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About Optimism (OP)

Optimism (OP) is a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum that aims to enhance the network's scalability and reduce transaction fees. It uses Optimistic Rollup technology to process transactions off the main Ethereum chain, while still ensuring security and data availability. This approach allows for faster and more cost-effective transactions, providing a better user experience for decentralized applications.

    Optimism Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

      What is Optimism (OP) and how does it relate to Ethereum?

      Optimism (OP) is a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum that aims to improve transaction speeds and reduce fees while leveraging the security of the Ethereum mainnet. It uses Optimistic Rollup technology to batch transactions off-chain before finalizing them on Ethereum, allowing for more efficient throughput.

      How does Optimism scale Ethereum using optimistic rollups?

      Optimism scales Ethereum by using optimistic rollups, which are a layer-2 scaling solution. Optimistic rollups bundle (or 'roll-up') large numbers of off-chain transactions into a single batch. Instead of executing all smart contract code on the Ethereum mainnet, these transactions are processed off-chain on the Optimism network. Then, only the transaction data and a state root are posted back to the mainnet. This drastically reduces the amount of computation and storage required on the main Ethereum chain, thus reducing fees and increasing transaction throughput. Optimism assumes transactions are valid by default and only runs computation in the event of a challenge, relying on a fraud-proof system to ensure the integrity of the rollup.

      What are the main protocols hosted on the Optimism network?

      The main protocols hosted on the Optimism network include Synthetix, for decentralized synthetic assets; Uniswap, a leading decentralized exchange; and Aave, which provides decentralized lending and borrowing services. These protocols leverage Optimism's layer 2 scaling solutions for Ethereum to offer faster and cheaper transactions.

      How can users start using Optimism and what is required to bridge tokens like ETH to the platform?

      To start using Optimism, users need to set up a compatible crypto wallet and add the Optimism network to it. Once the wallet is configured, users can bridge their ETH or other tokens from the Ethereum mainnet to Optimism using a bridge service such as the Optimism Gateway. They will need to have some ETH on the mainnet to pay for the initial transaction fees and will also need some on Optimism to use as gas for future transactions on the network.

      When was the OP token airdrop and who was eligible to participate?

      The OP token airdrop took place on May 31, 2022. Eligibility was determined by various activities on the Optimism network, including users who made transactions before June 2021, bridges used, and repeat activity, among other criteria.

      Who leads the Optimism Foundation and what is its mission?

      The Optimism Foundation is led by a team that includes Jing Wang among other dedicated individuals. Its mission is to develop and promote the Optimism ecosystem, a low-cost and high-speed blockchain infrastructure based on Ethereum, fostering community-driven governance and enabling the infrastructure for a scalable, equitable, and sustainable future.

      What funding model supports the Optimism network's development and maintenance?

      Optimism's development and maintenance are supported primarily through a sustainable funding model that includes revenues from sequencing fees and a portion of the network's transaction fees, which are used to fund public goods on the platform. Additionally, the Optimism Collective, a unique governance system consisting of the Citizens' House and the Token House, helps to oversee the allocation of funds and the direction of the network's growth. This model aims to ensure a balance between profitability and community-driven development.

      What are the four core tenets that guide the development of Optimism?

      The four core tenets that guide the development of Optimism are simplicity, pragmatism, sustainability, and optimism.

      How does Optimism maintain simplicity in its codebase while supporting complex Ethereum applications?

      Optimism maintains simplicity in its codebase by using the Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM), which is fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). This compatibility allows it to support the same smart contracts and tools used on Ethereum with minimal changes. By leveraging the established EVM infrastructure, Optimism can implement efficient scaling solutions while reducing the complexity associated with building a separate blockchain architecture. Additionally, Optimism streamlines transaction processing through a rollup-centric approach, batching multiple transactions together, which simplifies the overall consensus mechanism and reduces the need for complex code to handle individual transactions.

      What distinguishes Optimism's approach to network scalability and security?

      Optimism employs a layer-2 scaling solution using optimistic rollups, which bundle multiple Ethereum transactions into a single transaction. This significantly reduces fees and increases transaction throughput while maintaining security through Ethereum's layer-1. It assumes transactions are valid by default and only runs computation in the event of a challenge, distinguishing its approach with improved efficiency and lower costs.

      Why do withdrawals from Optimism to Ethereum take seven days to complete?

      Withdrawals from Optimism to Ethereum take seven days due to the Fraud Proof window. This period allows network validators the necessary time to challenge potentially fraudulent withdrawal transactions and maintain the security and integrity of the layer-2 network.

      How are OP coins distributed within the Optimism ecosystem, and what is the initial token supply?

      OP coins are distributed within the Optimism ecosystem through various channels to support its growth and decentralization. These channels include incentives for developers, grants, ecosystem fund, retroactive public goods funding, strategic sale, and airdrops to early users. The initial token supply of OP is set at 4.29 billion, with a significant portion allocated to the community treasury to fund future initiatives and governance decisions.

      What inflation rate does the OP coin have, and how is the distribution managed after the first year?

      The OP coin does not have a predetermined inflation rate. After the first year, the distribution of OP is governed by the Optimism Collective, which is composed of the Citizens' House and the Token House. The collective decides on proposals for the use of the ecosystem's funds that can include grants, retroactive public goods funding, and other initiatives. The specifics of OP coin distribution are subject to change over time as the community reaches consensus on future governance decisions.

      How do the security mechanisms of Optimism work, particularly with the use of optimistic rollups?

      Optimism's security is anchored by the Ethereum mainnet through the use of optimistic rollups. These rollups bundle a large number of Ethereum transactions off-chain and record them as a single transaction on the Ethereum mainnet. Security is maintained by assuming transactions are valid by default, but allowing a challenge period during which fraudulent transactions can be disputed. If a transaction is challenged and found to be invalid, it is rolled back. This process allows Optimism to leverage the established security of Ethereum while enabling faster and more cost-effective transactions.