OKX Public Chain Development Roadmap 2023

OKT Chain
OKT Chain
Published in
8 min readMar 27, 2023


OKX Public Chain Development Roadmap 2023

Last month, OKX announced its latest public chain project — OKB Chain (OKBC). OKBC is positioned as an Ethereum Layer 2 network: starting with sidechain technology and gradually evolving to a Layer 2 scaling solution based on ZK.

Meanwhile, our team at OKX will continue to grow and develop the OKTC / OKT Chain (previously known as OKC/OKX Chain) ecosystem. Various tasks are actively underway, such as supporting Wasm, exploring innovative consensus models, and state sharding. Adhering to our technology-driven philosophy, we will continue to enhance our technology capabilities and expand our evergrowing ecosystems, so our OKX Web3 community can look forward to bigger brand initiatives in the future.

0 to 6,000 TPS — Our OKTC Journey so far

Feb 2020: Testnet launched!

OKX is a technology-driven company that places a strong emphasis on innovation and advancing the boundaries of public chain technology. The OKTC team is dedicated to exploring and refining various aspects of public chain technology, such as sharding, consensus optimization, parallel execution of EVM transactions, and cross-chain asset integration, to name a few. As early as 2019, OKX foresaw the massive potential of cross-chain interoperability and chose Cosmos architecture to adopt its dApp-chain concept. Based on this, the first generation of OKTC was developed. In February 2020, OKTC testnet officially went live.

May 2021: EVM support

With the rise of the Ethereum ecosystem, a key issue was how to technically access the EVM to adapt to the development trend of a single chain supporting multiple applications. Although directly copying Ethereum’s code might be the simplest method, the results achieved at the technical level would be quite limited. Therefore, our team was dedicated to deeply understanding the underlying technology of the public chain and achieving breakthroughs from the chain layer to the application layer. Thus, while other public chains focused on application layer construction and innovation, we firmly researched chain layer technology, even if it might have ignored market feedback. At the critical moment of DeFi’s rapid development, the OKTC team ported the EVM to OKTC and officially supported the EVM ecosystem on the mainnet in May 2021.

Nov 2021: Breaking 5,000 TPS

In light of the rapidly expanding DeFi and GameFi trends, the technology limitation and its consequential limited scalability of only around 100 TPS posed a significant challenge. To keep up with the fast-growing DeFi and GameFi trends, in November 2021, we developed an ambitious Performance Optimization Roadmap, aimed at increasing EVM complex contract interaction performance, including high-frequency transaction execution like deposits, withdrawals, and swaps, to 5,000 TPS by 2022.

Oct 2022: Exceeding 6,000 TPS!

Despite the volatile market environment, we remained committed to achieving our goal. After over 300 days of hard work, we successfully achieved a testing performance of 6,000 TPS on the OKTC testnet in October 2022, completing a nearly impossible task through a large amount of system-level code optimization for consensus, execution, and storage.

Nov 2022: Handling high transaction volume

Subsequently, in November 2022, the XEN Network project went live on OKTC, posing a severe challenge to the OKTC team. Notably, XEN had gone live on multiple public chains, and its unique Gas consumption mechanism dealt a heavy blow to all EVM networks. In fact, within less than two days after XEN’s integration with OKTC, its mint count exceeded the total amount of any other public chain, while OKTC consistently maintained a stable block production rate. This accomplishment is a testament to the stability and resilience of OKTC’s infrastructure, demonstrating its ability to provide a trustworthy and reliable network for the most demanding Web3 projects.

Reflection and planning for further growth & decentralization

After the DeFi frenzy in the market had subsided, we undertook a reflection on what could have been done or built better. The team’s focus had been primarily on technical optimization, and as a result, the power of the developer community was overlooked. Ethereum has tens of thousands of community developers who contribute a variety of ideas and creativity, which allows for rapid application deployment that can meet actual needs. Innovation stems from a decentralized and open ecosystem that is built to cater to the actual needs of the community.

