Optimism Rebrands as OP Mainnet: Unveiling the Vision for a Superchain Network

In a move to reflect its ambitious goal of building a network of interconnected “Superchains,” Optimism (OP), a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum utilizing Optimistic Rollups technology, has officially rebranded itself as OP Mainnet.

The former Optimism chain will now be recognized as OP Mainnet, a distinction aimed at clarifying the separation between the blockchain itself and the broader vision encompassed by “Optimism.” According to a tweet from the company, the new name will facilitate easier differentiation between the blockchain and the collective vibe and ethos associated with Optimism.

Under the Superchain vision, OP Mainnet is positioned as one among many layer-2 chains that seamlessly communicate with other chains such as @BuildonBase, @ourZora’s ZORA NETWORK, and various others. This unity aims to create a cohesive ecosystem where different chains operate in parallel, leveraging Optimism’s underlying OP Stack technology and settling value on the OP Mainnet.

Optimism has garnered collaborations with prominent players in the cryptocurrency market to develop their own layer-2 solutions. Notable partnerships include Coinbase with their Base layer-2 and the recent collaboration with the NFT marketplace platform Zora for their Zora Network layer-2.

As the second-largest layer-2 solution for Ethereum, Optimism currently boasts a Total Value Locked (TVL) of $2.28 billion, with Arbitrum leading the pack at $5.85 billion TVL. Following the Bedrock upgrade in early June, which aimed to reduce transaction fees, Optimism revealed its plans to treat ETH as the network’s second native token alongside OP. This would enable users to transact directly between Ethereum and Optimism, rather than considering it as an ERC-20 token that requires a bridge for interoperability.

On June 21st, Optimism announced the launch of its third development grant round, allocating 30 million OP tokens to support other projects within the ecosystem.

In addition to the aforementioned layer-2 solutions built on Optimism, the crypto industry in 2023 has witnessed the emergence of several other layer-2 solutions for Ethereum. These include zkEVM projects such as Polygon zkEVM, zkSync Era, Linea, Scroll, and Taiko, as well as CEX-based layer-2 solutions like opBNB, Mantle, and OKBChain. Furthermore, individual DeFi projects such as Maker and Frax Finance have also introduced their own layer-2 solutions.

Many individuals have high hopes for the proposed Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4844, expected to be included in Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade by the end of 2023. This proposal aims to further reduce layer-2 transaction fees and facilitate users’ transition from the Ethereum mainnet to these burgeoning sidechains.

As Optimism transforms into OP Mainnet, its focus on building a Superchain network of interconnected layer-2 solutions sets the stage for a more scalable and efficient Ethereum ecosystem. The ongoing development of various layer-2 solutions in the crypto space indicates a growing commitment to enhancing Ethereum’s scalability and fostering innovation in decentralized finance and other sectors reliant on blockchain technology.

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