We hate all of you, we’re building Pessimistic Rollups now

Optimism PBC Blog
Published in
3 min readApr 1, 2022


Optimistic Rollups are dead. We keep making transactions cheaper and you keep complaining that transactions aren’t cheap enough. We’re scrapping Optimism and introducing a brand new system which can finally be cheap enough for your broke asses.

A bright vision

We started Optimism with the hope of not only scaling Ethereum, but scaling the values that make Ethereum, well, Ethereum. We saw the state of Ethereum, curled into a ball in the corner of our parents’ basements, and cried, knowing that brutal fees would keep Ethereum limited to only the wealthiest degenerates. Our vision of bringing the light of Ethereum to every corner of the world could never be a reality when a single swap could run up to $100.

But we wiped our tears away. We were Optimists. We would make Ethereum cheap again. We would figure out how to make Layer 2 a reality. With big, fat allowances from Papa Paradigm and Auntie a16z, and backed by their team of child laborers, we couldn’t be stopped. We started building. We started hiring. We started shipping. Optimism was unstoppable.

It’s been more than a year now since we launched our Alpha Mainnet and a little over three months since we opened deployment to everyone. We went through a massive rewrite of our codebase to get rid of the (terrible) OVM 1.0 in favor of a new EVM equivalent system. Optimism has been running smoothly for a while now, and we’re investing heavily in the future. Our future looks bright.

A dark reality

But our reality is dark. We brought the cost of a swap down from $100 to about $1. And yet, it’s never been enough. Fees will never be cheap enough. The hordes are insatiable. They demand $0.1 transactions, so we give them calldata compression. They demand $0.01 transactions, so we give them EIP-4844. Next they will demand $0.001 transactions. At this rate, it won’t be long until they demand payment to transact. Andre was right: building in Web3 sucks.

We’re extremely tired of this shit

Yes, we have abandoned Ethereum despite supporting it in the past. Fundamentally, Optimistic rollups will always be limited by their associated L1. Ethereum is expensive, which means that Optimistic rollup costs will start to reach a theoretical floor based on the cost to publish data to Ethereum. It’s become clear that Optimistic rollups can never be cheap enough for you. We’ve therefore decided to drop Optimistic rollups entirely and launch a new system which we’re calling Pessimistic Rollups.

Pessimistic Rollups are a brand new way to make transactions cheaper than ever. We’re done posting transaction data to Ethereum. You’d never run a full node anyway. From now on we’re only publishing transaction results, which should cut the cost of a transaction on Optimism down to almost nothing.

How will we keep the system secure? We’re fully decentralizing by shifting power to the users. If you don’t like a transaction result, you can simply revoke it, no questions asked. This groundbreaking innovation is the world’s first truly decentralized solution to censorship resistance. It’s time to give the power of censorship to everyone. We know you won’t bother to run a verifier, so it’s not like it really matters.

While we’re at it, we’re rebranding to Pessimism.

Have fun staying censored!🖕✨

And, as always, we’re hiring. Don’t bother applying if you’re still an optimist. We won’t ask you where you see yourself in 5 years because we’ll probably all be under water by then. If you want to get rich off the backs of VCs, check out our available jobs here.