The recent block rewards adjustment to 21 million OKT is a tribute to the great Bitcoin — our utmost respect for decentralization, technological innovation, communities of developers, and a message to OKTC’s future. To this end, we will further create conditions for co-construction, gradually open nodes, and hand over governance power to trustworthy community developers. Let those who are committed to building for the long term have a say, and lead the development of OKTC through technological innovation.

OKTC’s four major advantages:

  1. Tendermint Consensus: Natively supports secure and convenient IBC cross-chain communication and cross-chain account functions; blocks are finalized instantly, with no overhead from soft forks and reorganizations.
  2. Complete Infrastructure and DPoS Community Decentralized Governance: Including but not limited to Oracle, Subgraph, Faucet, Swap, Bridge, and USDT issued by Tether’s official.
  3. High Performance: EVM contract interaction reaches 6000 TPS; $0.01 is enough for 200 transactions.
  4. Ultimate Compatibility: A single chain supports EVM, Wasm (and even Move) virtual machines, providing cross-virtual machine interaction capabilities.

OKTC’s Future Development Plan: Further Decentralization

OKTC will continue to delve into the decentralized open ecosystem of Layer 1. The shifting market hotspots have never shaken our determination. We have submitted a total of 74 issues and 47 pull requests to the open-source libraries of Cosmos SDK, Tendermint, Ethermint, and IAVL. OKTC has excellent technical performance and also has a well-established infrastructure such as Oracle, Swap, Graph, and Faucet.

OKTC’s vision remains unchanged: to explore the technical potentials of Layer 1; to co-build with Ethereum, Cosmos, and various decentralized ecosystem communities; to create and grow together with community developers with OKT as the bond. Below are the development plans to achieve this mission:

  1. Review OKT utility: The total supply of OKT was adjusted to 21 million through community proposal governance. The deflationary economic model will further reduce the potential proportion of official validator nodes, increase community engagement, encourage long-term builders, and facilitate ecosystem application construction.
  2. Further promote decentralized governance: The long-term builders of the OKTC community have a say. More community nodes will be onboarded. Improve network security and stability, and promote a more equitable distribution of resources and decision-making power.
  3. Execute cross-chain and cross-virtual machine ecosystem roadmap: Currently, OKTC is 100% compatible with EVM, Wasm is about to go live on the mainnet, and the compatibility plan for the Move virtual machine has also been launched. We encourage various Layer 1 assets to develop and integrate on OKTC, promote blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) application sidechain plans, empower developers to create customized blockchain solutions, and unlock various application scenarios.
  4. Execute Layer 1 New Technology Exploration Plan: Decouple data availability (DA) in layers to provide stronger adaptability and composability to cope with rapidly changing technology patterns, ensuring that we always stay at the forefront of innovation; implement abstract accounts (AA) at the chain layer to break the bondage of EOA addresses and better expand the ultimate compatibility boundaries of OKTC; integrate cryptography-based zero-knowledge proof (ZK) expansion solutions, launch high-performance ZK applications and ZK Rollups, explore application layer infrastructure based on ZK (such as ZK Oracle, ZK PoR, ZK Safe, etc.), and simultaneously enhance the privacy, scalability, and security of blockchain systems.

The Birth of OKB Chain: The Ultimate Solution for Ethereum Scaling

OKTC satisfies our desire to explore Layer 1 technology, but at the same time, we have noticed that Ethereum’s scaling technology has reached a turning point. In the short term, Ethereum’s network performance will not significantly improve, and the Gas War is causing problems for ordinary users. If we turn our attention to Layer 2, transactions are only considered to be safe after the fraud-proof challenge window of 1–2 weeks for Optimistic Rollup technology, and the ZK general network is not yet mature (most known ZK projects are still exploring EVM platforms). While these solutions address short-term scaling needs, they are still unable to meet the performance and efficiency demands of more extreme use cases (such as GameFi, derivative Dex, etc.).

