In an announcement on Aug 31, Offchain Labs declared the highly anticipated Ethereum Layer 2 platform live on the public mainnet.
The company has been developing the optimistic rollup network over the past few years and launched a beta phase for developers in May. Arbitrum is the first true Layer 2 solution with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility at the code level.
The platform uses optimistic rollups which changes the consensus principle from zero-knowledge proofs. Instead of verifying each transaction, the network assumes that all are correct, making users intervene only if they see an incorrect transaction.
The announcement added that since initial deployment in May, over 400 teams have been sent mainnet access instructions and there have been dozens of teams complete their deployments.
Offchain Labs raises big bucks for L2
Offchain Labs raised $20 million in a Series A funding round in April and followed up with a $100 million Series B in August led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other participants included Polychain Capital, Ribbit Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Pantera Capital, Alameda Research, and Mark Cuban. The company is currently valued at $1.2 billion.
Offchain Labs stated that although it is removing the whitelist upon launch, not every project will choose to go live immediately, adding “we expect several projects to go live with us today and more projects to launch over the coming days and weeks.”
The announcement added that Arbitrum One is still in beta so there will be speed limits initially. In the post-launch period the network will roughly match the current capacity of Ethereum L1, it stated. Transaction speeds and performance will be ramped up over time as the system stabilizes.
“Transactions on Arbitrum will be significantly cheaper than Ethereum L1, but it’s important to note that if the network’s capacity is reached, then L2 can congest and fees can rise.”
The firm stated that it has also secured commitments for “several highly reputable validators to validate Arbitrum,” but failed to provide further details.
Gas fee insanity
The launch of Arbitrum One comes at a critical time as Ethereum transaction fees are skyrocketing again. Gas is the most expensive it has been since mid-May according to BitInfoCharts, with the average transaction costing a painful $37.
Smart contract operations and token swaps can cost as much as $60 according to Etherscan. Ethereum prices themselves are up 2% on the day to $3,500 at the time of press.