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Optimism's Fault-Proof System

Nov 1, 2023
4 min read

This blog post will cover:

  • Understanding the new fault-proof system
  • What is a dispute game?
  • How does this upgrade increase OP’s decentralization?

In October 2023, Optimism, an Ethereum scaling crypto project, revealed its "fault-proof system alpha." This technology, currently accessible on the OP’s testnet Goerli, includes several components; it aims to make the network safer and eliminate the risk of centralization. 

Today, we will figure out how the new system functions and why it has significance for the network.

Understanding the new fault-proof system

Optimism's fault-proof system consists of several parts: a fault-proof program, a fault-proof virtual machine, and a dispute game protocol. It serves as a protective shield for the network, guarding it against potential malicious activities and errors. Given the irreversible nature of blockchain transactions, it becomes vital to prevent the processing of unauthorized or just wrong operations.

Optimism employs a technique called optimistic rollups, which operates by assuming that the operations are accurate unless there is proof that the opposite is true. However, this approach heavily relies on Ethereum's existing security measures, effectively tethering it to the security provided by layer-1 (L1). This reliance on L1 implies that Optimism's journey toward full decentralization is incomplete.

The new system then functions as a critical set of security measures within the network, guaranteeing that unauthorized transactions do not go unnoticed.

What is a dispute game?

As we have mentioned above, the dispute game is one of the new system’s components. OP users have the option to partake in finding suspicious transactions and users. A critical feature, referred to as the "bond," is slated for introduction before the launch on the mainnet. This bond essentially functions as a security deposit that transaction processors, known as sequencers, have to provide. In case there is unwelcome activity noticed, the bond is used as an incentive for the verifiers.

Participating in this detective work is available to all network participants, allowing a number of clients and fault proofs to run simultaneously. This inclusivity is vital to making sure that the users thoroughly scrutinize the system's design to make it more secure.

How does this upgrade increase OP’s decentralization?

The system upgrade is crucial in moving towards a more decentralized version of the Optimism network. It contributes to making the data transition between the layers much smoother. The users will have an opportunity to withdraw their crypto into the Optimism layer and deposit them in a safer error-proof way.

Many L2 crypto projects rely on trusted parties with upgrade keys, which might be considered a centralization risk. Optimism's vision is to accelerate decentralization by introducing several fault-proof measures.

OP is working on remaining transparent in this process and getting its community involved. During the launch, the team acknowledged that the upgrade is not mainnet-ready as of now, and some aspects need improvement. At the same time, the system is open-source, and the team is going to launch a bug bounty program to encourage people to search for and report any vulnerabilities.

To sum up, Optimism's fault-proof system alpha can be seen as an important step towards improving the network. It introduces mechanisms to safeguard the project against exploits and errors, encourages community participation, as well as opens the door to a more decentralized future for other L2 projects.

SimpleSwap reminds you that this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advice. All purchases and cryptocurrency investments are your own responsibility.

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