More importantly, there is a severe imbalance between the development rates of chain-layer and application-layer technology. Uniswap’s proposed AMM trading model is less sophisticated and seems to be struggling to achieve its intended utility. We would like to find a solution to this imbalance once and for all; otherwise, efficiently processing more complex financial derivatives will be impossible. OKX has accumulated a decade of exchange technology experience — we have been able to cope with diverse derivative transactions, implement a unified counter-matching engine, and properly handle system risk control and clearing. To better combine these globally leading capabilities with self-custodial DeFi ecosystems, we need to deeply integrate products and liquidity to provide a seamless experience for end-users. This logic means we must leverage OKX’s products and resources, but this could also contradict with our goal of decentralization and creating a community for developers. Ultimately, we decided to undertake this mission by launching the OKB Chain (OKBC).

As of now, we have three key steps leading the OKBC initiative:

  1. OKB Chain V1: an Ethereum PoA sidechain, focusing on providing high performance and low transaction fees, compatible with EVM and Wasm ecosystems, ensuring smooth experiences for users and developers. OKBC V1 testnet will be launched soon within 2023 Q1.
  2. OKB Chain V2: Ethereum native ZK Rollup platform, providing Turing-complete zkVM. This upgrade will significantly improve scalability and efficiency while maintaining compatibility with the Ethereum ecosystem. We are currently working hard on developing zkEVM and zkWasm to prepare for V2.
  3. OKB Chain V3: Enable cross-chain communication between ZK Rollups and propose specialized application solutions based on the V2 platform. We believe that only by achieving this goal can we provide users with an easy-to-use Web2-like experience. With OKBC and OKB token, we would be able to then create decentralized apps similar to those of centralized products with smooth and accessible UIUX.

Even with OKBC V1, developers and users will quickly feel our ambition is not just empty talk after the mainnet launch. This is because OKX already has a wealth of development, operation, and ecosystem resources and does not need to worry too much about short-term profit returns. Specifically, we will provide:

  1. Developer Center: Offer clear, concise, and actionable developer resources, maintain a fine-grained developer community, and fully support the EVM virtual machine.
  2. OKB Ecosystem Integration and Market Support: Based on the existing OKB ecosystem, connect the OKX exchange with the DeFi world. As part of the OKX ecosystem, OKBC will receive support from upstream and downstream operations channels and unified branding.
  3. OKX Web3 Access: Use the SDK provided by OKBC to closely connect with OKX Web3 applications.

Our Decentralization Story: A Dual-chain Strategy

OKTC has been running stably for more than two years since its launch. From the beginning, we have been ambitious to explore the boundaries of Layer 1 technology, continuously iterating the underlying technology, and growing together with the Layer 1 ecosystem. Now, with the introduction of OKBC, we aim to build a bridge between CeFi and DeFi, contributing to the Ethereum ecosystem with cutting-edge scalability solutions.

By leveraging the advantages of both OKTC and OKBC, we will create a seamless and user-friendly Web3 experience for our users. We will also remain committed to long-term growth and promoting progress across the blockchain industry. We firmly believe that the continuous development of OKTC and the birth of OKBC will once again amplify OKX’s unwavering determination to innovate in the blockchain landscape, paving the way to a more inclusive yet decentralized Web3 future.

About OKT Chain

OKT Chain (previously known as OKC/OKX Chain) is an EVM- and IBC-compatible L1 built on Cosmos with a focus on true interoperability and maximized performance. At high scalability, developers can build and scale with low gas fees. The OKT Chain ecosystem and infrastructure, including the all-in-one multi-chain Web3 interface, enables a seamless experience for both developers and users.

How to find us?

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OKT Chain
OKT Chain

OKT Chain is an EVM and Wasm compatible L1 built on Cosmos with a focus on true interoperability and maximized performance.