DeFi Dapps are Adopting Optimism as a Viable Alternative

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Even in current DeFi bear market, Optimism is innovating and its on-chain analytics are a positive signal

Optimism is the Ethereum scaling solution that plenty of DeFi dapps are adopting in 2022. During this turbulent year, when markets centralized and decentralized are showing downward trends, Optimism is looking toward a hopeful future.


Since DappRadar integrated the Optimism network into its ecosystem of dapps, we’ve noticed that many DeFi platforms have adopted the blockchain. With the network’s recent announcement of the Optimism Collective and its two-pronged governance system, along with an upcoming token airdrop, it looks like the platform is ready to progress to the next level of maturity.

Optimism is doing all of this against the backdrop of a bearish DeFi market. Times are not good for the majority of cryptocurrencies and DeFi platforms. Even so, plenty of important dapps have chosen to adopt the Optimism blockchain and the network seems to be thriving.

The current state of DeFi

DeFi is going off its November 2021 highs. BTC is down 43.2% from $67,617 November 10th, 2021, to $38,435 today. ETH’s story is similar. On November 9th, 2021, the one ETH was worth $4,815. Since then, it’s dropped 41% to $2,842. DappRadar’s Q1 2022 report and our recent Behavior Report go into more detail about these trends.

Total value locked (TVL) has gone down as well. On December 2nd, 2021, the TVL in blockchains was $254.72 billion. Now it sits at $199.79 billion, which is a drop of 21.6%

DeFi Llama graph showing overall DeFi TVL

All of these on-chain signals show inarguably that DeFi and cryptocurrencies in general, are going through a bear market. If we look at the user numbers for some of the biggest decentralized exchanges (DEX), we can see that this number is also going down.

Dune Analytics: 1inch Network monthly users
Dune Analytics: Uniswap monthly users

So the key story here is that demand is dropping. And when this happens, and supply remains steady, prices go down. It’s as simple as that. This is not to say that DeFi has had its day. It’s just worth noting that people are no longer making the money they were in 2021. 

So people are looking for new products as they search for new sources of profits.

The big names adopting Optimism

Optimism is a Layer-2 scaling solution for the often-congested Ethereum network. Optimism is an Optimistic Roll-Up (ORU), which means it piggy-backs off the parent blockchain, hence being a Layer-2. The solution aims to increase speeds and decrease costs on Ethereum by running all computation off-chain while holding all data on-chain.

Back in March, DappRadar integrated data from the Optimism blockchain so that our one million monthly visitors can analyze dapps that use the network. At the time of launch, we tracked 14 dapps but since then, we’ve added another 18.

Visit our Optimism Rankings and delve into each dapp’s individual page to analyze their on-chain performance for yourself. 

DappRadar’s 30-day rankings for dapps on Optimism

What’s impressive about the above list is the number of important DeFi platforms that have adopted the Optimism blockchain. In just the top five, we can see two heavy-hitters with enough activity over the past 30 days to suggest that Optimism has a bright future. In the past 30 days, users of Uniswap V3 and 1inch Network have transacted $87.3 million and $28.47 million, respectively, on the Layer-2 network. 

What’s more, there are plenty of DeFi platforms that are Optimism-native, meaning they are built solely on the Optimism blockchain. In the top ten alone, there are five dapps that run solely on the Optimism network:

It’s also interesting to note that in the same period that overall DeFi TVL dropped by 21.6%, TVL on Optimism increased by 26.2%, from $353.78 million to $446.38 million.

DeFi Llama dashboard for Optimism

So there are signs that while DeFi may be going through a rocky patch, there’s plenty of innovation and opportunity in the space to give people confidence that the good times can return.

The Optimism Collective and recent OP airdrop

Optimism isn’t just a blockchain scaling solution. The network is a collective that wants to ‘create a sustainable future for Optimism, Ethereum and the open internet’. It sees its mission as:

  • Providing funding for projects on Optimism. Starting on May 3rd, 2022, 5.4% of the total token supply will be distributed to these over the next six months. 
  • Delivering The Optimistic Vision. It believes that impact=profit and that public goods can be profitable. The Collective intends on funneling the yields it accrues from growth back into a virtuous cycle of ‘impact driven expansion’.
  • Sustaining OP governance which will be iterative and allow the community to play a full part in the decisions and direction of Optimism.

Last month, on April 26th, Optimism announced the 250,000 addresses that are eligible for a reward for the healthy use of the ecosystem. For people that hit any criteria, they will be awarded Optimism’s native token, OP.

Criteria for claiming Optimism OP airdrop

If you meet any of the criteria in the table above, you will be able to collect your portion of the airdrop. There will be a total token supply of 4,294,967,296 tokens and they will distribute these as follows:

  • 20% for retroactive public goods funding.
  • 19% will be airdropped to eligible members.
  • 25% will be reserved as ecosystem funds, for governance, partners, seeding funding and an unallocated portion for future use.
  • 17% will go to investors.
  • 19% will go to core contributors.

Over the next few weeks, Optimism will release a series of posts about governance, incentives and iteration.

Optimism also encourages users to bridge their ETH to OP ahead of the next airdrop announcement in order to qualify for the second airdrop. Doing so could get you some free money and the chance to join a project before it truly takes off.

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