Metis Joins Ethereum Layer 2 Race With $100M Ecosystem Fund

The competition to become the dominant Optimistic Rollup Layer 2 solution just got a new player and a $100M fund boosts its chances. 

Metis is joining the fray, where Arbitrum and Optimism have so far ruled. The project is set to launch its mainnet the week of Nov. 15 and is also launching a $100M fund, which Metis describes as a “decentralized autonomous company” (DAC), called Genesi, to support projects which join its ecosystem. 

Genesi will be allocated across a wide range of high-potential projects in all major crypto verticals including, DeFi, gaming, and DAOs, according to a press release provided exclusively to The Defiant.

A committee consisting of Metis and its investors, which include Digital Finance Group and Master Ventures, will be in charge of allocating the $100M. Metis is led by co-founders Elena Sinelnikova, Kevin Liu, and Yuan Su and also has Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin’s mother, Natalia Ameline on staff as a technology researcher.

Metis’ $100M venture stands out among L2 solutions using Optimistic rollups — Arbitrum and Optimism, the two leaders in the category, have yet to deploy funds in order to bootstrap activity on their solutions. 

Metis fund comes after a flurry of similar efforts from Layer 1 chains. Harmony One deployed a $300M ecosystem fund, while Avalanche has a $180M incentive program

Metis’ Genesi will be an experiment to watch as L2s look to gain traction against heavily subsidized rival L1s. 

“From the start, our goal has been to build a large, strong, diverse ecosystem of dynamic blockchain projects, offering technology, marketing, and funding opportunities for projects with the most potential,” Elena Sinelnikova, Metis’ CEO and co-founder, told The Defiant. 

Optimism Hard Fork

While actually a hard fork of Optimism, Metis differentiates itself from its “parent” by using multiple sequencers, the software which stores and submit transactions, as opposed to one, as Optimism does. 

The company believes this offers higher degrees of decentralization than Optimism.

Metis also implements something called the Ranger System, outlined in the Metis’ whitepaper. This implementation allows the company to move towards EVM Equivalence, which Optimism has chosen to do as well, while also maintaining a higher degree of decentralization than its predecessor, according to a Metis post.

EVM equivalence is “complete compliance with the Ethereum yellow paper,” as Optimism put it in their post on the topic. This essentially means that all tooling, like node implementations, can integrate with the L2s which implement it.  

Metis will also offer what it calls “no-code middleware,” smart contract templates which will enable anyone to migrate onto the L2 with a couple of clicks, as the company said in its post outlining the mainnet launch.