Constructing Again Higher with OP Stack

Fast heads up for you, Bankless Nation –

We have now a huge announcement we’re excited to share on Friday. It’s one thing we’ve been engaged on for fairly a while.

With out revealing an excessive amount of, we’re ensuring that 2023 is a yr for the books.

You should definitely tune in for Friday’s ship…

Pricey Bankless nation,

The bear market hit us laborious.

Then got here Terra. Then 3AC and an entire slew of crypto banks. Now it’s FTX.

However the onslaught of dangerous information hasn’t modified the bear market narrative one bit.

If we would like out of this bear, the one manner is to construct again quicker and extra nimbly.

That’s what Optimism is doing with the “OP Stack”.

It’s a set of foundational lego bricks that lets devs construct rollup modules on the fly.

In case you suppose Ethereum is already going modular, OP Stack is about to take it to the following degree.

At present’s publication by Donovan breaks down this thrilling growth by the Optimism group. Strap in.

– Bankless group

Modular blockchains are the long run. L2s alone gained’t clear up the scaling drawback; for this, we have to transfer towards a modular structure. Gas is the quickest execution layer for the modular blockchain stack, enabling most safety and the very best versatile throughput.

👉 Transcend the restrictions of the EVM: discover the FuelVM

Writer: Donovan Choy, Bankless Editor & Co-author of Liberalism Unveiled

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Graphic by Logan Craig

As soon as upon a time in 2021, there was a crypto bull market. Ethereum turned congested and customers paid lots of of {dollars} for fuel charges.

The answer? Deploy new quicker chains! “Ethereum killers” like Solana, Binance Sensible Chain and Avalanche got here alongside. All of them ran liquidity mining campaigns, they usually all sapped capital from Ethereum.

Folks deserted Ethereum regardless of supporting it up to now. 😢

Alt-L1 chains quickly solved the market demand for scalability. However the emergence of so many chains with completely different chain requirements launched the necessity for cross-chain bridging. That was a crucial trouble. However greater than mere inconvenience, it’s harmful. Bridge hacks are commonplace. We don’t like that.

Ethereum tried to reply the scalability drawback otherwise by rollups. Offload the transactions to be processed on a separate (rollup) chain, however inherit mainnet’s decentralization and strong safety.

That’s been working. As of October, Layer-2s have flipped Ethereum mainnet on transactions execution.

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Supply: L2Beat

However there’s nonetheless an issue. Each new chain or rollup is a monolithic chain in itself with its personal unbiased languages and design buildings. The end result? An asynchronous Web3 ecosystem. Because of this we want one thing like Hop protocol to “hop” between rollup chains.

If Web3 is after mainstream adoption, we have to say bye to this fixed community switching. Folks don’t wish to take care of fragmented, asynchronous chains. That’s like having to alternate currencies each time you wish to make an interbank switch.

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We would like these community switching menus to be historical past!

If cross-chain bridges had been one-off band-aid fixes, then modular rollups are starting to pave the way in which for a extra complete resolution.

Wat do? The devs behind Optimism have a solution that will get to the basis of drawback: it’s the OP Stack.

At present, most chains are pursuing their very own modular methods. Optimism, Arbitrum and Starknet differ on the execution layer, however they share the identical settlement, consensus and information availability layers by outsourcing them to the Ethereum mainnet.

Metis and Celestia are chains that go for their very own information availability layers, whereas nonetheless utilizing Ethereum as their settlement and consensus layers. StarkEx-based validium chains comparable to Immutable X or carry out one thing related, by operating their very own comparatively centralized information availability committees — teams of preselected nodes to host transaction information.

Each chain runs their very own siloed, monolithic methods, with variations in designs on the execution, settlement and information availability layers. What if these chains share a standardized open supply library of code, moderately than the siloed chain/rollup system of in the present day?

That’s the place Optimism’s OP Stack is available in: a set of modular, foundational lego bricks for constructing extra expressive and exact rollup chains on Ethereum that aren’t potential on monolithic L2s in the present day.

OP Stack is a set of standardized, open supply modules that may be assembled to construct a customized chain – what Optimism calls “OP-chains” – to serve any particular blockchain use-case.

Let’s break it down:

Modules are bits of information any developer can plug into the OP Stack to create an L2, L3 or L4.

“Standardized” means there may be consensus on what a module’s requirements must be and that it’s implementable by all.

Open supply means it’s freely obtainable for anybody to iterate and request on

With OP Stack, you gained’t be tied into one specific proof system or expertise. Devs have the power to pop modules out and in of the completely different execution, consensus, settlement and information availability layers of a series, identical to switching APIs.

It’s the extremely modular resolution to the monolithic establishment. dYdX selected to depart Ethereum for a Cosmos appchain, as a result of they desired better modularity over the consensus layer of their chain. OP Stack solves this.

