Introducing Smart Transactions

With Smart Transactions, MetaMask delivers an unprecedented 99.5% transaction success rate and brings native MEV protection, pre-simulation, and smarter gas settings to all users.

by MetaMaskMay 6, 2024
introducing smart transactions

MetaMask connects people all over the world to thousands of blockchain apps, powering tens of millions of transactions every day.

This has given us a front-row seat to the many pain points users face when transacting onchain. Currently, up to 15% of transactions revert, meaning users spend an estimated 47,000 ETH every year on transactions that do nothing. That's in addition to the 124,000 ETH of MEV extracted by sophisticated bots that can read users' transactions and frontrun them to gain a financial advantage. In total, that's more than $440 million taken from users every year.

While transaction inefficiencies have nothing to do with the wallet, we saw them as issues MetaMask could and should solve for its users, so we began to work on technology to reduce failure rates and better protect your transactions. Designed by the MetaMask team in consultation with Consensys’ advanced research division, Special Mechanisms Group, Smart Transactions is a reimagined transaction experience that natively protects users from harmful forms of MEV, stops transactions from reverting onchain, and automatically bundles related transactions together to save on gas. Starting this morning, MetaMask is rolling this feature out to all users on Ethereum Mainnet.

“Smart Transactions lets users automatically take better care of the transactions they sign, and what happens when they get sent to the blockchain network. There is no better way to upgrade your user experience,” says Jason Linehan, Director of SMG.

How does Smart Transactions protect users?

MetaMask’s Smart Transactions mode introduces an improved transaction experience with higher success rates, visibility, and value that stays in your wallet. Every Smart Transaction is pre-simulated using MetaMask’s industry-leading 30 millisecond Just-In-Time simulation service.

Smart Transactions gives you more privacy, control, predictability, and visibility over your transactions. You receive:

  • The highest transaction success rates. During beta testing, Smart Transactions delivered a 99.5% transaction success rate, well above the industry benchmark.
  • More value when trading and transacting. Smart Transactions can better predict gas costs, prevent costly frontrunning, and eliminate failed transactions.
  • Visibility and peace-of-mind. You can monitor the real-time status of pending transactions on an intuitive dashboard in MetaMask, without navigating to third-party websites or block explorers.

Gal Eldar, Executive Product Director at MetaMask, remarks, “At MetaMask, we believe that wallets are uniquely positioned—and in many ways responsible—for addressing these user pain points head-on. The creation of Smart Transactions serves as our commitment to take an even more active role in tackling some of these challenges and to continue innovating at new layers of the wallet experience as part of our efforts to make the process of submitting transactions not just easier and safer but also more efficient and predictable for everyone. Democratizing access to decentralized technologies is a long and winding journey, and Smart Transactions are an important and bold step toward this end.”

A reimagined transaction experience

In the months ahead, we’ll be rolling out more enhancements to our transaction lifecycle through Smart Transactions, and we’ll continue to optimize these new mechanisms to increase success rates, reduce gas costs, and help you retain more value.

MetaMask will always support standard transactions and custom RPCs, underscoring our commitment to providing you with maximum flexibility and choice in determining how you prefer to interact with and connect to different blockchains. We need all of the above in order to realize the full potential of Ethereum and web3.

To learn more about Smart Transactions, please visit our support docs.

Here’s all you need to know about Smart Transactions

Q: Do I have to turn on Smart Transactions? A: If you're using MetaMask Extension version 11.15 or later, or MetaMask Mobile App version 7.21 or later, you will be presented with an option to enable Smart Transactions through an opt-in modal. This feature is not enabled by default, giving you the freedom to decide whether to activate it. If you decide to enable Smart Transactions but later wish to disable it and switch back to using standard transactions, you can easily do so through your wallet Settings using this guide.

Q: Where can I see the status of my transactions? A: Pending Smart Transactions remain private to protect your transaction against sophisticated bots and are tracked directly in MetaMask. This gives you visibility and real-time status information right where you signed without the need to navigate to a third-party block explorer. Once a Smart Transaction is finalized, it will be discoverable on any block explorer like Etherscan. These improvements are available only for Smart Transactions and do not affect standard transactions.

Q: Is there a fee for Smart Transactions? A: The Smart Transactions feature is optional and completely free. We’re able to offer this capability by auctioning transactions to a network of trusted block builders, who may bid for the opportunity to include them in a block. Block builders can earn money from some transactions by backrunning them, which doesn’t affect the price of your trade. Backrunning involves bringing liquidity pools back to equilibrium after a trade is completed

Q: What is next for Smart Transactions? A: We’ll be taking a phased approach to rolling out this feature. Phase I will focus on enabling Smart Transactions for all users and fine-tune the mechanisms to reduce onchain reverts, optimize gas, and keep users safe from price manipulation. As we transition into Phase II, we will assess the impact of these optimizations, gauge builders' appetite to participate in an auction, begin to develop mechanisms that unlock additional positive-sum features, and explore new opportunities to return even more value to our users.

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