“Ethereum to Scale by 100X in the Coming Months,” Says Vitalik on Optimism Rollups Launch

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes the blockchain is closing in on solving its scalability problem, predicting the Optimistic rollup launch in the coming month. The Optimism rollup is a layer two solution aiming to scale the blockchain by a factor of 100, which will solve the medium-term high gas fees as the community awaits the launch of Ethereum 2.0.

Speaking in a podcast aired on Tuesday, Buterin stated Ethereum 2.0 developers are working to integrate these layer two solutions, adding that the Optimism rollup will solve Ethereum’s scalability problems before sharding is introduced on ETH 2.0. He said,

“Rollups are coming very soon. We’re fully confident that by the time that we need any more scaling of that, sharding will have already been ready for a long time by then.”

Rollups are off-chain solutions that compute and store transactional data before bundling up the information and recording it on a blockchain. This reduces the data load on Ethereum, allowing transactions to be processed faster and lowers the fee paid per transaction.

The growth of decentralized finance (DeFi), yield farming, and recently non-fungible tokens (NFT) markets have seen the transaction fees on Ethereum skyrocket to all-time highs. The Optimistic rollup solution's launch aims to reduce the high gas fees and mold ETH into a user-friendly and cheap form of currency.

According to Buterin, Optimism rollups will increase the blockchain's scalability by 100 as the chain awaits the launch of sharding – once ETH 2.0 is fully launched.

“The thing to remember is that if you have rollups, but you do not have sharding, you still have 100X factor scaling, right? You still have the ability for the blockchain to go up to somewhere between 1,000 and 4,000 transactions a second, depending on how complex these transactions are.”

Optimism rollups only account for one of the layer two solutions currently in development – adding to Arbitrum’s scaling solutions and ZK rollups. The rollups have been in testing for the past year, and some projects have already integrated them, including Loopring and zkSync. Vitalik predicts Optimism rollups will be fully launched in the “coming months” given the progress already shown by the rollup.

Optimism rollups are expected to be embraced by some of the leading DeFi projects, including Uniswap, which recently launched its upgrade, Sushiswap, AAVE, and derivatives platform, Synthetix. MakerDAO, a borrowing and lending DeFi platform, also introduced its DAI stablecoin to Optimism rollups.

Despite increasing Ethereum’s scalability, Optimism still faces some challenges, in that transferring tokens from the main blockchain to L2 is easy. Still, the reverse process takes up to a week to complete the transaction. This is to allow for potential fraud proofs.

In a forum chat, the MakerDAO community looks to reduce the “reverse process” transaction time on DAI tokens on the L2 solution. The post reads,

“Introducing the Optimism Dai Bridge with Fast Withdrawals – a bridge which will allow locking up L1 DAI to mint L2 oDAI (Optimism-based DAI) as well as allowing oDAI to be burned in exchange for near-instant access to L1 DAI.”

The Optimism Dai Bridge with Fast withdrawals will be launched in the latter half of 2021, the post confirmed.

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