Embracing Optimism in the Era of Superchains


In a Rapidly Evolving Digital Landscape: Embracing Optimism for the Superchain Future

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, Optimism is pioneering a path towards a collaborative Superchain ecosystem—one where all chains are on a level playing field, and where that which benefits one benefits all. The Collective focus is bringing users onchain, regardless of which OP Chain that is. As Optimism transitions into an open-source Superchain, dedicated to sustainably funding public goods, it’s crucial to understand the changes and the principles guiding this transformation. This blog post will dive into what it means for the Collective to uphold chain neutrality as we work to cultivate a vibrant, successful Superchain ecosystem that benefits every stakeholder.

We’re excited to share how we’re thinking about key Superchain components, the future of Optimism Governance in line with the Law of Chains, and advancing technical capabilities to support a multi-chain structure—all while fostering an inclusive and thriving ecosystem. Let’s go!

Crafting a Cooperative and Expansive Superchain

Optimism vs. OP Mainnet

OP Mainnet is the name of the original L2 chain that was deployed to Optimism, formerly known as “Optimism” itself. In the Superchain vision, OP Mainnet is one L2 chain among many, communicating seamlessly with chains like Base, Zora Network, PGN, Redstone, and many others. Optimism, meanwhile, is no single blockchain. It represents the ethos of the entire Superchain network and the Optimism Collective: a group of aligned ecosystem participants who believe that cooperation is the winning strategy, and that individuals should profit proportional to their impact. Optimism is the totality of the technology it runs on, the system it’s governed by, and the community that breathes life into it.

How should you think about OP Mainnet in the context of the Superchain?

  • As the first chain, OP Mainnet has fostered a burgeoning ecosystem of apps, users, and developers who call it their home.
  • OP Mainnet will continue to be maintained as neutral blockspace.
  • The Collective will continue to support OP Mainnet, but its role is expected to decrease over time as the Superchain evolves and improves interoperability.

Optimism’s Neutral Stance Towards OP Chains

As the Superchain takes shape, our first priority is emphasizing cooperation, not competition, as a core tenant of the Superchain when it comes to OP Chains.

The Foundation’s focus is to encourage growth across the entire Superchain, ensuring a positive sum game for all. Here are some ways we—together with the broader Collective—are putting this into action:

  • The Law of Chains, a key governing document for the Superchain, was ratified by the Collective earlier this year, ensuring that OP Chains which share upgrades with the Superchain are recognized stakeholders.
  • Retroactive Public Goods Funding (RetroPGF) has been expanded to include public goods on Base and other OP Chains, recognizing their impact across the Superchain ecosystem.
  • Optimism Governance Intents have been updated to be inclusive of OP Chains, extending support and grants beyond OP Mainnet.
  • Growth campaigns like We ❤️ the Art support all OP Chains, fostering a thriving Superchain ecosystem.

Preparing the World for Multiple Chains

The Collective is actively working to enable secure upgrades across all OP Chains simultaneously, ensuring compatibility and immediate benefits from software updates and security enhancements.

Several projects underway aim to facilitate seamless OP Chain upgrades, marking significant progress towards realizing the Superchain vision. For more details on these efforts, refer to OP Labs’ recent blog post.

We’re Feeling Optimistic About What’s Next

The Superchain vision is expansive and has the potential to redefine internet usage for decades to come. The steps outlined in this post lay the foundation for that future. To facilitate a smooth transition, it’s recommended to refer to the chain formerly known as “Optimism” as “OP Mainnet” in public-facing resources.

Stay informed about ongoing changes through the Collective’s Governance updates, and as always, Stay Optimistic! ✨🔴