Want to jump straight to the answer? You can buy Optimism on Coinbase.
Despite being the leading blockchain for building decentralized applications (dApps), Ethereum is painfully slow, gas fees are too high when the network is busy, and it's expensive to store data on Ethereum. These serious issues must be addressed for the mainstream adoption of Ethereum as a sustainable and enjoyable platform to build applications. Layer 2 solutions –– projects that are designed to increase the speed and efficiency of specific blockchains –– solve these issues to a certain extent.
Optimism is one of the most highly anticipated Ethereum Layer 2 solutions that can support all of Ethereum’s decentralized applications (Dapps). Instead of running all data and computation on Ethereum’s network, Optimism puts all transaction data on-chain and runs computations off-chain, improving Ethereum’s transactions per second and decreasing transaction fees. In fact, tests have demonstrated a 143x decrease in transaction fees on Synthetix Exchange and up to 100x decrease on Uniswap. Moreover, given that transaction data still stays on Ethereum, Optimism does not sacrifice Ethereum’s security or decentralization for scalability.
The following article will walk you through how you can buy Optimism (OP) today.
What is Optimism?
Optimism is a Layer 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum network that supports all of Ethereum’s decentralized applications (Dapps). The purpose of Optimism is to achieve faster and cheaper Ethereum transactions while retaining security from the main Ethereum blockchain. This is achieved by settling transactions on another blockchain using advanced data compression techniques.
More specifically, Optimism uses a technique called optimistic roll ups to scale the Ethereum network. In this process, multiple transactions are ‘rolled up’ into one transaction, settled on another blockchain, with receipts fed back to the main Ethereum blockchain. As implied by the name, Optimistic rollups are a type of rollup that optimistically assumes all transactions in the rollup are valid until proven otherwise. This saves time, since individual transactions do not have to be submitted with direct proof of their validity.
OP is the ERC20 governance token for the Optimism network. The token is set to shift Optimism’s structure by fueling The Optimism Collective, a bicameral governance system for funding. A total of 231,000 addresses can claim 214 million OP tokens (5% of the total 4.29 billion supply) at an average of 860 tokens per address. The claim process officially began in May 2022.
Optimism is governed by a collaboration between the members of the Optimism Foundation and the Optimism Collective.
- The Optimism Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the Optimism Collective.
- The Optimism Collective is the core governing structure of the Optimism network. It is established as two co-equal chambers: the Token House and the Citizen’s House. Both houses are tasked with balancing short-term incentives with long-term vision in the pursuit of the Optimism Vision.
Brief History of Optimism
Optimism is a public benefit corporation that was founded in 2019 and based in New York. Jinglan Wang is the CEO and co-founder of Optimism. The team behind Optimism is trying to avoid plutocracy, enabling Optimism network participants to coordinate without falling prey to the pressures of centralization.
The Optimistic Rollup was first introduced in June 2019, with an EVM Compatible Testnet launched in September 2020. In 2021, Optimism released its Alpha Mainnet, later deploying its Open Mainnet in December 2021.
Optimism has raised $178.5 million at the time of writing, closing its last funding round on March 17th 2022 from a Series B round. Notable investors include Paradigm and Andreessen Horowitz.
How to Buy OP Token
OP is already listed and trading on many major exchanges such as Kucoin, Coinbase, Houbi Global and Gate.io. At the time of this writing, the Huobi Global exchange possesses the most liquidity. The liquidity is predominantly centered around the OP/USDT trading pair.
- Open an online account.
The first step in purchasing the OP token is to open an account on a crypto trading platform that supports the token. As of right now, Coinbase and Gate.io are the best trading platforms that offer the token. These are known for their security, ease of use and low fees.
To open an account, you need to sign up on the exchange using an email and password. You may have to provide some basic personal information to verify your account. You can then fund it by connecting your bank or your credit card.
- Buy or download a crypto wallet (optional).
While storing your crypto on a crypto trading platform is convenient and easy, it typically isn’t the safest and does not allow you to use tokens outside of the trading platform. Wallets solve these issues and provide individuals with full control over their funds.
- Make your purchase.
After your account is funded, use the search feature to find OP on the trading platform. Note, if you are using Kucoin you may need to head over to the spot trading platform first. Next, choose the amount of OP you want to purchase and execute the trade. From there, your OP tokens will be stored in your portfolio and can be accessed at any time.
Trade, Sell or Convert your OP
To sell your OP on Kucoin, you will need to sell it for Tether (USDT) or another stablecoin. This can be done on the spot trading platform. Alternatively, other platforms like Coinbase allow you to convert your OP directly into another cryptocurrency without having to use a spot trading platform. Note, it is important to be aware of the fact that OP cannot be converted to many other tokens at this point in time, as it is fairly new.
Coinbase only supports OP tokens on Optimism’s network. If you send OP to Ethereum, your funds may be lost.
Current Crypto Prices
The cryptocurrency market is inherently volatile, often fluctuating by large amounts within a short period of time. The extreme volatility results from prices that heavily rely on shared beliefs and market sentiment. Refer to the table below to see the latest prices:
Is Optimism a Good Investment?
Like all altcoins, OP is a high-risk investment, primarily driven by speculation. Whether you consider OP a good or bad investment will depend largely on how much your goals correlate with the vision of this particular Layer 2 scaling solution.
However, if you believe in the importance of Layer 2 solutions, Optimism could be a perfect choice. Optimism’s layer 2 is highly scalable, fast and low-cost compared to Ethereum’s slow and expensive Layer 1. If Optimism continues to execute its mission while successfully dealing with the challenges inherent to Optimistic Rollups, an investment into OP could prove to be a profitable endeavor.
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