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More than a month now since it swerved an initial announcement for a major launch in March, Ethereum layer two platform Optimism is now gearing up for a mainnet upgrade, Bedrock. The developers behind the scalable L2 blockchain aim to improve Ethereum compatibility and reduce fees with the upgrade o re-architect the network scheduled for June 6. The transition is expected to complete at the expense of a downtime of approximately two to four hours.
Here is what Bedrock's release brings to Optimism
Optimism has gained popularity as a fast and stable scaling solution but remains second to the niche-dominant Arbitrum. The Optimism Foundation highlighted in a Twitter thread this week that the upgrade will enhance network security, reduce transaction fees, and improve compatibility with Ethereum. The Foundation advised that transaction activities, including deposits and withdrawals, will be unavailable during this period.
The upcoming upgrade will also minimize the complexity of creating a bug-free environment. This will make it easier for ecosystem developers to contribute and improve Optimism's rollup technology – used to batch multiple transactions into a single transaction which is then published on the Ethereum blockchain. The team also recognized the need for backward compatibility as a critical design goal of this upgrade.
Technical improvements shipping with Bedrock
With Bedrock, the transaction fees will be slashed by 47% through optimized batch compression and tapping on the Ethereum blockchain as a data availability layer. Moreover, deposit confirmation times will be significantly reduced from around 10 minutes to just three minutes, with the improvement also introducing a more efficient transaction execution model, where multiple transactions are processed in a single rollup block rather than one transaction per block.
Bedrock additionally focuses on aligning Optimism with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and getting rid of the several deviations between the layer two's and Ethereum's code and design patterns. In addition to chain re-orgs, the upgrade adds support for Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559 (EIP-1559) and other features.
Transitioning the landscape
The Optimism Foundation asked node operators to deploy novel nodes, specifically for Bedrock, and it highlighted the contributions of a16zcrypto, Magi, and testinprod_io as early indicators of increased client diversity. The network also anticipates seeing a boost in its capabilities and user experience as the upgrade approaches. Markedly, the transition comes amidst a growing focus on zero-knowledge rollups compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which should also play a factor in all this.
To learn more about Optimism, check out our Investing in Optimism guide.