How Arbitrum is Scaling Ethereum, Layer 2 Challenges, Governance Scandal and ZK Threats

The Defiant


Steven Goldfeder is the founder of OffChain Labs. OffChain Labs is a company focused on Ethereum scaling solutions and known primarily for building Arbitrum, which is currently Ethereum's biggest Layer 2. In our conversation, Steven will explain how OffChain Labs is addressing the scalability challenges of Ethereum by utilizing off-chain computation and optimistic rollups. We get into the Arbitrum airdrop, its governance drama, the big vision for Arbitrum and Layer 2s as a whole, and what the next milestones are for the scaling solution. But first, Steven starts the interview by explaining the basics of Arbitrum.

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7 Key Takeaways

  1. Offchain Labs is a company that built the Arbitrum Nitro technology, and it's an optimistic rollup that scales Ethereum.
  2. The dispute resolution process Arbitrum has introduced is called Interactive Fraud Proofs.
  3. Arbitrum Nitro technology stack has two live chains today, the Arbitrum One focused on Defi, and the Arbitrum Nova (even faster and cheaper) focused on gaming and social applications.
  4. The Validator provides the security for the chain and the Sequencer orders its transactions, they are different pieces of the technology stack, with different roles.
  5. The Arbitrum Dao has self-executing governance, and the Arbitrum Foundation tokens do not count for voting nor can be delegated.
  6. The cost, compatibility, and maturity of optimistic rollups are far ahead of zk rollups.
  7. Arbitrum Stylus has the ability to write languages in C, C+, and Rust.


  • 00:00:00 Intro
  • 00:00:40 TLDR of Offchain Labs, Arbitrum, and scaling Ethereum
  • 00:02:54 Arbitrum differences with Optimism
  • 00:09:40 Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova
  • 00:17:05 Scalability Trade-offs
  • 00:29:02 The Sequencer and Decentralization
  • 00:40:35 Arbitrum token distribution drama and EIP-1
  • 00:54:25 ZK Roll-up Threats
  • 01:10:14 What's next