A16z Says It's Working on an Optimism-Based Rollup Client Called Magi

The news comes a day after the firm teased a potential blockchain announcement by tweeting an orange dot.

AccessTimeIconApr 19, 2023 at 4:09 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 9, 2024 at 11:09 p.m. UTC

A day after setting off a frenzy of Twitter speculation by tweeting out an orange dot, the crypto arm of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has revealed its blockchain infrastructure plans: Magi, a rollup client for Optimism.

Magi is still in development and months away from being a production-ready offering, according to an announcement posted by crypto engineer Noah Citron.

The project is a new client for OP Stack, the standardized, open-source development stack that powers Optimism. The system is written using the Rust programming language and is meant to serve as a faster alternative to op-node, the only existing rollup client that’s maintained by OP Labs and written in the Go programming language. A16z’s thesis is that more systems make for more robust decentralization for Optimism, and the addition of one based on Rust will attract more developers.

A client is broadly any type of software application that can allow a user to interact with a blockchain.

“Magi acts as the consensus client (often called a rollup client in the context of the OP Stack) in the traditional execution/consensus split of Ethereum," wrote Citron in the post. "It feeds new blocks to the execution client in order to advance the chain," he continued. "Magi performs the same core functionality as the reference implementation (op-node) and works alongside an execution node (such as op-geth) to sync to any OP Stack chain, including Optimism and Base."

On Tuesday, Citron tweeted out an orange dot with “coming soon,” which Twitter users tied to Coinbase’s similar tweet of a blue dot ahead of its Optimism-based layer 2 announcement. A16z Chief Technology Officer Eddy Lazzarin responded, saying his firm wasn’t working on a layer 2 blockchain.

UPDATE (April 19 2023, 16:44 UTC): Adds quote from a16z announcement post.

UPDATE (17:12 UTC): Adds 'client' to headline for clarity.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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Brandy Betz

Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.