How Optimism Works

Due to the transactions limits on the Ethereum main network (i.e. Layer 1) and the high transaction fees, the developers proposed Layer 2 to scale both Ethereum and Ethereum’s value and increase the transaction processing speed.

Optimism is a Layer 2 scaling solution launched by the Optimism team.

It adopts an Optimistic Rollup scheme of single-round interactive design to scale the Ethereum network.

For a deeper understanding on Layer 2, make sure to read our Introduction on Layer 2.

Working Principle

Optimism is built as an Optimistic Rollup. This kind of rollup ensures that data synchronized from Layer 2 to Layer1 is valid through fraud proof.

  • Rollup: A Layer 2 scaling solution, which scales by keeping most information on Layer2 and off the Layer1 chain. Instead, a rollup submits only the bare minimum on the Ethereum mainnet, saving limited space and therefore scaling the performance of Ethereum.
  • Optimistic Rollup: The rollup protocol submits a state commitment to Ethereum mainnet without any validation of correctness of the transactions. Within a specific period (also known as ‘challenge window’) users can challenge a submitted state commitment as incorrect. This process is also called ‘fraud proof’ and ensures that data submitted to the Ethereum mainnet is valid.

Fraud Proof: Any validator who submits compressed Layer 2 data to Layer 1 needs to stake a security deposit. If the validators transaction is disputed within the challenge period, its deposit will be forfeited. The challenging party will be rewarded after the rollup protocol proves the error by recalculating all transactions in the block.


  • Low transaction fees
  • No trust required
  • Security derived from Ethereum mainnet
  • User assets are self-custodial 
  • EVM compatible

Learn more

Optimism Wallet

We take imToken as an example. Download imToken on your favorite app store.

Launch imToken and open your ETH wallet, and click "Ethereum" at the top of the page. Select "Optimism" in the pop-up to switch to the Optimism wallet for operations such as transfer and receive.

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Detailed tutorial: How to Use Optimism in imToken? 


Development Team of Optimism

Optimism Foundation is a nonprofit company that aims to generate public interest and operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. It is hoped that through the development of open source software, users will be able to obtain fair access to public goods on the Internet.

Optimism Explorer

Optimism explorer is a website for querying tokens, transactions, account addresses and other information.

Optimism Ecosystem

  • Uniswap
  • Hop Exchange
  • 1inch
  • Synthetix
  • Kwenta
  • Perpetual Protocol
  • Chainlink

More Information

Optimism official website: https://optimism.io/