethereum infrastructure company that proposes blocks for validators running the blockchain. The firm was started in 2020 with the goal of mitigating the negative externalities posed by MEV to blockchains. Research from Messari shows that combined efforts between Flashbots and validators brought down censorship on the Ethereum network from 78% to 61%.  

The firm is now looking to raise up to $50 million in funds at a $1 billion pre-money valuation, The Block reported earlier this year. The funds will reportedly go towards MEV research and development as it builds SUAVE – the Single Unifying Auction for Value Expression.

SUAVE will attempt to maximally decentralize public blockchains, acting as a plug-and-play mempool and decentralized block builder for any chain. 

“Our goal is to move past the stage of monolithic block builders and toward a world where many searchers/builders with strong geographical distribution collaborate to build the best block together,” said the Flashbots team in a blog post introducing the new technology.