# Ethereum Differences

It's important to note that there are various minor discrepancies between the behavior of Optimism and Ethereum. You should be aware of these descrepancies when building apps on top of Optimism.

# Opcode Differences

# Modified Opcodes

Opcode Solidity equivalent Behavior
COINBASE block.coinbase Value is set by the sequencer. Currently returns the OVM_SequencerFeeVault address (0x420...011).
DIFFICULTY block.difficulty Always returns zero.
BASEFEE block.basefee Currently unsupported.
ORIGIN tx.origin If the transaction is an L1 ⇒ L2 transaction, then tx.origin is set to the aliased address of the address that triggered the L1 ⇒ L2 transaction. Otherwise, this opcode behaves normally.

# Added Opcodes

Opcode Behavior
L1BLOCKNUMBER Returns the block number of the last L1 block known by the L2 system. Typically this block number will lag by up to 15 minutes behind the actual latest L1 block number. See section on Block Numbers and Timestamps for more information.

# Block Numbers and Timestamps

# Block production is not constant

On Ethereum, the NUMBER opcode (block.number in Solidity) corresponds to the current Ethereum block number. Similarly, in Optimism, block.number corresponds to the current L2 block number. However, as of the OVM 2.0 release of Optimism (Nov. 2021), each transaction on L2 is placed in a separate block and blocks are NOT produced at a constant rate.

This is important because it means that block.number is currently NOT a reliable source of timing information. If you want access to the current time, you should use block.timestamp (the TIMESTAMP opcode) instead.

# Timestamp lags by up to 15 minutes

Note that block.timestamp is pulled automatically from the latest L1 block seen by the L2 system. L2 currently waits for about 15 minutes (~50 confirmations) before the L1 block is accepted. As a result, the timestamp may lag behind the current time by up to 15 minutes.

# Accessing the latest L1 block number


The hex value that corresponds to the L1BLOCKNUMBER opcode (0x4B) may be changed in the future (pending further discussion). We strongly discourage direct use of this opcode within your contracts. Instead, if you want to access the latest L1 block number, please use the OVM_L1BlockNumber contract as described below.

The block number of the latest L1 block seen by the L2 system can be accessed via the L1BLOCKNUMBER opcode. Solidity doesn't make it easy to use non-standard opcodes, so we've created a simple contract located at 0x4200000000000000000000000000000000000013 (opens new window) that will allow you to trigger this opcode.

You can use this contract as follows:

import { iOVM_L1BlockNumber } from "@eth-optimism/contracts/L2/predeploys/iOVM_L1BlockNumber.sol";
import { Lib_PredeployAddresses } from "@eth-optimism/contracts/libraries/constants/Lib_PredeployAddresses.sol";

contract MyContract {
   function myFunction() public {
      // ... your code here ...

      uint256 l1BlockNumber = iOVM_L1BlockNumber(
         Lib_PredeployAddresses.L1_BLOCK_NUMBER // located at 0x4200000000000000000000000000000000000013

      // ... your code here ...

# Using ETH in Contracts

As of the OVM 2.0 update (Nov. 2021), the process of using ETH on L2 is identical to the process of using ETH in Ethereum. Please note that ETH was previously accessible as an ERC20 token, but this feature has been removed as part of OVM 2.0.

For tooling developers and infrastructure providers, please note that ETH is still represented internally as an ERC20 token at the address 0xDeadDeAddeAddEAddeadDEaDDEAdDeaDDeAD0000 (opens new window). As a result, user balances will always be zero inside the state trie and the user's actual balance will be stored in the aforementioned token's storage. It is NOT possible to call this contract directly, it will throw an error.

# Address Aliasing

Because of the behavior of the CREATE opcode, it's possible for a user to create a contract on L1 and L2 that share the same address but have different bytecode. We need to be able to distinguish between these two contracts. As a result, the behavior of the ORIGIN and CALLER opcodes (tx.origin and msg.sender) differs slightly between L1 and L2.

The value of tx.origin is determined as follows:

  • If the transaction is a standard L2 transaction (sent via the Sequencer), then tx.origin is the real transaction origin and there is no difference in behavior from Ethereum.
  • If the transaction is an L1 ⇒ L2 transaction (sent via the CanonicalTransactionChain.enqueue function), then:
    • If the enqueue function was triggered by an Externally Owned Account, tx.origin is set to the address of the Externally Owned Account. There is also no difference in the behavior of tx.origin in this case.
    • If the enqueue function was triggered by a Contract Account, tx.origin is set to contract_account_address + 0x1111000000000000000000000000000000001111.

The value of msg.sender at the top-level (the very first contract being called) is always equal to tx.origin. Therefore, if the value of tx.origin is impacted by the rules defined above, the top-level value of msg.sender will also be impacted.

# JSON-RPC Differences

Optimism uses the same JSON-RPC API (opens new window) as Ethereum. Some additional Optimism specific methods have been introduced. See the full list of custom JSON-RPC methods for more information.