Optimism, Scaling Solution for Ethereum, Sets June Date for Biggest Ever Upgrade, ‘Bedrock’

The upgrade, a hard fork proposed earlier this year and approved by the Optimism community in April, is supposed to bring a “new level of modularity, simplicity and Ethereum equivalence.”

AccessTimeIconMay 16, 2023 at 5:11 p.m. UTC
Updated May 16, 2023 at 5:23 p.m. UTC

Optimism, a “layer 2” scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain, set June 6 as the date for its Bedrock hard fork.

The upgrade is expected to take two to four hours, starting at 16:00 coordinated universal time (UTC), according to the Optimism team. Deposits and withdrawals will be unavailable during the period.

The Optimism Foundation proposed the protocol upgrade in February, and it’s been described as “the largest upgrade ever released on OP mainnet,” and a “complete re-write.”

According to that original proposal, the new upgrade would offer “a new level of modularity, simplicity and Ethereum equivalence for layer 2 solutions, providing unprecedented performance and functionality.”

There’s an intense competition underway to win market share as a top Ethereum scaling solution, with Arbitrum as the industry leader, followed by Optimism and several rollups using zero-knowledge cryptography, according to the website L2Beat. In the past few months, Optimism has scored big wins with both the crypto exchange Coinbase and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (known as a16z) revealing efforts to build on the network.

Optimism’s OP token has rallied, gaining 77% so far in 2023 versus a 52% rise for ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain.

According to the crypto analysis firm Messari, the Optimism community approved the upgrade in April with 99.87% of votes in favor.

The upgrade “implements a modular architecture that separates the OP stack into consensus, execution and settlement components, which will allow Ethereum execution clients to be converted into Optimism execution clients,” Messari wrote.

Another new feature with Bedrock is a two-phase withdrawal process for enhanced bridge security, according to Messari.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.

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