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Comparing Optimism and Arbitrum, who will have the last laugh?

03-02 14:57
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Compare the two popular Layer2 protocols from financing scale, Gas cost, throughput, DeFi ecosystem and so on
原文标题:《 Optimism 与 Arbitrum 之争: 谁会是以太坊 L2 的赢家? 》
Original article by Ignas, DeFi Research
Leah Yuan, Foresight News

Optimism and Arbitrum are the most popular Rollup solutions on Ethereum, with the goal of making DeFi faster, cheaper, and more convenient.

The two deals, each unique in its own way, are among the most promising DeFi havens.

What is Optimism and Arbitrum?

Optimism and Arbitrum are Rollup solutions that operate outside the main Ethereum chain. They can process transactions in bulk and return the compressed results to the main Ethereum network.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

I like to think of Rollup as a busy "manager" who reports regularly to the real "big boss" of Ethereum.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

The modular approach is becoming a popular topic in the cryptocurrency space, with innovative solutions emerging to help users save time and money compared to Ethereum's traditional transactions.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

The battle for first place

Although both Optimism and Arbitrum offer significant advantages over Ethereum, they are still slightly behind Ethereum in terms of daily volume. Arbitrum transaction volume did surpass Ethereum, but quickly fell back to a lower level.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Dune: Arbitrum vs Optimism

Following a sharp decline in Optimism following the conclusion of Galaxy's eco-guide campaign, "OpGalxeQuests," the Optimism Optimism Optimism Optimism has recovered with a tie-up with Coinbase L2.

This decline is likely due to the agreement having distribution license restrictions, which put rival Arbitrum ahead in terms of early transaction volume and user volume.

Arbitrum is also ahead when it comes to active addresses, although not by much.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Dune: Arbitrum vs Optimism

Overall, both L2 protocols are steadily increasing in volume, and it is believed that L2 will soon handle more transactions than Ethereum L1.


Optimism and Arbitrum come at similar valuations, having raised similar amounts of money from top venture capital firms. Optimism raised $178m at a $1.65bn valuation, while Arbitrum raised $143m at a $1.2bn valuation. Notably, Pantera and Coinbase have invested in both.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Galaxy Research

Optimism 的 Token (OP)目前的全流通市值(FDV)是 125 亿美元,是 B 轮融资估值的 7.2 倍。

That's an impressive valuation, and OP's recent price performance has been good thanks to its partnership with Coinbase's new L2 solution, Base.

Gas charges and throughput

Arbitrum takes the lead in terms of lower Gas fees, compared with greater transaction throughput and more than three times the number of active wallets.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Dune: Arbitrum vs Optimism

As the chart shows, Gas rates have fallen by nearly 50% since last year, despite an increase in both volumes due to Layer2 technology upgrades.

Given Ethereum's upcoming IP-4844 (Proto-Danksharding) upgrade in mid-2023, Gas rates will drop 10-100x.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Dune:Arbitrum vs Optimism

Low Gas rates are not the norm. When Arbitrum launched its Oddysey campaign last May, Gas rates on Arbitrum exceeded those on Ethereum's main network as users rushed to tap into potential airdrops.

However, the Nitro upgrade in August 2022 increased network throughput by 7-10 times, significantly reducing Gas bills.

A major upgrade in Optimism: Bedrock

Optimism will undergo a major upgrade this year, scheduled for April.

OptimismCollective: Bedrock will provide a modular, simple, Ethereum-equivalent L2 solution. It will greatly improve co-network performance, including reduced transaction costs, increased throughput and synchronization speed.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Decentalizing Base

What's more, Coinbase's new L2 solution, Base, uses Optimism.

In addition, Coinbase is joining Optimism as a core developer, with the intention of building an open source OP Stack that will lend momentum to Optimism.

They share a vision of building a "super blockchain" - a network of interoperable L2 or Rollup, with increased interoperability until a Mesh network or "super chain" is formed to extend Ethereum together.

In my view, these Rollup protocols with high activity will act as "hubs" for different ecosystems, and these hubs will lay the foundation for a more vibrant developer ecosystem than any single chain can.

As I understand it, Optimism and Base will share a codebase, but they may have different value propositions.

How is it different? Let's have a look ~!

Arbitrum Nova

Arbitrum feels the same way about "hubs."

In fact, Arbitrum runs two networks.

Arbitrum One  for DeFi/NFT;

Arbitrum Nova for gaming/social applications.

In general, and this is my point in this article, "Arbitrum" refers to Arbitrum One, since most on-chain activities are concentrated here.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Nova achieves low cost at the expense of security because it hands over the out-of-chain data to an "External Data Availability Committee." The council's members include Offchain Labs, Consenys, Google Cloud, P2P, Quicknode, and Reddit.

