A Beginner's Guide to Optimism Blockchain

A Beginner's Guide to Optimism Blockchain

What Is Optimism Blockchain?

The Optimism Blockchain is a technology created to improve the performance of Ethereum. Launched in 2021, it helps make transactions faster and cheaper. Using a method called Optimistic Rollups, Optimism combines many transactions into one and sends them to the main Ethereum network, reducing network load and transaction fees. This technology is especially useful for applications running on Ethereum that need increased speed and lower costs.

Brief History and Development

Optimism Blockchain was founded in 2019 by Jinglan Wang, Karl Floersch, and Ben Jones with the goal of addressing Ethereum’s scalability issues. The first public testnet was launched in October 2020, providing developers with a platform to experiment and build on Optimistic Rollups. In March 2021, Optimism launched its mainnet, allowing broader adoption and integration with various decentralized applications (DApps). A significant milestone was achieved in November 2021, when Optimism transitioned to the Optimism Foundation, aiming to further decentralize and democratize the development and governance of the network.

What You Need to Know About Optimism Ecosystem

The Optimism ecosystem is quite extensive. Considering that Optimism is built on Ethereum — the second most popular blockchain after Bitcoin — there are plenty of projects that have adopted the Optimism blockchain. All popular categories from Ethereum are present on Optimism: DeFi, NFTs, bridges, DAOs, and others. Let’s take a look at a couple of prominent examples:

Farcaster: Decentralizing Social Media

Farcaster is a protocol designed for building decentralized social apps. By leveraging blockchain technology, Farcaster aims to give users control over their data and interactions, ensuring privacy and reducing dependency on centralized platforms. This protocol allows developers to create social applications that are resilient, transparent, and community-governed.

Farcaster’s Hybrid Architecture Farcaster’s Hybrid Architecture. Source: docs.farcaster.xyz

Synthetix: Revolutionizing Synthetic Asset Trading

Synthetix is a decentralized platform that allows users to hold and trade synthetic assets whose value can be tied to real-world assets. Utilizing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, Synthetix enables the creation and trading of synthetic commodities, currencies, stocks, and indices. This platform provides exposure to a wide range of financial instruments without the need for intermediaries, enhancing accessibility and liquidity in the DeFi ecosystem.

Synthetix Atomic Swap Volume Detailed Synthetix Atomic Swap Volume Detailed. Source: synthetix.io

Getting Started With Optimism Blockchain

Starting with Optimism is easy. We’ve outlined a few basic steps to help you get oriented, know where to begin, and understand the recommended initial steps.

Setting Up an Optimism Wallet

The first thing you’ll need is a suitable wallet that supports the Optimism Blockchain. Choosing the wrong one can complicate your experience or even lead to the loss of your assets. By choosing Gem as your Optimism wallet, you get a powerful and secure tool: full compatibility with both Optimism and Ethereum blockchains, open-source code, self-custody, and support for multiple blockchains and tokens—these are just a few of the advantages of this wallet.

How to Acquire Ethereum on the Optimism

Once you have installed and set up your wallet, the next step is to acquire ETH tokens. You can purchase ETH using a credit card directly from the wallet application. Both mainnet ETH and ETH on the Optimism blockchain are available for purchase. You can also obtain tokens by transferring them from an exchange or other sources.

Bridge to Optimism

If you already have mainnet ETH or ETH on other Layer 2 chains (such as BASE), you can always use the bridge to Optimism to transfer your ETH to the Optimism network. This is a simple process but may take some time and incur a small fee when using unofficial services. You can also send your ETH back to the original Ethereum network at any time.

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