The summer of application chain has arrived. Learn about projects using OP Stack in one article.
Summer is here and you can learn about OP Stack projects in one article.
Original text: “Optimistic about the future? An article on projects using OP Stack”
BNB Chain launched its own Layer 2 chain and officially launched the Layer 2 testnet “opBNB” on June 19th. With the support of the Layer 2 expansion chain, BNB Chain can greatly improve transaction speed and reduce transfer gas costs to 0.005 USD, greatly enhancing BNB Chain’s already strong processing performance.
Interestingly, this application chain called “opBNB” is built on the OP Stack (more precisely, the first official version of Bedrock based on OP Stack). OP Stack is an Ethereum-based Layer 2 expansion framework, while BNB Chain is a smart contract public chain launched by Binance. To some extent, the two are in a competitive relationship. What is the reason for BNB Chain to actively adopt Ethereum’s development framework OP Stack to create its own chain?
In fact, L2 is not a unique requirement of Ethereum. With the surge in trading volume such as GameFi, even high-performance public chains such as BNB Chain are facing the problem of network congestion and high gas fees. The original design and architecture cannot meet the new scalable demand. In the case of opBNB, it was born.
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OpBNB is a member of the OP Super Chain that joined recently, but it is not the only one. In fact, we have seen many well-known projects join the OP Chain camp one after another. In addition to the self-developed Optimism blockchain (now renamed OP Mainnet), there is also Coinbase-developed Base Chain, the ecological wallet World App under Worldcoin (the encryption project of OpenAI CEO), the NFT trading market Zora invested by Blockingradigm, and the client Magi written in Rust launched by top venture capital a16z, jointly creating a grand narrative of the super chain.
These projects themselves have a huge number of users, high-quality resources, and many partners. Their entry will inevitably attract more developers, applications, and users to the OP ecology, and ultimately generate cash flow. It can be said that this “one-to-many” model supported by giants will become the main focus of early ecological expansion of Optimism.
Take the NFT platform Zora as an example. While launching its own application chain Zora Network, it also brought 35 partners including Sound.XYZ, Rainbow Wallet, and PleasrDAO into the Optimism super chain, followed by 130,000 users. Meanwhile, Worldcoin, initiated by OpenAI CEO, can bring 1.7 million users when using OP Stack. Tiago Sada, the core developer of Worldcoin, told BlockBeats, “Worldcoin is currently in the first phase of migrating to the super chain, and World App accounts are being migrated to the Optimism rollup mainnet.”
What projects have adopted OP Stack?
OP Stack is known for its one-click deployment, but it is not the only option on the market. In fact, projects such as Worldcoin, Coinbase, and BNB Chain have all considered building their own public chains or adopting other frameworks to build layer-2 chains. However, none of them ultimately chose OP Stack. What is the reason behind this? In addition, what is the strategic significance of the application chain based on OP Stack for each project?
Zora and its 35 ecosystem partners
Zora Network has launched a layer-2 NFT minting platform based on OP Stack, which is aimed at NFT creators, brands, and collectors, providing a series of NFT creator tools and reducing minting costs to below $3.
Aiming to create the best user experience for creators and collectors, Zora will provide a faster, cheaper, and better on-chain experience.
As Zora Engineering tweeted, “An interesting fact is that the combined cost of ‘bridging’ to L2 and ‘minting’ is less than the cost of a single mint on the mainnet.”
Zora Network will seamlessly integrate with the existing infrastructure of the Zora marketplace, which means that existing artists, brands, and collector users on the platform will seamlessly join the new layer-2 network, including 35 Web3 project entities such as music NFT platform Sound.XYZ, wallet application Rainbow Wallet, Web 3.0 innovation incubator Seed Club, and PleasrDAO, as well as the existing 130,000 users.
“By developing an application chain using OP Stack, we hope to minimize creator costs and make Zora a place where on-chain media and culture can flourish,” said Zora.
To commemorate this release, Zora has issued an open edition NFT called Energy, which fans can mint over the next 10 days.
According to data, since its launch on the 21st, Zora Network has surpassed 38,012 bridging addresses and has a TVL of 375ETH, equivalent to about $700,000.
BNB Chain Application Chain opBNB
L2 is not exclusive to Ethereum. With the OP Stack, new public chains can also join the Ethereum L2 battle, such as the Layer 2 application chain opBNB built on OP Stack.
On June 19th, BNB Chain launched the OP Stack-based Layer 2 test network (expected to launch the mainnet in Q3 2023). By adopting the OP Stack Rollup, opBNB can move computation and state storage off-chain, thereby easing congestion and reducing transaction costs.
OpBNB can further improve processing speed, with a performance superior to that of BNB Chain.
According to official descriptions, the opBNB block time is 1 second, and transfer gas fees are as low as $0.005. The transaction volume processed per second (TPS) exceeds 4,000, compared to the current first-layer BNB Smart Chain processing speed of 2,000 transactions per second. The average cost per transaction is about $0.109, almost double the speed and with significantly reduced costs of the BNB Chain mainnet.
