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Optimism’s ‘Law of Chains’ sparks controversy in the community

4min Read

Optimism wants to create a permissionless module in order to commit to the Superchain mission. But the community seems divided about the proposal.

Optimism's 'Law of Chains' sparks controversy in the community

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  • The initiation of a new governance proposal has caused arguments in the project’s community.
  • While OP Stack has a vital role to play, restriction concerns have appeared.

In addition to its recently-launched Superchain, Optimism [OP] has introduced a “Law of Chains” to open neutrality in the ecosystem. According to the Ethereum [ETH] L2 scaling solution, the core vision behind the governance proposal is to protect users through decentralization and economic autonomy.

Read Optimism’s [OP] Price Prediction 2023-2024

From its comprehensive statement on the proposal, Optimism noted that the Law of Chains v0 would be the permissionless “superpower” of the SuperChain. While explaining further, the statement made mention of the OP Stack.

The quest for a decentralized blockspace

For context, OP Stack is a series of modules working together for open-source development on the Optimism blockchain. Optimism further noted how OP Stack and Law of Chains v0 would function in the Superchain. The project said,

“To realize the Superchain, we need to move from OP Stack chains as independent and disparate blockspace, to a unified collective of chains that uphold a shared commitment to open, decentralized blockspace.”

Recently, Optimism introduced the Superchain following the Bedrock Hard Fork. And according to the project, SuperChain would serve as a scalable network of chains. It also noted that the Superchain would function as a communications and security layer.

Disruption in the circle

However, as this new approach gained traction, it has also stirred up controversy within the community. Scott Sunarto, founder of Argus Labs, disagreed with the notion that the development was a pro for the blockchain.

According to him, banning modification and involving a list of sequencers on the OP Stack might not necessarily protect users.

While Sunarto highlighted other drawbacks and explained how he was a big fan of Optimism, he prayed that the issues raised would be looked into.

In a rebuttal, Kelvin Fichter, a developer at Plasma Group, the firm behind OP, responded that Sunarto’s concerns were not facts. Responding to the matter, Fichter mentioned that the OP Stack codebase would not be restrictive to users.

He also explained that the SuperChain uniform security model would differ from the Law of Chains functions.

Fichter clarified that,

“This is separate from what you can do with the OP Stack codebase. You can do whatever you want with it, but post is basically saying that sufficient modifications may effectively make you incompatible with this separate network-of-chains called the Superchain.”

Development remains high

Following the disclosure, Optimism’s development activity maintained its uptrend. At press time, the project’s development activity was 33.79. Development activity measures the public GitHub repositories of a project.

When the metric decreases, it implies that developers’ dedication to the Optimism blockchain is not at its highest. So, the hike in the development activity meant that Optimism was getting numerous code commits from several corners.

However, the network growth did not follow the same path. Instead of increasing, the network growth fell to 2451. Network growth shows the number of new addresses being created on a network.

If the metric spikes, then it means that traction on the network is impressive. But the decline in network growth showed that user adoption of the Optimism blockchain has reduced since the number of new addresses making transactions on the network fell.

Optimism development activity and network growth

Source: Santiment

Falling network activity amid market cap spike

With respect to the 7-day active addresses, Santiment showed that the metric had fallen to 74,500. Unlike network growth, active addresses show the number of distinct addresses participating in sending and receiving an asset.

Therefore, the decrease in the active addresses means that unique deposits into Optimism haven’t been stimulating. 

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In terms of the market cap, on-chain data showed that OP has added another $200 million over the last two weeks despite a 24-hour decrease. So, the hike means that the number of coins in circulation has increased, alongside a 30-day 8.61% price increase.

Optimism market cap and OP active addresses

Source: Santiment

Lastly, Optimism noted that the Law of Chains is subject to feedback from its community. While highlighting the need for active community dialogue, the statement read,

“After iterating on this draft with the community, we hope to formally introduce it, alongside the first version of a governance process for new chains to join the Superchain, in the next Season of governance.”


Victor Olanrewaju is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Settled in Lagos, his fascination with blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency market arose out of his love of freedom and everything free. As a Nigerian, Victor understands the impact unfounded financial restrictions have on a population. He sees Bitcoin and cryptos as a way to circumvent these obstacles, as a tool for value creation despite all the setbacks. A graduate in Physics, Victor previously worked as a Senior Marketer at Melange Technologies. Before that, he dealt with crypto-marketers on a regular basis in his capacity as Copywriter at Ventrix Media. At AMBCrypto, Victor’s focus is on assessing the real effectiveness of both on-chain and off-chain developments on a project and its community sentiment.
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