Optimism Targets ‘Ethereum Equivalence’ With New L2 Upgrade

Ethereum scaling solution Optimism today announced Bedrock, an upgrade that improves speeds and cuts costs for those that trade on the L2.

Optimism is a rollup: a Layer 2 scaling solution that batches transactions on another blockchain, then feeds them back to Ethereum as a single transaction. Rollups enjoy the security of Ethereum’s mainnet while reducing transaction fees.

The L2 network did not say how much cheaper Bedrock would make transactions or when it would come out. Simple transfers on Optimism currently cost about $0.28. Optimism said the new upgrade also improves node sync speeds by up to 50 times.

With Bedrock, Optimism said it’s shooting for “Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) equivalence”. Last November, Optimism made its tools compatible with Ethereum, and used data compression techniques to cut transaction fees. The upgrade aims to minimize the differences even further, making it easier for Ethereum-native protocols to redeploy their apps on Optimism. 

The network is likely hoping that Bedrock will allow them to take market share away from Arbitrum, which holds 56% of the combined Layer 2 total value locked (TVL) with $2.76B, according to L2beat. Optimism ranks second, with a TVL of $944M, or 19% of the sector’s combined total.

Optimism’s new design comes just days after Polygon and EY launched the beta for their hybrid optimistic and zero-knowledge rollup platform, Nightfall 3. The design combines the ease with which Ethereum developers can deploy their code to optimistic rollups with the privacy of zero-knowledge proofs.

Alongside Bedrock, Optimism will launch the alpha for its upcoming fault-proof system, Cannon. Fault proofs protect blockchains against failure from unsynchronized node operators. Optimism claims that Bedrock and Cannon is the only rollup architecture to support multiple fault-proof and client implementations.