Optimism 2022: Year in Review
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December 20th, 2022

Wow. 2022 has been quite the decade.

As we prepare to leave it behind us and greet the new year, we thought we'd take a look back on another year of Optimism.

In 2022, OP governance was born. In April, we introduced the Optimism Collective, and soon after, the Token House went live. It’s now entering its third Season of iterative governance. They sure grow up fast!

RetroPGF 2 will allocate 10m OP to public goods early next year, an early step in applying that same iterative philosophy to the Citizens’ House. In preparation, we recently shipped the AttestationStation—a permissionless data primitive built for reputation networks.

Speaking of—the year has been marked by steady, relentless shipping from OP Labs. Optimism Bedrock incorporates years of lessons running Optimism to create a modular, performant, Ethereum-equivalent codebase built to last: the OP Stack. The Bedrock code is getting its final polish. On January 12, Optimistic Goerli will upgrade to the Bedrock release, with mainnet to follow soon after.

OP Labs also made key contributions towards EIP-4844, a major step forward in Ethereum’s rollup-centric roadmap.

Then there’s the scores of projects that joined the Optimism Ecosystem in 2022, including industry heavyweights like Aave and OpenSea among many others. The Optimism Universe continues to expand—see the numbers below.

So sit back, relax, pour yourself a mug of your favorite hot beverage and enjoy this Phoenix’ eye view of the last year at Optimism.

Building for the Future

On the protocol side, this year was all about writing an Optimistic codebase built to last. The Collective has been hard at work building the cheapest, fastest, most minimal codebase for an Ethereum-equivalent rollup, ever.

This release, called Bedrock, incorporates countless lessons learned over 2 years operating an in-production rollup. The upgrade to Bedrock will enable Optimism to offer the lowest L1 data costs, support multiple execution clients, implement security improvements for bridged assets, and increase throughput.

The Optimism Goerli testnet upgrade to Bedrock goes live on January 12. Soon after, a mainnet upgrade proposal will be submitted to the Token House. If that proposal is successful, Optimism mainnet can migrate to Bedrock in Q1.

Bedrock is an upgrade to our codebase (the OP Stack) which lays the foundation for us to achieve our vision for the future. In addition to mainnet itself, it can also power bespoke, modular blockchains, and extends our vision for a self-sustaining cycle of public goods funding.

Also key for Optimism’s future is ensuring we remain at the forefront of scaling Ethereum. Case in point: EIP-4844, a proposal to implement protodanksharding on Ethereum mainnet, evolved from an ETHDenver hackathon project, to a scheduled Ethereum upgrade in under a year. We’re looking forward to helping Ethereum bring 4844 to mainnet by June 2023.

By the Numbers

The data doesn’t lie: the City of Optimism saw steady growth in 2022. More people are using Optimism and more dApps are launching, both while benefiting from the security of Ethereum. One year after the EVM Equivalence Upgrade, the number of Optimism transactions has more than 10x’d. Put simply: there’s more people using the chain to do more things.

The total value of assets held on Optimism has also increased dramatically. Optimism’s On-Chain Value has almost 10x'd as well, going from 116k ETH ($540M) to 995k ETH ($1.3B) in the same twelve month period. While this metric alone doesn’t define the chain's health, it is one part of a bigger picture demonstrating overall ecosystem sustainability.

Ecosystem

A blockchain is only as strong as its ecosystem. Optimism’s ecosystem also saw strong growth in 2022, with 54 new active (> 100 txs / day) dApps deployed throughout.

These deployments spanned a variety of categories—from DeFi to NFTs—including Optimism-native protocols like Velodrome, as well as industry beloved stalwarts like Aave and OpenSea.

Here’s a glance at the top six Optimism dApps in 2022, measured by number of transactions and fees generated.

Gov Stuff

Yes the devs are developing and the users are using, but let's not forget the community is also governing.

2022 saw the creation of the Token House with what many consider one of the best designed and most widely distributed airdrops in crypto. OP Airdrop #1 kickstarted the Optimism Collective’s experiment in digital democratic governance with the Token House.

On Day 1 of the most recent round of voting, 11.7k unique addresses cast votes with OP. 155k wallets are currently delegating 22.9M OP in governance, while 55.7M OP of grants have been approved by governance to date.

We are witnessing the birth of a fledgling digital nation, on-chain and in real time.

With a little over half a year of implementation, iteration, and improvement, the Token House is in full swing. The stage is set for the Citizens's House—the yin to the Token House's yang—to get off the ground.

The first iteration of the Citizens' House was recently announced: 10M OP to the people and projects that make Optimism possible with RetroPGF 2—coming in Q1 2023.

Mirror Subscriber NFT

As you can see there’s a lot to celebrate this year at Optimism. To commemorate it we're releasing a free to mint NFT for Optimism’s Mirror newsletter subscribers. To collect this special Genesis Subscriber NFT you just need to connect your wallet and provide an email address. Minting will be available until December 31st at 11:59 PM UTC.

For now this commemorative NFT is just that—a fun holiday gift and Web3 way to celebrate the year at Optimism. Stay tuned for more interesting use cases for Optimism Subscriber NFTs in the future.

Adieu 2022

2022 was a huge year at Optimism and we can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring. The future of Optimism and the Optimism Collective is as bright as ever, so bridge on over to the City of Optimism, try out some of the many dApps available, and start building a parallel digital nation with us.

Stay Optimistic, and see you next year! 🔴✨

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