Optimism Important Terms

There is a lot going on inside the Optimism Collective. This doc aims to help you understand important terms and phrases.

If you have specific questions, join our Office Hours in Discord (opens new window) (every 2nd week). If you want more support in creating Optimism content, check out our Ambassador Program!

For press and media inquiries, reach out to [email protected]. For amplification or marketing of your project, please see project support options.

# The Optimistic Vision

An inclusive, open source Superchain that sustainably funds Public Goods, dispelling the myth that building public goods cannot be profitable!

# The RetroPGF Flywheel

Optimism generates revenue through transaction fees paid on OP Mainnet and other OP Chains. Part of this revenue is directed by the Optimism Collective through RetroPGF. Better public goods means more development, which creates more revenue that can be directed to public goods. Read more about the flywheel (opens new window).

# The Optimism Collective

The Optimism Collective is a new model of digital democratic governance optimized to drive rapid and sustained growth of a decentralized ecosystem. The Collective is a band of communities, companies, and citizens united by a mutually beneficial pact to adhere to the axiom of impact=profit — the principle that positive impact to the collective should be rewarded with profit to the individual.

# Brand Kit

We are currently updating our brand kit, but you can find the old Brand Kit here (opens new window)!

# Networks & The Superchain

The Optimism ecosystem is a growing space. Here are the basic terms and concepts you need to know to understand the shape of the Superchain.

# The Superchain

The Superchain is a vision for a horizontally scalable network of chains that share security, a communication layer, and the OP Stack as an open source development stack. The Superchain does not yet exist. A number of governance and technical milestones need to be achieved before we have a functioning interoperable network of chains. Because of this, it is best to talk about the Superchain as a “vision” for something we are working towards.

As of Aug 1, 2023, OP Mainnet, Base, Public Goods Network, and Zora Network have opted into the Superchain and will automatically inherit Superchain features when it launches.

Read more about the Superchain (opens new window).

# OP Chains

OP Chains are Layer 2 blockchains that run the governance-approved release of the OP Stack, and therefore will be upgraded based on decisions by Optimism’s governance and contribute sequencer revenue back to the Collective. OP Chains will automatically inherit Superchain features in the future.

The benefit of opting into the Superchain and becoming an OP Chain is that users of OP Chains will have a convenient, homogenous experience bridging between OP Chains, and the OP Chain itself will share security and a governance standard (Law of Chains (opens new window)).

# OP Stack

The OP Stack (opens new window) is the modular, open source, MIT-licensed development stack that powers the OP Mainnet, OP Chains, and, in the future, the Superchain. The OP Stack is maintained by the Optimism Collective.

# OP Stack Fork

An OP Stack Fork refers to a Layer 2 blockchain that has been built using the MIT-licensed OP Stack, but is not governed by Optimism’s governance or contributing sequencer revenue back to the Collective (and therefore is not on track to become part of the Superchain). This means OP Stack Chains won’t necessarily share security or interoperability with OP Chains in the Superchain.

# OP Mainnet

OP Mainnet is a Layer 2 blockchain powered by the OP Stack. Previously known as just “Optimism,” OP Mainnet is where it all started, and the first chain to commit to the Superchain vision.

# OP Token

The OP token is a governance token and should be discussed as such. Use “OP” instead of “$OP.” The use of the $ is prohibited in connection with “OP.” Content that refers to OP incorrectly will be removed off of Optimism platforms and will not be eligible for promotion. This means that, when talking about OP:

  • Do not discuss the token price or speculate on the price - it has nothing to do with what we are here for.
  • Do not reference the OP token as an investment, including attempts at “pumping” the price, encouraging purchases, speculating on how the network may result in returns on investments, or discussing how to buy or sell OP.
  • Token grants are made in OP - they are allocations of governance authority, not cash - and they should not be converted to USD, nor referred to in USD amounts.