Optimism Developers Reflect on “Turbulent Launch”

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • Developers of Ethereum scaling solution Optimism described yesterday’s airdrop as “turbulent”
  • The airdrop took place yesterday, but high network load caused delayed and cancelled transactions
  • The Optimism team say they have learnt lessons for the second airdrop

The team behind the Optimism scaling solution have reflected on yesterday’s “turbulent launch” that saw airdrop claimants experience failed or delayed transactions as they tried to get their hands on their allocations. The resultant rush caused the mainnet to experience degraded performance for roughly three and a half hours, with archive node functionality still temporarily limited until the network load subsides. Airdrop claimants are still reporting that they can’t get their tokens, which launched on exchanges overnight.

Optimism Network Overloaded Pre-airdrop

Optimism is one of the most prominent Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solutions, using Optimistic Rollups to process a high amount of transactions separate to the Ethereum blockchain. Its developers claim that it can operate smart contracts 5-500 times cheaper than Ethereum’s main chain, which has led to many projects deploying on it already.

The Optimism airdrop was announced at the end of April and the first tranche of 250,000 was available yesterday, but even before the drop was officially announced the network was under strain. with developers reflecting that they erred in making the contract unpausable. This allowed claimants to rush through the gates at once, with Optimism stating in a tweet thread posted overnight that once the claim doors had been opened “we had no way to stop them”.

Lessons Learnt for Second Drop

The team then moved to “massively expand the resources available” to try and cope with demand ahead of the airdrop launch the influx, a process which took hours of continuous work, until they finally achieved stability. Optimism admitted that it “significantly underestimated the amount of expected load”, which resulted in the network being overloaded once the claims were open, causing delayed and failed transactions. Indeed, hours later some still cannot claim their OP tokens.

Optimism said that there are “a lot of lessons we learned from this to apply to Drop #2”, and indeed something that touts itself as a scaling solution really needs to find a way to scale high network loads if it is to be taken seriously.