About L3s and the Superchain


I represent Routescan, the block explorer platform that built the Superscan, the unified block explorer for the Superchain. We were recently awarded with a grant from the Optimism Foundation for the RetroPGF Round 3, and decided to keep indexing every OP Chain for free to keep our commitment to the OP ecosystem.


TL;DR: We don’t always know, of all the chains launching that are built on the OP Stack, which ones are actually adhering to the Law of Chains, hence are in the Superchain. This is becoming especially hard with new L3s comings.

As stated in the Law of Chain, an OP Chain needs to:

  • Facilitate upgrades to an Ethereum bridge implementation that’s identical to the implementation shared by all other OP Chains
  • Run a multi-sequencer OP Stack sequencing scheme (eventually, I’ll add)
  • Accrue network network fee revenue to Optimism to fund public goods

I would also like to quote the following paragraph:

Modularity and evolution. The modular design of the OP Stack opens the door for alternate L2 constructions in the future, which may make known tradeoffs (e.g., between decentralization and performance, or between composability and economic autonomy) that establish fundamentally different User expectations. For example:

  • A future L2 construction might move data availability off of L1 to reduce fees, but decrease fundamental censorship resistances properties.
  • A future L2 construction might include a decentralized sequencing network which facilitates cross-OP Chain composability, but decreases the ability of individual OP Chains to have independently configured economic systems.

I don’t see any mention of L3s, and every mention about the tech stack alignment is referring to settling on Ethereum.

I know that the Law of Chains is just v0.1, but things are moving rapidly, and it would be instrumental to know if L3s are in the Superchain or not. Opening to L3s brings a lot of general issues, because:

  • for many L3s, it may not make sense to run a decentralized sequencing scheme, because revenue may not be that high and the chain may just be an appchain
  • I would assume than an L3 does not implement a canonical bridge to Ethereum, but to the L2 it settles onto.

More specifically, I think we should be able to answer these questions:

  1. Are L3s that settle on OP Chains still OP Chains?
  2. Are L3s that post data on OP Chains still OP Chains?
  3. Are L3s that settle on non-OP Chains but post data on OP Chains still OP Chains?
  4. Are L3s that post data on non-OP Chains but settle on OP Chains still OP Chains?
  5. Are L3s that run a single-sequencing scheme still OP Chains?
  6. Are L3s that run a single-sequencing scheme, but settle and post data on OP Chains, still OP Chains?
  7. Are L3s that run non-EVM VMs but follow 1. and 2. still OP Chains?

Modularity, hype cycles and narrative cycles can bring very weird modular chains to life. Imagine a new blockchain that launches with this “modular approach”:

OP Stack L3 settling on Arbitrum Orbit, with Celestia underneath, running a decentralized sequencing scheme provided by Espresso, each validator being an AVS with stake provided by EigenLayer with ether.fi-staked eETH tokens.

How do we identify an OP Chain in this ‘modular mess’?


I like this topic & am interested in this discussion.

I came across the word ‘modular mess’ for the first time but can completely relate to it.

I would attempt to say that for Superchain, based on all that I read across the blogs, repo & forum OP Mainnet, Base, Lyra, Zora & Mode are the current chains which follows the Law of Chain v0.1.

Currently no new chain uses the communicatoin with the Collective but the fundamental criteria is contribution of the Sequencer Fee Revenue.


Thank you for the interest @Chain_L .

No one of these chains that you mention is an L3, and in fact we do index those (except for Lyra that will be coming in the next few weeks), but the issue here is that we don’t know if the Law of Chains applies to L3s as well.

Does it? If not, why? If so, how?

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Hey, interesting topic! I’d like to share a few thoughts.

My mental model regarding L2s and L3s, especially in the case of Optimism, is that the ultimate objective is to have various L2s closely “integrated” with each other acting as a single logical chain for the end user, thereby creating what is referred to as the Superchain. For this to happen, I believe it’s necessary for these L2s to share the same sequencer + the same bridge contract on Ethereum L1 and to adopt the Law of Chains.

My understanding is that OP Chains are essentially execution layers, so I don’t think L3s would be in a position to post data into an OP Chain but are more likely to do so on a dedicated Data Availability Layer, such as Celestia or EigenDA.

Therefore, I don’t think that even if an L3 were to settle to an OP Chain, it would make it part of the Superchain. As mentioned, I believe the Superchain concept revolves around L2s sharing specific stack components and adopting the Law of Chains framework.

Simultaneously, I anticipate more exploration at the L3 level involving different Virtual Machines (such as Rust-based VMs, Parallel VMs, MoveVMs), choices regarding data availability (like EigenDA, Celestia, Avail), and aspects of centralization.

Hope that makes sense and always happy to chat : )


Thank you for these insights @sam.ng !

So it seems that Gold chain is an L3 built on top of Base, and I don’t see it posting data on another DA.

I would be agreeing with you, but just in part: let’s say that a new L3 settles on an L2 like Base or Mode. They are paying blockspace to that L2, and that L2 is going to take that revenue (from the blockspace paid by the L3) to share Sequencer Fee Revenue with Optimism.

So maybe they’re not adhering openly to the Law of Chains, but they are:

  • contributing to Sequencer Fee Revenue
  • being secured by the Superchain sequencer set

All of this indirectly, but still.

This is the dilemma I’m facing :slight_smile:


I think Law of Chains v0.1 was conceived in Jul 2023 & back then discussing L3 was not the right path, so the next version may encompass L3s.

For now, I suppose Superchain can be defined only as quoted above in Law of Chainsv0.1


You’re right, I guess this is the answer for now: L3s are not currently included in the Superchain, and more research is needed to understand the criteria for inclusion.

Then I guess for the future we can start from these questions:

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By any chance, can you share link to their doc?

Right, how about the bridging experience? Does it aim to be seamless, similar to the experience between all the other L2s that will be part of the Superchain, thus acting as a single logical chain? How is it?

Hey y’all, loving these great questions and acknowledging the need for clarification here. We have been putting cycles into the right way to lay out a breakdown more cleanly. Hoping to clarify this as we head into Season 6!


There’s just the website… https://www.gold.dev/

yes, there’s a canonical bridge from Base L2 to Gold L3. But you can’t bridge from Gold to other OP Chains, for example. This is the difference that I’m talking about.

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Yeah, hope this all gets sorted out in Season 6, but I think this a good start - just talking about it.