New York, October 13th, 2023 — Today, Consensys announced the acquisition of Special Mechanisms Group (SMG), a mechanism design company known for its research focused on blockchain microstructure. The group, which will become a division of Consensys and continue to operate as SMG, has attracted attention for its fresh perspective on issues surrounding maximal extractable value (MEV), censorship resistance, and the centralizing effects of proposer-builder separation.
Mechanism design is the science of designing systems in which self-interested agents, making self-interested decisions, collectively achieve efficiency. Consensys and SMG want to bring the once-niche discipline into the blockchain era, and use it to drive Consensys’ vision to build better systems for a decentralized future. The addition of SMG represents a pivotal step in Consensys' overarching strategy to enhance its capabilities for delivering cutting-edge solutions to users and developers, and make web3 accessible to all.
“SMG's unique expertise around mechanism design is a strategic addition to Consensys’ goal of improving user experience”, said Joe Lubin, CEO of Consensys and Co-Founder of Ethereum. “SMG’s talented contributors are deeply aligned with the mission of user empowerment through decentralization. Their unique capabilities will enable us to continually deliver state-of-the-art solutions that empower builders and users across our ecosystem”, Lubin added.
“Our game-changing acquisition of SMG brings exceptional mechanisms design and advanced capabilities that will power Consensys’ product offerings by optimizing user transactions and protecting them from negative externalities," said Didier Le Floch, Engineering Leadership at Consensys. “This is a pivotal moment in our journey to redefine the experience of transacting and expressing intents on public blockchain networks for web3 users and builders”, he concluded.
The acquisition underscores SMG’s reputation as a leading blockchain R&D firm, and positions it to collaborate with MetaMask, the world's leading self-custody web3 platform, Infura, the world’s top web3 API, Linea, Consensys’ zkEVM rollup, as well as a wide array of third-party technology partners. The addition of SMG will bring a talented team of 24 full-time contributors focused on enabling new enhancements to the way users, developers and businesses interact with the blockchain.
“As of today, Consensys will have the most advanced mechanism design and engineering in the industry”, said Jason Linehan, formerly CEO of SMG and now Director of the Special Mechanisms Group at Consensys. “Decentralized networks are the future. By joining SMG’s expertise with the incredible products and scale of Consensys, we will make that future happen a lot faster,” he concluded.
This announcement comes just one month after the public launch of MetaMask Snaps, a testament to Consensys’ commitment to providing a user-friendly and accessible web3 experience. The acquisition of SMG is the third acquisition in two years following the February 2023 acquisition of Hal and February 2022 acquisition of MyCrypto.
During this process, Consensys was represented by Brendan Dignan at the law firm of Baker Botts.
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