The optimism caught the interest of the most influential figures in the crypto industry, such as Vitalik Buterin.
Ethereum has been criticized for its suboptimal scalability and high gas prices. There has long been talk of increasing the scalability of the Ethereum mainnet.
However, the Ethereum ecosystem now needs a scaling solution, and if Ethereum cannot provide a platform with sufficient scalability to these new applications, they may look to alternatives such as BNB Chain or Cardano. The Optimism deployment was specifically designed to address Ethereum’s scalability issue.
The Optimism Rollup Network is one of several solutions trying to solve Ethereum’s congestion problem. The Ethereum network is often congested near its maximum capacity, and until upgrades to the main blockchain are made, scaling solutions like Optimism allow Ethereum’s transactional capabilities to remain usable without spending a fortune on gas fees.
In short, Optimism uses advanced data compression techniques to speed up Ethereum transactions and reduce costs. They do this through a method known as optimistic rollups, in which multiple transactions are “rolled up” into one and settled on a different, cheaper blockchain. The verified transactions are then returned to the main Ethereum blockchain. The biggest advantage of Optimistic Rollups is the fact that by default they do no calculations, which theoretically leads to increased scalability. It is estimated that optimistic rollups can provide a 10x to 100x improvement in scalability. The downside, however, is the existence of a “challenge period”, which is a window of time during which anyone can contest the claim and extend the cooling-off period.
Now, of course, the question arises: how does this differ from the widespread zero-knowledge (zk) rollups?
Zk rollups rely on zero-knowledge evidence for all state transitions to work properly. After that, each transaction is compared to a smart contract in the main chain. Meanwhile, optimistic rollups depend on the user submitting a new state root to the sidechain without checking the rollup contract.
When it comes to application, cost is perhaps the biggest difference between the two, as optimistic folds require nodes to simply execute contracts, while zk folds need to create complex cryptographic proof that requires hundreds or thousands of expensive elliptic curve operations . in proof. As a result, zk rollups are significantly more expensive to use than optimistic rollups. However, ZK systems have priority when connected to Layer 1.
There are two main players in the world of optimistic rollups: Optimism and Arbitrum. The main difference between the two is how they generate a fraud proof for the network. While the current version of Optimism requires non-interactive fraud proofing, Arbitum uses an interactive method. Other differences relate to their compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Ethereum tools.
There are currently over 1,000 projects using Optimism and the total value of this chain is $364.7 million at the time of writing, according to DefiLlama. One of their biggest backers seems to be Synthetix, which has invested over $120 million in Optimism. When asked about their level of confidence in optimism, a spokesperson for the Synthetix team told Cointelegraph:
“Synthetix was one of the first to implement Optimism and back in 2020 they chose a protocol based on this Ethereum scaling solution. At that time it was a matter of making a decisive decision. We realized early on that we absolutely had to scale as we are a very complex set of smart contracts. Low latency perpetual futures and oracles should not have appeared on L1.”
When asked by Cointelegraph why Sythethix chose Optimism over Arbitium, since Arbitium was poised to enter the market before Optimism, they replied:
“Both Arbitrum and Optimism had a lot of work ahead of them, but we decided to commit ourselves to working with one specific team, Optimism, and bear the high costs that would be required to access mainnet. We chose Optimism because they have some of the best researchers in the Ethereum community and we were confident that they would be able to make their vision a reality.”
In many ways, Synthetix has taken a similar approach