Optimistically Cautious

Optimism PBC Blog
Published in
3 min readMar 25, 2021


Yeeting the timeline. Together.

Earlier this month, we announced that we’d be making a mad dash to a wide open public mainnet, with arbitrary contract deployment. Gas prices were at an all time high and we felt overwhelming pressure to charge to mainnet as quickly as possible.

Since the initial announcement, we’ve received an enormous amount of feedback from the community. The expedited timeline took most projects by surprise and we did not give ample notice for our community to prepare for launch. We were overeager to give everyone the speed & cost savings that Synthetix users have been enjoying(~$10.1 million dollars saved on fees across 103,775 transactions). In our excitement, we only considered our own needs and failed to consider our partners’ timelines & requirements.

An uncoordinated rush into L2 without enough community preparation is dangerous. As we’ve seen on other chains, there is a very real risk of popular dapps getting forked and launched by adversaries with the intention of defrauding users.

Today we are announcing that we are delaying official public mainnet in favor of a more coordinated community launch. Our goal is to make sure that foundational projects, infrastructure providers, block explorers, wallets, and token bridges have time to integrate, audit and test.

Community is the most important part of Optimistic Ethereum and listening to your feedback is critical. We’ve spent the last two weeks re-shaping our engineering processes to make contributions, integrations, and visibility much easier for members of the ecosystem. Additionally, we’ve made the switch from giving major updates only once in a while, to giving more frequent updates in our Discord.

We’ve learned a lot these past months. The demand and interest in what we’re building has ballooned beyond our imagination, and this requires a shift in how we operate and communicate as a team.

We will be keeping the deployer whitelist on our current mainnet for a little longer while we run through the integrations process with at least a dozen more early adopter projects. These projects are infrastructural and foundational to the success of the projects that follow them, and the whitelist may shrink or expand as we gather more data. For example — one integration we did not consider at the outset was the importance of a multisig so developers can safely manage keys for their projects. Integrations like these are currently in progress and we will be announcing them once complete, on a rolling basis. Please note that the whitelist only restricts who can deploy, not who can use!

So far, the community growth has been incredible. To keep the momentum going, we will be opening testnet to hackers on April 20 for the Scaling Ethereum hackathon. From now until then, we will still be integrating whitelisted projects in parallel so that we can begin alleviating gas pain in advance of public launch.

Gas pain.

Our rough estimate for public mainnet launch is July. Please keep in mind that timelines are only estimates. Our main heuristic for opening mainnet to the broader public is stability and ecosystem readiness.

Opening mainnet to the public is not something we can do alone — it will be a collaborative effort between us, projects, and core infrastructure providers like oracles, wallets, nodes & explorers. When we launch, we will do so together as a community ❤.


Thanks to the following community members for review and feedback: Waffles, halfinney, PSY_TWEAK, GarlicMan, Akarin, Vee, CodeMe, t11s.