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Optimism Achieves ‘Stage 1’ Decentralization with Fault Proofs

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Optimism Achieves 'Stage 1' Decentralization with Fault Proofs

The Ethereum layer-2 platform, Optimism, has introduced fault proofs within its smart contracts, as announced by the development team at OP Labs. This update signifies Optimism’s progression to “Stage 1” of decentralization, a milestone based on criteria outlined by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. Currently, four other networks using the OP Stack—Base, Metal, Mode, and Zora—are set to integrate these fault proofs soon as well.

With the new implementation, Optimism users can now carry out withdrawals of Ether (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens without the need for any trusted intermediaries. OP Labs stated that if the sequencer tries to process any invalid withdrawals, any user can challenge these attempts by submitting a fault-proof to show the withdrawal is not legitimate. Although this mechanism does not entirely prevent the sequencer from either blocking valid withdrawals or processing invalid ones, the system can override these actions with a six-out-of-eight vote from the Optimism Security Council.

The default procedure for validating withdrawals now places the responsibility on the users rather than the Optimism team. This user-centric validation can only be overridden by a direct vote from the Security Council, putting more power in the hands of the community. OP Labs views this transition to “Stage 1” as a significant step towards achieving full decentralization, or “Stage 2,” in the future. At “Stage 2,” the Security Council will only intervene if there is a bug causing discrepancies among multiple proving systems.

The newly implemented fault system, named “Cannon,” was developed with contributions from several teams, including OP Labs, Base network, and Sunnyside Labs. The decision to implement this system was approved through Optimism’s Token House and Citizens’ House governance organizations. OP Labs mentioned that Cannon would not be the sole fault-proof system for Optimism in the long run. The vision includes a “multi-proof nirvana,” where multiple proof systems will ensure that only valid transactions are confirmed by the sequencer.

OP Labs assures that with the new code in place, Optimism will remain secure. The system includes “safeguards” that allow the Security Council to “act swiftly and effectively” if any bugs are found in the code. Should these safeguards be activated, all pending withdrawals would need to be revalidated, essentially resetting the process.

In a conversation with , Optimism founder Karl Floersch highlighted the substantial progress towards decentralization made by Optimism and other layer-2 solutions, despite the challenges. He emphasized that developing any proof system is incredibly challenging due to the high level of security assurance required. While acknowledging that Optimism is not yet at “Stage 2,” Floersch noted that the foundational elements are beginning to align favorably.

Floersch also mentioned that moving towards “Stage 2” should now be more “swift and decisive” since “Stage 1” has been achieved. He indicated that the network already has multiple client implementations and is in the process of integrating multiple proof systems.

Ethereum layer-2 solutions, or “rollups,” were initially developed to reduce transaction fees by processing some data off-chain. These protocols have faced criticism for halting withdrawals or censoring transactions, actions that suggest centralization and control by their development teams. According to Buterin’s forum post, users should tolerate some degree of centralization in the early stages of layer-2 networks, but the expectation is for these networks to fully decentralize over time.

Optimism’s implementation of fault proofs into its ecosystem marks a notable stride towards greater decentralization. By enabling users to validate transactions and imposing stringent checks on sequencer actions, Optimism is navigating the intricate path laid out by Buterin and moving toward a more decentralized future. The

21 thoughts on “Optimism Achieves ‘Stage 1’ Decentralization with Fault Proofs

  1. Fault proofs approved through Optimisms Token House and Citizens’ House show incredible community engagement! Well done, everyone!

  2. This update truly highlights Optimism’s commitment to decentralization. Can’t wait to see the complete transition to Stage 2.

  3. It’s so rewarding to see the Ethereum layer-2 solutions evolving! Fault proofs are the way forward. Well done, Optimism!

  4. The Security Council’s intervention capability concerns me. 🕵️‍♂️ It’s essentially a central authority that can override the community’s wishes. 🔒

  5. The whole six-out-of-eight Security Council vote is a major red flag 🚨 for me. It just sounds like another bottleneck that could be exploited. 👎

  6. This user-centric validation process seems like a recipe for chaos. 🍲 Users are not developers; asking them to validate these transactions is just unrealistic. 😅

  7. Fault proofs are essential to ensuring only valid transactions go through. This is what true blockchain advancement looks like!

  8. Amazing progress by Optimism! Moving towards true decentralization feels like we’re heading into the future of blockchain!

  9. The implementation of Cannon seems rushed. If it needs so many ‘safeguards’ and backup plans, how can we trust it to work smoothly?

  10. Excited to see Base, Metal, Mode, and Zora integrating fault proofs soon. The future of Layer-2 looks brighter than ever!

  11. Trustless withdrawals are a massive win for user security. Great job to everyone at OP Labs for making this a reality!

  12. Fault proofs are great, but if they can’t prevent sequencers from blocking or processing invalid withdrawals entirely, what’s the point? Half measures arent enough.

  13. Giving more power to the community sounds nice in theory, but in practice, its just setting up hurdles for actual users. This isnt the decentralization I was hoping for.

  14. Achieving Stage 1 is a major milestone. The path to Stage 2 looks clearer than ever. Bright days ahead for Optimism!

  15. Fault proofs add an extra layer of security, making Optimism more robust. Major kudos to the team for this fantastic update!

  16. I find it hard to believe that the Security Council won’t just become another point of centralization. 🚫 Aren’t we supposed to be moving away from that? 🤦‍♂️

  17. Empowering the users to validate withdrawals is an empowering step. This is how decentralization should be!

  18. Fault proofs are a good idea, but I don’t trust this ‘Security Council’ to act in the community’s best interest . Can we really call this decentralization?

  19. Community governance in action with the approval of Cannon! This is democracy at its finest in the crypto world.

  20. This ‘multi-proof nirvana’ vision is intriguing! Can’t wait to see how multiple proof systems shape the future of Optimism!

  21. Decentralization is the way forward! So thrilled to see Optimism’s advancements. The journey just keeps getting better!

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