The major portion of developments in blockchain technology relies on the innovative peer-to-peer model for achieving decentralization. With the help of decentralization of governance and maintenance, blockchain design ensures permissionless access without any centralized controlling authority. However, the operations of a blockchain require perfect synchronization among all nodes on the network for executing each transaction. 

Scalability is one of the biggest concerns for blockchain solutions, particularly hampering broader blockchain adoption. Interestingly, solutions like Optimism Bridges have come up with the best approach for resolving the problem of scalability. However, it is also important to wonder about the definition and working of Optimism to understand its potential for scalability. The following discussion offers an introduction to Optimism alongside helping you understand how to use the bridges. 

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Different Types of Approaches to Scalability

Before you seek answers to “What is optimistic bridge?” you must understand the different types of scalability approaches. It can help you identify the category to which Optimism belongs and get a better impression of how it works. Blockchain networks such as Tron, Avalanche, Algorand, and Solana depend on the architecture of the main chain to address the problem of scalability. 

“Layer 1,” in the case of blockchain terminology, would refer to the main chain or the core network. For example, Bitcoin and Ethereum are Layer 1 blockchain networks without any additional facilities for enabling transactions. However, many people confuse different blockchain networks with Layer 1 solutions. On the other hand, it is also important to verify whether every Layer 1 blockchain follows the design of the main chain. 

You must verify how layer 1 chains have unique architecture models for achieving scalability. Examples of blockchains such as Avalanche can show how the Optimism chain offers a distinct layer 2 scalability solution. Avalanche leverages a tri-part network architecture with three different chains, C-Chain, P-Chain, and X-Chain. All three chains are a part of the Avalanche main chain or the Layer 1 chain and help in ensuring the inherent scalability of the network. You can notice that Avalanche does not depend on Layer 2 networks, and you can classify it as a Layer 1 chain. What are Layer 2 solutions for scalability?

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Layer 2 Scalability

The examples of blockchain networks such as Cardano and Ethereum showcase the use of a two-tiered approach for scalability. The Ethereum Optimism bridge relationship calls for attention to the two-tiered approach for scalability. Blockchain networks can either upgrade the network or opt for Layer 2 solutions. You can imagine Layer 2 networks as an addition over the Layer 1 chain to reduce congestion. 

The easy access to better opportunities for scalability ensures that blockchain networks would adopt Layer 2 solutions on a massive scale. Ethereum is the biggest candidate in need of scalability owing to its dominance in the smart contract market. As a matter of fact, it accounts for almost 59% of the DeFi market and also features many Layer 2 solutions for scalability.

Most of the doubts about the importance of Optimism Bridges can find it answered in the value of Layer 2 scalability solutions. As of August 2022, Layer 2 solutions account for $6 billion in terms of TVL in the Ethereum dApps ecosystem. In comparison to the lower TVLs in the competitive Ethereum dApps ecosystem, Layer 2 scalability solutions have better TVLs. Therefore, blockchains would look for the first-mover advantage with Layer 2 networks like Optimism.

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What is Optimism?

A positive view on things and the Optimism chain do exactly the same by offering a simpler perspective on scalability. Optimism is one of the first L2 scalability solutions, which leveraged optimistic rollups for lowering gas fees on Ethereum transactions. Rollups work by collecting massive piles of transaction data in bundles or batches and processing them outside the Ethereum main chain. After processing the transaction data, the rollups send the transaction data back to the Ethereum main chain in a concise manner. 

Pioneer of Ethereum Scalability

While new networks depend on optimistic rollups as a scalability technology, Optimism has developed its own dApps ecosystem. Interestingly, the TVL of the dApps ecosystem of Optimism amounts to almost $2.17 billion. How? As a pioneer of Ethereum scalability, Optimism bridge contract served the first Layer 2 solution for Ethereum. The data sent back to the Ethereum main chain goes through validation before being added as a data block. With the assurance of verification, Optimism and other Layer 2 solutions do not compromise the basic traits of blockchain.

