Optimism is a layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum. Ethereum is the largest and most secure layer 1 smart contract blockchain right now, but is also quite costly and slow relative to other chains.
Optimism solves these issues by processing transactions on a separate chain that gets rolled back into Ethereum, after the data has been validated. This allows for much quicker and cheaper transactions, while still taking advantage of Ethereum’s security.
To get started using Optimism, you’ll have to add the network to MetaMask. Here’s how to do so.
1. Login to MetaMask
Login to your MetaMask extension on your browser. If you don’t have it yet, download MetaMask and then create an account. Be sure to save your password and seed phrase somewhere safe.
2. Click Add Network
Select the dropdown menu by clicking Ethereum Mainnet.
Click Add Network.
3. Add Optimism’s RPC Info
Type in Optimism’s network / RPC information:
- Network name: Optimism
- New RPC URL: mainnnet.optimism.io
- Chain ID: 10
- Currency Symbol: ETH
- Block Explorer URL: optimistic.etherscan.io
Click Save and you’re done. Optimism has now been added to MetaMask.
Optimism recently announced their native token $OP will be airdropped to users who previously transacted on the network. Check your eligibility on the Optimism app.
How Does Optimism Work?
Optimism is a layer 2 rollup. Transactions are handled on Optimism instead of Ethereum, and data is then rolled up onto Ethereum. This requires much less computational power than if transactions were handled directly on Ethereum.
Like Arbitrum, Optimism uses an optimistic rollup method. This assumes all transactions are valid, and further computation is performed only when there is a challenge or discrepancy in the data. Once transactions are posted to Ethereum, a one week challenge window is open for verifiers to detect fraud and get subsequently rewarded.
Read this page if you’re curious for more info on how Optimism works.
Adding Optimism to MetaMask only takes a few steps, as outlined above. If you’re tired of paying high gas fees on Ethereum when interacting with DeFi apps or buying NFTs, give Optimism’s L2 solution a try.
For another Ethereum layer 2 solution, also check out Polygon.