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Optimism PBC Blog

Optimism: Year in Review

Holy shit, what a year.

When the pandemic swept across the world, most of the team was already living in the same apartment. Wake up. Work. Sleep.

Every morning started with the solo mechanical patter of Mark’s Thinkpad and the whir of Ben grinding coffee. Evenings were usually dominated by the wall-shaking thud of Kevin and Karl doing jump squats on the roof. On Saturdays, there was a choice of joining Kelvin in playing expert level Rocket League, or trash talking enemy Halo teams with Jing.

Our compiler hero

Things haven’t been perfect — building an effective & cohesive team is a difficult task on top of the technical challenges of scaling Ethereum. We’ve made a lot of mistakes and gotten help from the gods themselves, but, no matter what, we’ve always managed to pull through by working together.

Two weeks ago, we completed the final phase of our Optimistic Ethereum testnet, and one lucky verifier successfully proved fraud on a testnet transaction! With this final accomplishment under our belts just as we wrap up the year, it’s worth taking a minute to review what we’ve done in 2020, and share the path we see forward.

Fun stats:

  • Well over 100k lines of code written with over 75k lines deleted in a single PR — simplifying the system felt good!
  • Over 30k testnet transactions
  • Over 1,000 successful deposits and withdrawals.

Development Highlights

Building large, complex software projects is really hard and requires good developer tooling. At Optimism, we’re trying to up the limits of the Ethereum developer experience (on both Layer 1 and Layer 2!).

A few months ago we introduced one of our first exciting tools, smock. Smock is a hardhat plugin that allows you to mock the functionality of any smart contract with just a little bit of JavaScript. Here’s a quick example snippet:

Check out `smock` on GitHub or npm! You’ll never need to write another mock contract in Solidity — just `smockit`!

Speaking engagements:

*drumroll, please*

And now for our BIGGEST win of the year:

Mainnet soft launch code freeze

Two weeks ago, we froze our code in order to prepare for a preliminary mainnet trial run with Synthetix. This means we are in the final legs of taking our first users through the entire product lifecycle: from the initial stage of converting contracts to the OVM, to deploying onto mainnet.

This is fundamentally new science that requires building incrementally in the unforgiving mainnet environment. We are grateful that the Synthetix team and community are willing to pioneer the new frontier of L2, at the risk of a bumpy ride in order to ensure a smooth migration for all who follow.

Despite extensive testing, we expect there to be outages and bugs. With real value at stake, we will have a number of failsafes in place. We will be holding upgrade keys for awhile (at least the first 6 months) to ensure the safety of user funds. Until we relinquish those keys, please do not consider this the full and final system.

For those who are eager to get started as soon as possible, here’s a WIP tutorial you can follow to get your contracts ready for the Community Release.

Estimated Q1 2021 Roadmap

Please remember that this is all subject to change! It’s difficult to predict the future even with good planning, so these are our best estimates with the information we have now ❤

Milestone 1: January 15 — Mainnet Soft Launch

A trial run of the full mainnet experience with Synthetix.

Goals:
⚔️Battle-test in production with training wheels — upgrade key, withdrawal monitoring.

What’s left to get there:
👩🏻‍💻Internal audits & testing!

Milestone 2: March 15 — Community Release

A public testnet open to all, replete with documentation and tooling for projects to start integrating.

Goals:
🔗Give teams the ability to deploy onto L2 as a shared staging ground for mainnet.

What’s left to get there:
📚‍Improved docs and tutorials for devs to navigate L2 deployments with ease.

Wait, wait tell me more!

Look out for our post in January about what’s on our plate for 2021, our path to decentralization, new members of our team and more!

Many thanks to the teams who have helped us with building, hardening, and executing this year ❤

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

With Love,
Team Optimism

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