OP Stack is designed to permit forking of code in a a lot simpler manner than present efforts, as a result of builders can simply summary away the person elements of a blockchain and modify it by plugging in numerous modules.

Perhaps an Optimistic rollup needs to revamp itself right into a ZK-rollup. No drawback! Simply change out its fraud proof module for a validity proof module on the settlement layer.

Perhaps a series needs to make use of Celestia for its information availability layer? No drawback! Swap out Ethereum for Celestia as an information availability layer.

Need to swap out the EVM for an alternate digital machine like FuelVM on the execution layer? Swapping out the execution layer on a operating chain is difficult, however that’s a technical chance with OP Stack.

Perhaps you wish to run Minecraft as a L2 rollup, however on-chain gaming is simply too computationally-intensive on mainnet? Really, somebody’s already achieved it. It’s known as OPCraft, and the group behind it, Lattice, created it by introducing its personal execution module into the execution slot of a L2 rollup, then modified a plasma into the consensus layer for added scalability.

So OPCraft exists as its very personal L2 rollup (an OP-chain!) on Ethereum the place each motion in-game is carried out as an on-chain transaction that rolls up again right down to the Ethereum mainnet. It’s Minecraft on an EVM-compatible blockchain that scales! And identical to another rollup, devs can entry it by a node and deploy good contracts on it (for extra on this, see this Metaversal article.)

Lattice did it by leveraging the Optimism Bedrock rollup structure. Bedrock is the primary implementation of the OP Stack, a set of modules that Optimism makes use of. Bedrock makes use of the Ethereum Digital Machine because the execution layer to make it EVM-equivalent, with Cannon – its interactive fault proof system on the settlement layer.

And extra loopy forks are coming. 0xPARC constructed a Recreation Boy rollup by swapping out Bedrock’s execution engine with a Recreation Boy emulator.

And it’s all on-chain. 🤯

The principle drawback in the present day with modular blockchains is elevated fragmentation as devs make their very own design decisions and tradeoffs. This fragmentation drawback is much like Web2 walled gardens, besides that right here it’s incidental.

OP Stack solves this gradual fragmentation by approaching constructing in Web3 from an open backyard philosophy. All OP-chains can get pleasure from atomic cross-chain composability so long as OP-chains voluntarily decide into the identical shared sequencer set, the only real entity that produces blocks on each OP-chain.

OP-chains could not wish to run their very own sequencers to allow them to pay a charge to make use of Optimism’s shared sequencer that they belief. This opens up an alternate mode of monetization for Optimism past simply dapps on the Optimism chain at the moment.

Ultimately, any consumer on Ethereum can ship a transaction from any finish of the ecosystem to at least one one other. No extra community switching or bridging!

That imaginative and prescient provides beginning to Optimism’s emergent construction of a “Superchain”, the place lots of/1000’s of OP-chains might be totally interoperable on Optimism and related by the identical technical material.

Launching rollups might be no tougher than spinning up an ERC20 token, dashing up the speed of Web3 experimentation and innovation.

It’s additionally greater than interoperability.

With the elevated flexibility in configurations that OP Stack shared modules allow, devs are repeatedly recycling reusable code that earlier devs have used, thereby making the code stronger and extra resistant in opposition to hacks and bugs.

For example, when the Lattice group constructed OPCraft, they designed it with a a lot greater fuel restrict per block than Optimism’s personal chain. In that completely different configuration, they discovered sure bugs that had been beforehand not obvious.

In sum, OP Stack is an ode to Ethereum’s basic imaginative and prescient of scaling by modularity.

Optimism is constructing a completely open-source ecosystem of rollup chains, and the OP Stack is the muse on which that imaginative and prescient is constructed. However greater than rollups, OP Stack will also be harnessed to construct governance and identification modules that give builders the power to simply design their chains from scratch.

OP-chains should not Cosmos appchains. Neither are they mono-chain. It’s a Superchain merged by the identical technical requirements.

When all is alleged and achieved, the rollup ecosystem will bloom like a thousand flowers on high of Ethereum.

Disclaimer: OP Stack remains to be in its early levels of growth. The Optimism group is difficult at work on the documentation and cleansing up of APIs in the direction of that finish. Whereas the codebase is on the market for motivated groups like Lattice to simply fork, it will likely be a while earlier than it’s readily usable off the shelf. Particular due to the Optimism group for helpful feedback on this text.

Donovan Choy is a Bankless editor, and co-author of Liberalism Unveiled. You possibly can comply with him on Twitter right here.

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Not monetary or tax recommendation. This text is strictly instructional and isn’t funding recommendation or a solicitation to purchase or promote any property or to make any monetary choices. This text shouldn’t be tax recommendation. Discuss to your accountant. Do your personal analysis.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I’ll add hyperlinks on this publication to merchandise I take advantage of. I’ll obtain fee if you happen to make a purchase order by one in all these hyperlinks. Moreover, the Bankless writers maintain crypto property. See our funding disclosures right here.

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