Optimism, an Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution, has raised $150 million from investors co-led by Paradigm Capital and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The funding round effectively places Optimism at a unicorn status of $1.65 billion in valuation.
According to a Blog Post shared by the startup, the funding round implies more money that can be used to add more talents to its team.
“Our people are our greatest asset. The Optimism team is already filled to the brim with talent whose big brains are eclipsed only by their even bigger hearts,” the blog reads, “We’ve been growing immensely as a team, and are incredibly proud to have amassed such an incredible group of industry leading technical talent.”
Optimism in the Layer-2 World
Layer-2 (L2) protocols, especially those built on the Ethereum network like Optimism, are generally helping to make the Layer-1 blockchain more usable. There are various technologies that L2s utilize with Zero-Knowledge protocols and Optimistic rollups amongst the most common. While Optimism uses the latter, the startup is notably flexible and open to integrating the former.
“We want to be future proof so we’re not closing the doors to the possibility of integrating a ZK [Ethereum Virtual Machine] down the line,” says Optimism CEO Jinglan Wang. “We’re also pragmatists and we don’t want our work to toil forever in academic hell — we want people to use it.”
Optimism has grown remarkably over the years and has helped save at least 30% on gas fees estimated to be worth about $1 billion in the past year. The protocol is also paying a lot of attention to the security of its infrastructure and recently paid out $2 million in bug bounty after security researcher Saurik discovered a vulnerability that would allow malicious actors to print money on the network.
“We’re very into building out in the open, every line of code we write is open source as we write it, and similarly we’re transparent about the vulnerabilities and bugs that are found and disclosed in our network,” Wang says. “We want to build a good security culture around the Optimism community, where [ethical security hackers] know that if they find vulnerabilities, they will be compensated fairly.”
In all of its plans, Optimism will continue to build out its ecosystem to be the goto place for developers and beat the competition ahead of Arbitrum network which has always ranked higher.