Ethereum Faces Solana Challenge as Validator Income Rises

Solana may soon surpass Ethereum in combined fees and MEV, but network reliability remains a concern.

Ethereum versus Solana coin.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Analyst shows Solana approaching Ethereum in total validator inome.
  • High income on Solana makes becoming a validator more attractive.
  • However, traders in DeFi run the risk of validators frontrunning their trades. 

The blockchain ecosystem is witnessing fierce competition between Ethereum and Solana as they fight to attract validators. The more validators there are, the more secure a network is and the more demand for the token in proof-of-stake (PoS) systems. 


Recent data from one analyst suggests that Solana could soon surpass Ethereum in the total value validators can derive from their activities. 

Solana Set to Outpace Ethereum in Validator Income

On Tuesday, May 7, Dan Smith, a senior research analyst at Blockworks, shared data indicating that Solana’s total economic value was nearing that of Ethereum. In particular, Solana might soon surpass Ethereum in total transaction fees and Maximum Extractable Value (MEV). 

On May 6, the combined figures for Ethereum stood at $3,165, while the same figure for Solana was not far off, at $2,803. Smith’s analysis suggested that Solana could “flip” Ethereum soon, perhaps within a week. 

Critically, the flipping relies on the relatively high MEV Solana validators can extract, as Solana fees are still trailing Ethereum, standing at $1.49 million vs $2.75 million for Solana. 

Initially known as Miner Extractable Value, MEV is the maximum potential profit validators can capture by reordering, including, or excluding transactions in a way that generates extra profit. MEV isn’t charged directly to the user, such as transaction fees; it’s extracted from opportunities like arbitrage, front-running, or liquidations.

Why Solana MEV Figures Are So High

Solana validators are relatively well-positioned to profit from sources other than fees. For one, Solana’s low fees and high speed boost transaction volume, leading to more opportunities for arbitrage. The more transactions there are, the higher the fees and MEV the validators can get. 


At the same time, low fees and high speeds make it easier for validators to profit from MEV strategies. With transaction costs being less of a barrier, validators can engage in a high number of arbitrages, which would be un-economical on Ethereum.  

However, this strategy has its shortcomings, in particular due to the ongoing network congestion. The high rate of transaction failures, hovering at 60%, means that validators are unsure whether their transactions will go through. 

MEV strategies are a mixed bag for traders. For one, validators’ frontrunning hurts traders involved in DeFi, increasing effective transaction costs. At the same time, MEV opportunities make validating more attractive, boosting the demand for the token. 

On the Flipside

  • Despite its growth, Solana’s total value locked (TVL) was just $3.96 billion on Wednesday, May 8, compared to Ethereum’s $53 billion.
  • Solana has suffered multiple outages due to overwhelming demand, causing disruptions that raise concerns about reliability.

Why This Matters

As MEV extraction grows on Solana, traders may face increased front-running risks and higher transaction costs. On the other hand, the heightened validator incentives could boost demand for SOL, potentially impacting the token’s price.

Read more about Solana’s prospects for dominance:
Here’s How Solana Can Outpace BNB and USDT: Franklin Templeton

Read more about how to get certified in blockchain:
Bitget Trains Over 6,000 Students: Here’s How to Get Certified

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.