All Gas, No Brakes

Optimism PBC Blog
Published in
3 min readDec 16, 2021


Today marks a very special occasion and another exciting milestone for Optimism and the Ethereum ecosystem at large.

It’s official: the whitelist is gone and anyone can deploy to the Optimism mainnet!

Why the whitelist?

Optimism launched with a whitelist so that we could establish direct lines of communication with the projects building applications on top of the network. This two-way link meant that we could easily reach out to other teams to plan updates and other teams could easily reach out to us to report bugs.

This tight feedback loop meant that the projects building on Optimism had a great influence over the direction of the protocol as a whole. Pain that early adopters experienced when developing apps for the first version of the OVM pushed us towards EVM equivalence. And the EVM equivalence upgrade went so smoothly in part because we were able to stay in close contact with everyone who might be impacted.

An Optimistic future

Optimism is fast approaching its first birthday. Over the last year we’ve been busy stress-testing and hardening the network for what’s coming next. After a significant amount of preparation we finally feel ready to remove our training wheels. As of today, Optimism no longer has a whitelist and anyone can freely deploy contracts.

The removal of the whitelist marks a new chapter in Optimism’s history. Decentralization is a challenging and ultimately incremental process. Permissionless contract deployment brings us one step closer to the vision that we have for a truly open, accessible, and optimistic Ethereum.

The removal of the whitelist also means that we won’t be performing any more regenesis-style updates. All future upgrades will maintain all state, transaction history, and event data. Optimism is a production system and we’re committed to keeping it that way.

We’re also hard at work building Optimism’s future. Over the next year we’ll be pushing out some exciting updates designed to make the network faster, cheaper, and more secure than ever. To make this possible, we maintain centralized guard rails that give the Optimism team control over various parts of the network. For instance, Optimism team members jointly control a multisig wallet that has the ability to upgrade any of the Optimism contracts deployed to Ethereum. As a developer looking to build on Optimism, please keep this current security model in mind and know that the Optimism team is working around the clock to move the system towards full decentralization.

Come build with us

The departure of the whitelist combined with the completion of our EVM equivalence upgrade means that Optimism is now more accessible than ever. There’s never been a better time to build and deploy an application on Optimism. We’ve got lots of resources to help you get started.

If you’re in the earlier stages of development or just interested in learning more, drop into our Discord to get your questions answered by the awesome Optimism community. You can also find most of the documentation that you’ll need in order to get started over on

If you’re almost ready to deploy your app, you can fill out this optional form for more hands-on assistance during the deployment process and to help you spread the word about your project:

Get involved

As always, Optimism is hiring. If you’re looking to work on one of the coolest projects in crypto alongside some of the smartest people in the Ethereum space, look no further. Check out our jobs board for a full list of open positions:

If you’re not looking for a full-time position but still want to help out, we maintain a list of good first issues for new contributors over on GitHub. We also frequently post bounties for these issues over on Gitcoin. Get involved, we promise it’ll be worth your time!


We couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of both Optimism and Ethereum. We can’t wait to see the wild new apps you deploy to L2. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you on the internet!



Optimism PBC Blog