What is Optimism or OP Mainnet: A Complete Guide

What is Optimism Blockchain Complete Guide
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Learn all about the EVM Layer-2 Optimism

Optimism, also known as OP Mainnet, has become one of the leading Layer-2 solutions for Web3 enthusiasts and developers alike, allowing dapps to operate faster and cheaper. All this happens without sacrificing the security of the Ethereum mainnet. At the foundation of this success lays the OP Stack, a development kit that’s becoming increasingly popular for other networks looking to scale up their operations.

What is Optimism or OP Mainnet? 

Optimism is a Layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum called an Optimistic Roll-up, or ORU. An ORU solves Ethereum’s scaling dilemma by moving bulky transaction data off the main blockchain while retaining the security guarantees of Ethereum’s base layer. Optimism is also known as the OP Mainnet, built by OP Labs using software known as the OP Stack.

Optimism also has a thesis as a superchain, an ecosystem where multiple Layer-2 networks connect with each other through shared code and the ability to interact. Base, a Layer-2 network built by Coinbase, uses the OP Stack and serves as an example of what the superchain idea could grow into.

DappRadar tracks all dapps on Optimism and the OP Mainnet. Developers can submit their dapps for free, while users can discover tools, services and entertainment services through DappRadar.

How does OP Mainnet work?

Network utilizing the OP Stack operate using a method called ‘optimistic rollups’. Let’s first take a look at what rollups are.

This technology processes transactions off-chain in batches, reducing transaction costs and putting less stress on the network. Optimism’s rollup technology bundles transactions into one, and distributing the gas fees across all participants. This process, the rollup, is executed on the OP Mainnet, while transaction data moves over to Ethereum mainnet for processing. This way Optimism utilizes the Ethereum mainnet for security.

To understand the optimistic part of the ‘optimistic rollups’, we need to look at the way the network processes transactions. Here the network assumes that every transactions is initially valid on Optimism’s Layer-2, and therefore no computations are performed. However, if the network suspects fraud, it will run fraud-proofing to verify the transaction.

These optimistic rollups are different from the much talked about zero-knowledge rollups, because with zk-proofs all transactions are proven valid before pushing them to the Ethereum mainnet. Because of the solutions, transactions on OP Mainnet and other OP Stack networks tend to be super cheap.

Which wallet to use for Optimism or OP Mainnet?

Optimism is an EVM compatible Layer-2 network, and is therefore supported by many EVM-compatible wallets. Below we’ve selected a few wallets to use while interacting with dapps on the OP Mainnet.

OP Token and the airdrop

At the core of the Optimism ecosystem, and OP Mainnet in particular, lays the OP token. In May 2022 the team distributed OP tokens to those who interacted with OP Mainnet, or donated to Gitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain. Ever since then, the network has completed 3 airdrops for OP.

Finding dapps on Optimism’s OP Mainnet

Any dapp developer can list their dapps on DappRadar for free. At the same time, Web3 users interested in finding spectacular dapps in the Optimism ecosystem, can start their discovery journey on the Optimism chain page. Here you find up-to-date and accurate data about all the dapps processing user actions. The top dapps and best performing tokens are highlighted on the Optimism chain page as well.

Those who want to dive deeper, can then go to the Optimism dapp rankings. Here users can filter dapps based on product categories or onchain data. DappRadar PRO users have advanced ways to create filters, combining various metrics. Moreover, these power users can also leverage DappRadar Alerts to receive notifications whenever a certain dapp stands out from the crowd, or when new ones get listed.

The best dapps on OP Mainnet

We at DappRadar don’t have a preference, but we love to help you on your journey as you discover Web3 and its wonderful products. Through the Optimism dapp rankings you can find all dapps we’ve listed, and you can apply filters to narrow down your search. We sort these rankings based on the number of unique active wallets (UAW) interacting with the dapps.

To start your journey, we will list some of the more popular dapps below:

  • Uniswap V3 – the leading decentralized exchange is among the most used dapps on Optimism
  • Stargate Finance – the industry leading bridging tool is also the number one choice on the OP Mainnet
  • Jumper Exchange – a multichain DeFi platform
  • WOOFI – a decentralized exchange with single-sided yields and cross-chain swaps

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