What’s the Optimism Superchain?
The Optimism Superchain is an built-in community of chains constructed utilizing the OP stack. These OP chains share safety and communication layers and are constructed from the identical open-source, standardized expertise stack. These chains principally have the identical technical and social construction. This implies no bridging or community switching is required.
Optimism is a Layer 2 blockchain constructed on Ethereum that makes use of optimistic rollups for sooner and cheaper transactions.
Optimism Superchain relies on the OP stack, an architectural framework for creating Layer 2 chains, and goals to modularize all Layer 2 parts into standardized open-source modules.
The OP stack brings the speculation of AppChain to Ethereum, permitting the protocol to create app-specific blockchains.
Standardization abstracts the idea of a single chain and turns this internet of interoperable chains into one unit: the Optimism Superchain. Superchains rework cryptocurrencies from fragmentation to singularity in what could possibly be the following step within the Layer 2 story of vertical scaling. Karl Floersch, lead contributor to Optimism, likens the present state of cryptocurrencies to representing a fragmented market, with grocery store chains introducing a supermarket-like consumer expertise.
Cryptocurrencies can not accommodate the following era of customers of their present fragmented and fragmented state. Superchains have the potential to vary all that.
Interoperable Superchain of the Future
Coming again to the thought of modularity, one of many key catalysts for layer 2 chains is the elevated availability of knowledge on the primary Ethereum community.
EIP-4844 (also called proto-dunk sharding) considerably improves knowledge availability for rollup options, permitting them to supply cheaper transactions to their finish customers. EIP-4844 is essential from a technical standpoint, as a result of it lowered transaction prices by orders of magnitude, and since this Ethereum enchancment proposal has generated huge collaboration.
Coinbase engineers collaborated on EIP-4844 work. By means of this, they bought acquainted together with his Optimism staff, a relationship blossomed, and Coinbase made the choice to make use of his OP stack because the structure for their very own Layer 2 chain, Base. Base gives a straightforward entry level into DeFi for Coinbase’s huge consumer base (roughly 98 million).
On condition that Base makes use of the OP stack, technical nuances between chains are abstracted away and a extra constant basis emerges. Which means property shifting from Optimism to Base are much less dangerous in comparison with shifting from Optimism to the Binance sensible chain. Ethereum shall be an enormous archipelago, and the OP stack will permit the creation of interoperable bridges linked to the mainland.
An analogy for visualization functions: Layer 1 blockchains exist as remoted, siled islands. Think about a tropical paradise. However solely the ocean surrounds us for 1000’s of miles. Ethereum and Layer 2 scaling options symbolize a wealthy archipelago containing a limiteless variety of linked islands. OP stacks additionally permit the creation of limitless new islands with bridges that permit people to simply journey from one land to a different.
The story of Layer 2 is greater than most individuals can think about, providing a path to true world adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain expertise.
What’s OP Stack?
The OP stack diverges from the overall strategy and produces an architectural framework for creating layer 2 chains somewhat than constructing one-off scaling options. The OP stack goals to modularize all layer 2 parts into standardized open supply modules within the layer 2 chain.
Each layer 2 chain consists of three central modules: consensus layer, execution layer and settlement layer. The OP stack creates standardized open-source constructing models for every of those parts, permitting you to create separate Layer 2s with completely different properties and qualities.
Ethereum scales via modularity, and the OP stack permits Layer 2 to scale as nicely. When all Layer 2 constructing blocks develop into standardized modules, it permits Lego-like building of latest Layer 2 chains which might be generic or application-specific. It additionally has the additional advantage of constructing code extra refined and extra highly effective as it’s reused.
OP Stack creates an open supply library of code and standardized modules for constructing Layer 2. Which means anybody can spin up a layer 2 chain, laying the groundwork for a Cambrian explosion of chain numbers.
As soon as all layer 2 create modules (reusable blocks of code) there isn’t any technique to cease this flywheel impact. David Hoffman of Bankless places his OP stack on par with the ERC-20 token customary, saying that sooner or later, layer 2 spinups shall be as simple as his ERC-20 token creation. I am right here.
OP Stack creates an out-of-the-box answer for entities to create Layer 2 chains by extracting every element right into a standardized module that may be linked to OP Stack blueprints.
Welcome to the Layer 2 plug-and-play period.
app chain principle
The AppChain principle was a serious driving power behind Cosmos’ early progress, permitting customers to create app-specific blockchains via the Cosmos SDK (software program improvement package). Nevertheless, the OP stack brings the speculation of AppChain to Ethereum. The long run seems very Ethereum-centric, given Ethereum’s benefits by way of liquidity, variety of customers, builders, and configurable purposes.
Because of the OP stack, customizable Layer 2 can now be constructed from a number of standardized modules, ushering within the AppChain period and additional enhancing the bigger Layer 2 narrative.
Two essential purchasers leveraging the structure supplied by Optimism are Coinbase with Base and A16Z with Magi.
Base manufacturers itself as “a bridge, not an island”. That is consistent with Brian Armstrong’s general imaginative and prescient and enterprise technique of accelerating the dimensions of the pie somewhat than monopolizing and extracting worth. Base plans to carry customers of Coinbase, one of many main centralized exchanges, into DeFi. It is going to be totally open supply. The testnet was launched in his February, and because of its permissionless nature, builders world wide are already constructing Base.
Base lays the groundwork for practically 100 million customers to enter DeFi and encourages customers to discover the ecosystem. Enrolling the following billion customers and initiating the mass transition to a totally on-chain financial system is prime to Coinbase’s imaginative and prescient.
Prolific enterprise capital fund Andreessen Horowitz has introduced that its rollup shopper Maji will supply an alternative choice to OP nodes. It is very important perceive that Magi shouldn’t be a layer 2 chain, consensus he’s a shopper.
A16Z stated they made the choice to create a consensus shopper as many of the improvement centered on execution purchasers. At the moment, he solely has one choice, the OP node, and Magi needs to introduce a Rust-based shopper to encourage additional diversification and decentralization inside the OP stack.
Magi represents a enterprise capital agency that contributes to the general public good and advances the core promise of cryptocurrency: decentralization, demonstrating philosophical alignment with its funding technique.
The Inevitable Layer 2 Superchain and Ethereum
As layer 2 chains develop into simpler to create and gasoline prices on these chains lower, it turns into more and more troublesome to think about a future the place Ethereum and layer 2 scaling options don’t dominate.
Because the OP Stack library grows and extra standardized modules develop into out there, these modules themselves develop into extra resilient and dependable, and extra contributors create these modules. A complete flywheel powers its personal generic and application-specific rollups, feeding all values again to Ethereum (the cost layer).
The cryptocurrency world is witnessing a brand new period of Ethereum-centricity.
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Kofi J has been in DeFi because the blast in summer season 2020 and has been via extra robust occasions than we will bear in mind. He hopes to make the decentralized financial system somewhat extra accessible via his prose. Comply with the writer on Twitter @k_pangolin