Protocol specs

With the OVM 2.0 upgrade, which happened on November 11th, 2021, the Optimism protocol went through its biggest upgrade to date. The primary focus of this upgrade was EVM Equivalence (opens new window), a new design for Optimism that brought it close to 1:1 parity with Ethereum. For a high level overview of the current protocol version, see 'How Optimism works' section.

# Roadmap

Below is a brief summary of some of the planned Optimism roadmap (opens new window) releases.

# Next gen fault proofs

As part of the OVM 2.0 upgrade, the Optimism fault proof mechanism had to be temporarily disabled. This means that users of the Optimism network currently need to trust the Sequencer node (run by Optimism PBC) to publish valid state roots to Ethereum. You can read more about our security model here.

We're making progress on the upgrade fault proof mechanism and we expect to productionize our work in 2022. You can keep up with developments in the Cannon repository (opens new window).

# Decentralizing the sequencer

Currently, Optimism runs the sole sequencer on Optimism. This does not mean that Optimism can censor user transactions. However, it is still desirable to decentralize the sequencer over time, eliminating Optimism's role entirely so that anyone can participate in the network as a block producer.

The first step to decentralizing the sequencer is to still have one sequencer at a time, but rotate that sequencer with some frequency. The precise mechanic for sequencer rotation is not yet finalized, but will involve two components:

  • an economic mechanism which creates a competitive market for sequencing, and redirects excess sequencer profits towards protocol development (opens new window).
  • a governance mechanism which prevents sequencers from prioritizing short-term profits over the long-term health of the network.

After this, the next step is to support multiple concurrent sequencers. This can be simply achieved by adopting a standard BFT consensus protocol, as used by other L1 protocols and sidechains like Polygon and Cosmos.

You can keep up with the roadmap progress in Cannon repository (opens new window) for the fault proofs and Optimism specs repository (opens new window) for the overall protocol work.