In addition, Reddit chose Arbitrum Nova as its Community Points, proving that the idea of a "purpose-built hub" in the Hyperlink vision has become a reality.

We found (that) Optimistic Rollups are the most promising extension technology in Community Points.

- Reddit post on expanding Reddit Community Points with Arbitrum

The other contenders are Solana, StarkWare and Polygon.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

This is a big win for Arbitrum and Ethereum L2.

Overview of the DeFi ecosystem

Here are the most positive signals from Arbitrum and Optimism.

The growth rate of these two L2s greatly exceeds that of any other chain. Aribrum's TVL grew 62% to 1.15 billion in just one month, surpassing Polygon and Avalanche.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?


Optimism ranked three places behind Arbitrum, but its TVL managed to increase 35% to $950 million.

Optimism is now trading 3.6 times higher than Solana's TVL, but at a similar full-float value.

Top DApps activity on Arbitrum

Arbitrum's TVLS (and deals) are dominated by transaction-related DApps, with GMX leading the way. That makes sense, because the requirements for trading are quick and cheap, and GMX fits those requirements perfectly.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

GMX needs little introduction as it has already established itself as a leveraged trading venue in the DeFi space.


ZyberSwap popped up and overtook Uniswap.

Its investment income comes from the 32% annual interest rate of ETH-USDC and the 17% annual interest rate of 3pool Stablecoin.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

然而,这一切都取决于 ZYBER 的价格,如果你从 DeFi 辉煌时代中学到了什么,你就会明白治理 Token 高达 1097% 的年利率不会持续太久。


Radiant is a cross-chain lending platform on Arbitrum designed to solve the problem of liquidity dispersion in DeFi. It allows users to deposit any mainstream asset on one chain and make loans on another chain to improve the user experience.

Radiant v2 introduced true yield-based incentives, gradually expanded into a multi-chain ecosystem, and has generated nearly $5.5 million in fees.

While it is risky, Radiant uses LayerZero to handle cross-chain activity and ensure that the collateral is backed by real assets.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Dune: Arbitrum vs Optimism

Sushi and Vela are DApps with large amount of contract activity on Arbitrum, accounting for 14.1% and 13% of total activity respectively.

Vela is a derivatives trading platform that not only offers leveraged trades in BTC/ETH, but also in euros, sterling and yen.

Optimism is the most active DApps on the list

The top five DApps on Optimism are different and more diversified, with the most active DApps ranging from DEX to yield aggregator Beefy.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?



作为 Solidly(由 A.Cronje 开发)项目上一条成功的分叉,Velodrome 在短短一个月内 TVL 增长了 132%,同期 VELO Token 增长了 290%。

Velodrome 的成功部分归功于将 ve Token 经济模型的发展。

将 VELO Token 质押 4 年,用户可以得到 veVELO:一个以 NFT 形式存在的治理 Token ,该 NFT 使用 ve(3,3)rebase 机制。

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

Velodrome docs

veVELO 的持有者受到「贿赂」,对 Token 释放进行投票。事实证明,这在 Optimism 项目中很受欢迎,因为持有者可以获得流动性,这比他们自己发起的流动性挖矿价格更低。


Synthetix, OG of Optimism, has just launched V3 - a completely rebuilt agreement from the ground up.

Their mission is "liquidity as a service" to help agreements grow liquidity and launch any derivative assets you want.

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

The protocol is integrated with a decentralized predictor to create a "liquidity API" that allows the market to create derivatives backed by the ERC-20 token as collateral for coins.

The Synthetix ecosystem itself is constantly evolving, with Lyra (option), Kwenta (perpetual contract), Polynomial (Structured Vault), and Thales (binary option).

Layer2「红蓝争霸」:Optimism 与 Arbitrum,谁会成为最终赢家?

By contract activity, Thirdweb is the leader, with a 41% share. It provides powerful development tools, manages infrastructure services, and simplifies the entire web3 development cycle.

The future: Fast and cheap

Optimism and Arbitrum are both very promising protocols that have already played an important role in modularizing the future of Ethereum. While they still lag behind Ethereum in terms of daily transactions, they are an attractive option for users because of their faster and cheaper transactions.

Both networks have some bullish expectations.

Ip-4844 will further reduce Gas rates

Coinbase's collaboration with Optimism is promising innovation

Arbitrum issues a native Token that can facilitate on-chain activity (depending on how it rolls out, as many people expect airdrops, so trading volume can be high).

Modular "Ethereum Narrative"   Development will bring more L2 growth

At the end of the day, competition between the two is good for users and all DeFi ecosystems because each upgrade brings a better experience for users.

Despite Ethereum's tremendous growth, I'm not too optimistic about L1 because it doesn't offer any unique features to DApps or users on it.

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