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Fraud Proofing Mechanism

Optimism leverages smart contracts for bridging the Layer 1 and Layer 2 networks through a “fraud-proof” process. Fraud proofing is an important highlight in the underlying mechanism of optimistic rollups as they help in ensuring transaction validity. The facility for fraud proofing implies that users can challenge transactions during the validation time period. Optimistic rollups pursue the assumption that every transaction is valid unless proof against its validity exists. 

Now, you can understand how Optimism presents a ‘positive’ view of scalability. The operations of an Ethereum Optimism bridge involve fraud-proof as a mechanism for challenging transactions. The fraud proofing process involves additional computations for which you have to pay gas fees. 

However, you can get the reimbursement upon successful verification of transactions. In addition, the working of Optimism would also highlight how the gas fees are 10 times cheaper in comparison to Ethereum. Most important of all, Optimism has helped users save over $1 billion in terms of ETH gas fees.

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Design Elements of Optimism

The critical design principles of Optimism also shed light on the value advantages of the Layer 2 network. In addition, you can also identify how the Optimism chain achieved success in facilitating scalability advantages. Here is an overview of the significant design elements you can identify in Optimism.

  • Simplicity

The foremost benefit of using Optimism refers to the simplicity of using the tool. As a matter of fact, Optimism has been tailored to ensure simplicity with the multiple moving parts to provide a Layer 2 solution. For example, the emphasis on simplicity helps in reducing engineering overhead. 

As a result, developers can work on developing new features rather than developing new takes on the existing features. One of the important highlights in defining “what is optimistic bridge?” would refer to security through simplicity. You can notice that the simplicity of the Optimism protocol allows for writing limited code alongside ensuring lesser vulnerabilities. 

  • Sustainability

The next notable design element in the design of Optimism refers to the vision for long-term sustainability. Application developers must have the assurance that the platform they use right now will remain operational in the future. Therefore, the basic design process of Optimism has been tailored for achieving long-term sustainability without any shortcuts for achieving better scalability. 

Optimism Bridges can resolve the problem of sustainability in their design process through the simplicity trait. Without a complex codebase, Optimism allows more contributors to participate in the project. The simple codebase helps in developing a larger community dedicated to the long-term maintenance of the project. 

  • Pragmatism

Another crucial aspect in the working of Optimism would refer to pragmatism. How realistic is Optimism? The core team behind Optimism has to encounter specific real-world constraints, and projects developed on Optimism also feature real-world requirements. Furthermore, users working with Optimism are also more likely to work on real-world issues with Optimism. 

The design philosophy of Optimism helps in prioritizing developer, and user needs rather than making the project look perfect on paper only. As a matter of fact, many significant Optimism features, such as EVM Equivalence, have evolved from the continuous improvements in the protocol.

  • Optimism

The most significant and defining trait in the design philosophy of Optimism is nothing other than optimism. The development of the Ethereum Optimism contract project has materialized primarily due to optimism regarding the vision for the future of Ethereum. It has been developed as a reliable extension for Ethereum. The optimistic vision serves as a benchmark for the development of new features or simplification of existing ones.

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Decentralized Apps in the Optimism Ecosystem

The popularity of Optimism as a Layer 2 solution has been primarily driven by the dApp ecosystem. It has over a hundred dApps, which have been imported from Ethereum. You can identify many dApps, including lending services, DAOs, NFT marketplaces, blockchain tools, and crypto wallets in the Optimism ecosystem. 

The assurance of lower gas fees has drawn many popular financial dApps to Optimism. For example, the leading DeFi lending platform, Aave, or the tokenization platform, Synthetix, are a few of the top examples of dApps in the Optimism ecosystem. Some of the other popular names in the Optimism ecosystem include decentralized exchanges, Uniswap, and Velodrome. 

How Can You Use Optimism?

