Optimism Freezes Code For Bedrock Upgrade

Market Share Wanes Amid Competition From Arbitrum and zkEVMs

By: Samuel Haig Loading...

Optimism Freezes Code For Bedrock Upgrade

Optimism, a popular Layer 2 blockchain, is on the cusp of launching its long-awaited Bedrock upgrade, which promises reduced fees and improved Ethereum compatibility.

On Tuesday, OP Labs froze the code for Bedrock on the Goerli testnet and said it plans to announce a mainnet launch date for the upgrade after the code is stable for two weeks.

“Bedrock is consensus & feature frozen,” OP Labs tweeted.

The move comes as competition within Ethereum’s Layer 2 (L2) ecosystem heats up, with Matter Labs and Polygon launching their respective zkEVM solutions last month.

OP Labs noted that Bedrock’s final code audit from Sherlock is still in progress, stating it will reset the ‘stability clock’ if it results in any code changes. Bedrock’s mainnet launch must also pass a final governance vote.

The project’s OP governance token spiked over 3% on the news but has since given up its gains.


Optimism announced Bedrock in May 2022, tipping that the new rollup architecture would further reduce fees for users and minimize the changes developers must make when porting their code from the Ethereum mainnet to L2.

Scaling Ethereum

Rollups work by bundling together transactions on Layer 2 and submitting them in batches to the Ethereum mainnet for finalization, significantly reducing fees for users.

Optimism and Arbitrum took an early lead over the L2 segment with their optimistic rollup solutions, which offer high compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) — Ethereum’s core smart contract engine. However, optimistic rollups require a seven-day delay on mainnet withdrawals to detect fraudulent transactions.

Rollups secured by zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs do not require a delay on mainnet withdrawals, yet early examples of the technology suffered from poor EVM compatibility — meaning developers needed to rewrite their code to deploy on ZK-rollups.

But a new generation of zkEVMs promise to combine EVM compatibility with the security and performance benefits of zero-knowledge proofs. Matter Labs publicly launched its ZkSync Era solution on March 24, while Polygon ZkEVM’s mainnet beta went live three days later.

Optimism’s Market Share Wanes

Optimism’s share of the L2 sector is receding amid the emerging competition from zkEVMs coupled with the buzz surrounding Arbitrum’s recent airdrop.

Optimism currently holds $2B in assets after posting a record-high total value locked (TVL) of $2.15B on March 18, according to L2Beat.

Despite TVL sitting near all-time highs, Optimism represents just 22% of the combined Layer TVL after trending above 30% through most of 2022. Arbitrum now holds $6.2B in assets, or two-thirds of the L2 sector.

Combined L2 TVL is at an all-time high of $9.3B after breaking above its previous ceiling of $7.5B on March 24. The date coincided with ZkSync Era’s launch, with the network steadily garnering $131M worth of assets since. Era is now the fifth-largest L2.

By contrast, Polygon zkEVM’s TVL is only $2.7M one week after its beta mainnet launch, ranking 18th among L2s. The comparatively low activity can be attributed to low interest from airdrop farmers who do not expect to receive rewards from Polygon for early network participation.