OpBNB is a Layer 2 network on BSC built on OP Stack. Like Optimism Rollup, opBNB calculates transaction data off-chain and packages it before submitting it to Layer 1 to improve network performance. Ultimately, it achieves high TPS, low gas fees, and the same security as Layer 1.
So why does opBNB use OP Stack to build its own application chain?
In fact, L2 is not an exclusive requirement of Ethereum. With the surge in transaction volume in GameFi and other areas, even higher-performance public chains like BNB Chain face the challenges of network congestion and high gas fees. The original design and architecture no longer meet the requirements of new scalability needs, which is where opBNB comes in.
As early as September last year, BNB Chain launched the zkBNB testnet (the second-layer network that uses zero-knowledge proof). However, since zkBNB is not compatible with EVM (incompatible with EVM means that it cannot interact with applications on Ethereum), BNB Chain turned to developing a new Layer 2 solution, “opBNB.”
OpBNB introduces improved data availability, batch transactions, and up to 100M gas limits to the BNB public chain ecosystem. At the same time, OP Stack, which is EVM compatible, can also simplify the process of migrating Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) code from Ethereum to BNB Chain, enabling developers to create open ecosystems faster and easier and expand the user base.
opBNB, unlike Optimism and Coinbase’s second-layer expansion plan Base, is built on BSC (not Ethereum), and BSC’s performance is already better than Ethereum. opBNB will further improve performance, surpassing not only BSC, but even Optimism and other expansion plans.
Most importantly, the use of OP Stack to build a second-layer application chain on BNB Chain has strategic significance.
For the public chain BNB Chain, using OP Stack to build an application chain not only enjoys the high security brought by the first layer of Ethereum, but also allows BNB to be used as a gas fee payment token. This means that as more use cases emerge in the future, BNB’s application scenarios can be greatly expanded. These benefits can be captured by BNB. In the long run, BNB Chain may even become a strong competitor to Ethereum’s continuously developing L2 ecosystem.
Base developed and incubated by Coinbase
Base (@BuildOnBase), launched in February this year, is one of the earliest application chains to be launched using OP Stack. Incubated by Coinbase, it is an application chain that joins the Optimism superchain ecosystem second only to Optimism’s own project.
In addition, the Base development team is also a core contributor to the OP Stack codebase, and has been deeply involved in and promoted EIP-4844 together before. It can be said that the Base team is the biggest help in OP Stack research and development.
The application chain Base, which focuses on financial services, has the characteristics of security, low cost, developer friendliness, and easy deployment of dApp. So why did Coinbase choose to develop the Layer2 network Base as the largest and compliant centralized cryptocurrency exchange in the United States?
Developing Base at this stage is in line with Coinbase’s future roadmap.
In fact, after the previous phased goal “to develop and invest in a large number of decentralized applications, and provide convenient application layer access to cryptocurrencies” gradually took shape, it was time to implement Coinbase’s ultimate goal of “ultimately building a globally open financial system and reshaping the current financial system.”
However, building an open financial system requires the support of public chains and their ecosystems. Previously, Coinbase had the idea of building its own public chain, but it was eventually abandoned due to cost, difficulty, regulation, and strategic considerations.
Choosing OP Stack to build Base not only allows for the reuse of existing Optimism development achievements, but also enables “one-click chain deployment”. Its modular framework supports high openness and composability, including optional execution layers (which virtual machine to choose), proof methods (fraud proof or ZK), data availability (DA) layer, and settlement layer. It truly provides a modular lego-style approach for building chains.
The most important thing is that becoming an OP Chain means Coinbase joins the Ethereum community and can handle Ethereum traffic in the future. In addition, Base will also be a member of the “superchain” and can not only exchange resources with other OP Chains in the ecosystem, but also contribute to this “superchain” system which may reach Internet-level scale in the future. With Coinbase’s existing user base (in Q3 2022, Coinbase has nearly 110 million users and more than 8 million monthly trading users), Base can seamlessly connect customers to the financial services protocol hosted on Base, and serve as an entry point to cross to Ethereum L1, other L2s, and other L1 ecosystems. The probability of Base’s future success is greatly increased.
With the powerful resources behind Coinbase, Base had nearly 60 projects as ecosystem partners join when it was launched, including infrastructure and tools such as Chainlink, Nansen, Dune Analytics, and The Graph, as well as well-known projects originally deployed on Ethereum, such as Sushiswap, Balancer, and PoolTogether.
According to the development plan, Base will not directly serve end users in the future, but will introduce more decentralized applications to provide services for end users. Since its launch, Base has joined forces with many developer communities and organizations around the world, such as Upside DAO, Developer DAO, GenTwo, thirdweb, QuickNode, Google, and Blockdaemon, to hold many hackathons, developer competitions, and other activities to attract more developers.
Worldcoin and its on-chain identity system
In May of this year, the Worldcoin Foundation and Tools for Humanity (TFH) early protocol contributor announced their support for the Optimism Collective to jointly build a scalable blockchain ecosystem based on OP Stack.
As the first step in entering the Optimism Collective, World ID, the decentralized privacy identity protocol under Worldcoin, will be launched on the OP mainnet, and the native wallet World App of Worldcoin will also be migrated to the OP mainnet in the future.
