Welcoming L3s to the Superchain

The Optimism Collective holds a shared, long-standing commitment to scaling Ethereum. From our technology stack to our values structure, it’s core to everything we do. The OP Stack, the open standard codebase that powers development on the Superchain, isn’t limited to L2 chain deployers and app builders; it can also be leveraged by an ecosystem of L3s.

Our vision and the definition of the Superchain is expanding as a network of chains that share an open-source tech stack and contribute revenue to the Optimism Collective. We’re excited to share that those who build an L3 with the OP Stack can also join the Superchain. Like L2s, L3s can join the Superchain by building on the OP Stack and contributing a portion of their revenue back to the Collective. Chains that have committed to the Superchain not only have access to a values-aligned network of builders, but they’re also able to tap into a wide variety of benefits, including eligibility for Retro Funding, Airdrops, and Superchain developer grant programs. Although they are part of the Superchain, these chains deviate from standard configurations of the OP Stack, which will have an impact on how we can roll out features like interoperability to them. We will share more in the near future–but in the meantime, there has been a significant desire for L3s to want to build on OP Stack, and we want to embrace their enthusiasm for joining the ever-growing Superchain ecosystem.

As the Optimism ecosystem grows, so does the demand for flexible, customizable tech. Scalability is about making blockchain technology more accessible to more builders and consumers. If developers can build scalable applications, they can reach more users without excessively increasing their costs or needing to multiply their resources.

L3s can provide application developers and those who want to deploy their own blockchain with a new, more cost-effective way to build within the Superchain ecosystem. We’re already seeing this trend with Base, which has rapidly expanded support for L3s building on top of it.

Now, the entire Superchain ecosystem can benefit from Optimism’s commitment to the burgeoning L3 ecosystem, with even more developers able to leverage the power of the OP Stack. Today, we’re sharing how we’re supporting L3s.

Launching Custom Gas Tokens to Fuel L3s

One of the most highly requested features for L3s are custom gas tokens. This feature is in final development stages and will be rolled out soon.

Custom gas tokens are compelling because they allow developers to use an L2 token as the native gas token for an L3. Projects that have built communities around their existing L2 native token can now evolve their community into a thriving L3 ecosystem utilizing their token as the gas token. This also lowers onboarding costs for new users - rather than needing to onramp by performing an expensive L1 transaction depositing gas tokens into the L2, on-ramping to an L3 can be as simple as performing a cheap L2 deposit transaction into the L3.

Plasma Mode

Data availability (DA) layer optionality is another key building block for developers spinning up low-cost chains.

Even when using alternative DA layers, OP Stack chains must still post both data commitments and output roots to their settlement layer. Because L3s only have to submit transactions to L2 – this can be cheaper than having to submit to Ethereum Mainnet – the costs to submit data commitments and output roots can be reduced. This means that the fixed overhead cost to operate an L3 can be less than the fixed overhead cost to operate an L2.

Low overhead costs give L3 teams an even more accessible option for deploying on the OP Stack.

Just last week, Lattice launched Redstone, the first OP Stack Chain with Plasma Mode, an alternative data availability protocol (altDA) and a key feature for the OP Stack. The goal of Plasma Mode is to allow anyone to deploy an OP Stack Chain with the data availability layer of their choosing, sustainably reducing transaction costs while minimizing security tradeoffs. And for developers, Plasma Mode unlocks high-throughput applications with no need for a new programming language.

Plasma Mode development continues, with a focus on integrating multiple data availability layers. We expect L3s to experiment heavily with Plasma Mode.

L3s and the Superchain Future

Looking ahead, this opens a framework for L3 developers to participate in the Superchain ecosystem by helping to shape the future of scalability, while benefiting from the contributions of other builders as well.

We see L3s as an important part of making the Superchain accessible to development teams with varying needs and resources. Supporting key features that empower developers to spin up L3s is an important part of our roadmap.

For developers building on the OP Stack, it’s choose your own adventure: deploy your dapp on an OP Stack Chain, launch your own dedicated L2 or L3 network, or work with an infrastructure partner, or RaaS provider to build your blockchain.

The Superchain is home to a deep well of resources for Web3 developers of all stripes, and we’re excited to welcome L3s into the fold.

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