Once you have a clear answer to “What is optimistic bridge?” you are more likely to look for ways to use the solution. Interestingly, Optimism has been designed with similar ease of use as the Ethereum main chain. The Optimism address of a user is similar to their Ethereum mainnet address. In addition, the blockchain explorer of Optimism is almost similar to Etherscan, the blockchain explorer of the Ethereum mainnet. Optimism also serves compatibility with many popular crypto wallets, such as Metamask

You can start using Optimism by manually configuring your crypto wallet for the Layer 2 solution. Alternatively, you can access a DeFi app directly and define Optimism as the choice of blockchain network on the application. For example, in the case of SushiSwap, you can find the option for setting Optimism as your choice of the network in the top-right corner of the app. Upon selecting Optimism on the website of the DeFi app, your crypto wallet would automatically add the network.

Another important concern before using the Optimism chain would refer to the requirement of gas fees. You must send ETH to the crypto wallet before you can use Optimism. The ETH can come from Ethereum main chain, other Layer 2 solutions or other chains through bridges supported by Optimism. You can rely on centralized crypto exchanges for sending funds to the Optimism address. Some of the examples of centralized exchanges supporting withdrawals to Optimism include Binance, Huobi, and Bybit. 

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What is the Token of Optimism?

The introduction to an Optimism bridge airdrop would be incomplete without describing the OP token. Optimism came up with its own token, OP, in May 2022. Around 231,000 addresses achieved eligibility for claiming 214 million OP tokens in an airdrop. The Layer 2 network has planned a total supply of 4.29 billion, and the first airdrop accounted for almost 5% of the total supply. 

Therefore, it is quite clear that Optimism has not sent 95% of its tokens into the world. However, the first airdrop didn’t go well with the Optimism community as many users claimed the tokens early, only to dump them later. The interesting fact to note here is that Optimism accepted the mistake and promised improvements. 

At the same time, it is important to notice the significance of the OP token. It serves participation rights to the token owners in The Optimism Collective, which serves as a two-tier governance mechanism. The two important components of The Optimism Collective include the Citizen’s House and Token House. 

The Citizen’s House would work on the governance of public-goods funding decisions for Optimism. However, Citizen’s House is yet to become operational and might go live towards the end of 2022. On the other hand, Token House is active and serves a crucial role in the governance of technical decisions associated with Optimism. For example, it can come to decisions regarding software upgrades.           

Qualification for OP Airdrop

The first airdrop of OP tokens distributed 5% of the total token supply. OP token can help you become an important contributor to one of the futuristic solutions for Ethereum scalability. Users must follow certain conditions for achieving eligibility for OP token airdrops. However, there are no specific criteria to qualify for the next OP token airdrops as it may compromise the purpose. Here are the conditions followed in the previous airdrop for the Ethereum Optimism bridge protocol.

  • Optimism users must have used an OP bridge prior to June 2021 or Optimism projects multiple times between June 2021 and March 2022. 
  • The repeated Optimism users who used Optimism dApps frequently in four different weeks between June 2021 and March 2022. 
  • DAO voters with active involvement in protocol governance. 
  • Multisignature signers, with control over massive pools of capital and significant protocol functions of Optimism.
  • Users who had donated Layer 1 Gitcoin Grants when Optimism sought funds on the public-goods trading platform.
  • Regular active Layer 1 users who also use bridges. 

You can expect some, all, or none of the above criteria in the next Optimism bridge airdrop, and this might increase anticipation for the airdrop.

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Final Words

The introduction to Optimism clearly establishes that it is the first pioneer of Layer 2 Ethereum scalability. Optimism leverages the optimistic roll-up technology for facilitating cost-effective and faster processing of transactions outside Ethereum’s main chain. Developed with an optimistic vision for the future of Ethereum, Optimism Bridges can define new opportunities for a broader assortment of DeFi apps. As the scope of Optimism continues expanding further, it would aim to expand the community and achieve continuous improvement. Based on the feedback of users, Optimism has developed into a massive dApps ecosystem. Look for more information on Optimism and its future now.

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*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. 101 Blockchains shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this article. Do your own research!