As early as 2020, Worldcoin independently developed and launched an Optimistic Rollup application chain Hubble exclusively for simple payments, and launched a beta version of World App. However, after the release, the team found that the test results were not ideal. User needs exceeded beyond the capacity of Hubble to handle. As a result, it was migrated to Polygon PoS.
Now, Worldcoin has turned to rebuild the application chain using OP Stack. However, the focus of the cooperation this time will be on building the on-chain identity system.
For Optimism, a decentralized on-chain identity system is the key to achieving its economic self-growth, which can unlock democracy and innovation, and enable individuals to better control their finances and participate in the global economy in their own way.
To this end, Optimism deployed an identity primitive AttestationStation, an experimental identity system that allows anyone to provide arbitrary attestations for other addresses, which can assign a trust score to a specific on-chain address, measuring the real social relationship (influence) of an address.
For Worldcoin, the identity system is equally important. Since it intends to distribute digital currency for free to the world’s 7.9 billion people and achieve fair distribution of wealth, a method is needed to determine the user’s identity and prevent the same person from receiving tokens multiple times with different identities. To this end, the team developed World ID as the underlying identity protocol of Worldcoin, which can ensure that each person can only register one account with their iris. In addition, the team also developed a set of biometric devices to verify a person’s uniqueness by scanning the iris, while ensuring the privacy of the verified person through zero-knowledge proofs.
Currently, Worldcoin has more than 1.6 million beta registered users and more than 500,000 monthly active World App users, which means that joining the Super Chain ecosystem, Worldcoin will bring a huge amount of users to the OP ecosystem. In the long run, considering that Worldcoin’s research and investment in the identity system is in a leading position in the industry, this can enhance the governance ability of the key component “Citizens’ House” in the Optimism ecosystem, and promote the progress of the on-chain reputation system AttestationStation, ultimately expanding the Web3 identity system in the Optimism network and laying a foundation for decentralized governance.
The Worldcoin team has not yet announced the development progress of its application chain. However, Twitter user Spreek tweeted that someone deployed a large number of gnosis safes accounts on the Optimism network. According to statistics, a total of about 300,000 gnosis safes accounts were deployed on the Optimism network, and each account generated about 10,000-15,000 transactions within a week. Worldcoin core developer Tiago Sada claimed this “achievement” and told Blockbeats that “these Safe contract operations are related to the migration of World App accounts to Optimism Rollup mainnet. Currently, Worldcoin is in the first stage of migration to the Super Chain.”
Magi, a Rollup client from a16z
Magi is a layer two Rollup client solution launched by a16z Crypto in April of this year. Written in Rust language and based on OP Stack, it acts as a consensus client in Ethereum’s traditional execution/consensus split. It provides new blocks to the execution client to advance on-chain transactions. Magi has the same core functionality as the reference implementation (op-node) and works with execution nodes (such as op-geth) to sync to any OP Stack chain.
Magi aims to be an independently-developed direct replacement for op-node to enhance Rollup client diversity.
A16z hopes to build a new Rust-based client that will encourage the entire OP stack to be more secure and active, and bring more contributors to the ecosystem.
As one of the most well-known investors in the crypto field, a16z has over $7.6 billion (about RMB 50 billion) in funding for investment in this field (as of May last year). As one of the investors in Ethereum scaling project Optimism, a16z Crypto is leading the development of the Magi client on OP Stack, and is not only an investor but also a developer. This is also the first step for a16z to enter the Optimism Collective.
On-chain games: OPCraft, Keystone, and Loot
On-chain games often have high-frequency interactive scenarios, which means that speed and cost are extremely important. This means that on-chain games need customized blockchain infrastructure, and many scaling solutions have launched scaling solutions for on-chain games.
OP Stack is one of the most popular infrastructures for on-chain games, and one of the most representative on-chain game experiments, OPCraft, is built on OP Stack.
OPCraft is an on-chain virtual world where every river, blade of grass, and snow on the top of a mountain exists on the chain, and every action that occurs in it is a transaction on Ethereum. Like most pixel-style games, you can explore the procedurally generated landscape, mine ores, place materials, and craft new items in OPCraft. Players can build magnificent buildings, monuments, and transform land alone or collaborate with other players.
OPCraft, built on OP Stack, can achieve higher throughput and shorter block times with simple debugging.
Keystone is another chain made using OP Stack, which embeds game tick and ECS natively in the chain using custom precompilation. This allows for a 100x speedup in game speed and a more powerful gaming experience on the chain.
In addition, the Adventure Gold DAO, a Loot ecosystem project, recently announced that it will use OP Stack to build Loot Chain, a new Ethereum L2 network dedicated to the Loot community. This will reduce gas fees and use their native token AGLD as a Gas Token. The chain also uses Polygon as a data availability layer, significantly reducing the cost of building, deploying, and operating Loot Chain.
“One-click deployment + modularization” is not a new concept, but OP Stack, relying on its high degree of openness and composability, has attracted a large number of ecosystem partners. After all, joining the OP Stack ecosystem means being able to parallelize and share resources with Ethereum, enjoying high security, while still being able to choose their native token as Gas token. Who can refuse such a good thing?