[DRAFT] [GF: Phase 1 Proposal] Optimism with Celestia for Data Availability

Project Name: Celestia Labs
Author Name: Aditi with feedback from Mustafa Al-Bassam, John Adler, Nick White, Yaz Khoury, Ismail Khoffi, and Zaki Manian
Number of OP tokens to claim: 300,000
L2 Recipient Address: [TBD]

Relevant Usage Metrics

Celestia is the marriage of Ethereum’s rollup centric roadmap, Cosmos’ sovereign interoperable zones, and shared security. Celestia is a consensus and data availability layer and is currently poised to be a leading ecosystem (check out the current testnet here).

Optimism Alignment

A Celestium is an improvement on a validium that uses Celestia instead of a centralized and unaccountable data availability committee (DAC). Celestiums are not technically Ethereum rollups as the data availability is off-chain to Ethereum, but are Ethereum sidechains with higher data availability guarantees, or the “optimistic” version of validiums.

Celestiums use Ethereum for settlement and dispute resolution, while using Celestia as a data availability layer. Optimistic and zero-knowledge sidechains can leverage a Celestium to decrease calldata costs and still maintain cryptoeconomic security guarantees.

Celestia Labs plans to deploy a Celestium Testnet, leveraging a fork of Optimism and the quantum gravity bridge, a Celestia-to-EVM message relay. This testnet will be focused on cutting edge R&D experimentation, starting with alternate data availability layers (referenced by the Optimism team here). No tokens/tokenomics are currently planned for the Celestium Testnet.

Celestia Labs is requesting 300,000 OP tokens. Builders are crucial to any ecosystem and as such, 50% (150,000 tokens) will be allocated to grants which will encourage the community to build on top of the testnet and add core features. The remaining 50% (150,000 tokens) will be allocated to fund core development of this work.

Proposal for Token Distribution

  1. How will OP tokens be distributed?
    If this governance proposal is passed, Celestia Labs will allocate 150,000 OP to ecosystem grants funding builders building on top of the testnet. Celestia Labs will retain the 150,000 OP as funding to build out the Celestium Testnet.

  2. How will this distribution incentivize usage and liquidity on Optimism?
    This will help bootstrap the growth of the Optimism ecosystem and allow for broader experimentation. This will also further contribute to core development and improvement on the upstream Optimism codebase which will ensure more usage as more builders test out new features and core improvements to Optimism.

  3. Why will incentivized users and liquidity remain after incentives dry up?
    Funding builders to add features on the testnet can bring in more users. Those users may become regular users of the Optimism ecosystem and may not leave easily (as seen with other ecosystems like Polygon). With the contributions brought by builders on the Optimism-fork, it can become an R&D-focused testnet for Optimism where core-features and improvements can be merged upstream to the Optimism codebase. As more core features are added, builders are incentivized to test out those new features with their smart contracts and dApps built on top of the Optimism-fork prior to deploying on Optimism mainnet.

  4. Over what period of time will the tokens be distributed?
    6-12 months.

  5. How much will your project match in co-incentives?
    Celestia Labs is willing to match 50% of the Optimism grant, as 50% of the asking amount will be distributed to ecosystem efforts. The co-incentive match will be based on the USD amount at the time $OP is granted. Celestia Labs will also fund the core developers working on this project beyond the 150,000 tokens allocated to core development.


Sounds like you want to kill optimism. Just to be clear here. If optimism or any L2 uses another data layer I wont support or use that network and instantly withdraw all of my funds from there. This proposal is bad.

The value of Optimism and Arbitrum lies in the fact that the data is on Ethereum thats why people use L2s in the first place. If they wouldnt care about this they could use Polygon or BSC.

I want my transactions to be secured by Ethereum or else all of this (rollup centric roadmap) has no meaning.


Celestia Labs is proposing to create a testnet chain (referred to in the main post - a Celestium Testnet), based off of a fork of Optimism - not the main Optimism chain.

I dont like any development into this direction. I want L2s to be 100% alligned with Ethereum. Giving you voting power by giving you more tokens is not something I can support. I dont see how this helps Optimism or Ethereum.


Interesting proposal. I don’t think that this would be possible until the Bedrock upgrade which I believe is at least several months away (no dates have been announced yet).

My main question: What do you see as the primary benefit(s) of carrying out this experiment?

I feel that your proposal is currently too vague about the exact benefit to the Optimism ecosystem. You state that:

This will also further contribute to core development and improvement on the upstream Optimism codebase which will ensure more usage as more builders test out new features and core improvements to Optimism

Do you have concrete examples of the sort of contributions you would imagine that this would bring?

Optimism’s tight ties to Ethereum are core to the Optimism culture, roadmap, and security model. It seems unlikely that the Optimism community would choose to use Celestia as the primary DA layer. Optimism is investing lots of time and energy into EIP-4844 which should reduce costs without needing to leave Ethereum as the primary DA.

1 Like

Thanks for the constructive questions! From Celestia Labs’ perspective, Bedrock supports multiple DA layers and this proposal is in line with Bedrock’s roadmap. As mentioned in a previous reply, this proposal is to fund a testnet chain - Celestia Labs is not suggesting any changes to Optimism mainnet.

Providing users more optionality in their choice of DA only improves the user experience and (potentially) the upstream Optimism codebase, as it gives users more choice over their security/cost tradeoffs.

Hi @adeets_22. Celestia is a project that (at least within the community I represent) is in our interest.

Nevertheless, governance funds allocated for phase 1 says

any project on Optimism can submit a forum proposal to request any amount of OP tokens. The proposal must include a plan for how the tokens will incentivize growth on Optimism.

In this sense, If Celestia devs/contributors wants to deploy a Optimism fork, I can made some open questions (for all):

Is this (Celestium idea) truly part of Optimism ecosystem? or would we be just supporting a potential new ‘not at all/semi-L2’ chain?

Is this responsibility of the OP governance about fund beyond proposals that will surely not impact the primary network?.

Ethos on Optimism is closely aligned to Ethereum in many ways. By example, it’s different from funding Ethereum DA roadmap initiative, because it positively impacts the Optimism mainnet at some point in the future.

At the moment I don’t see that this proposal helps to grow the Optimism ecosystem in terms of greater use of the primary network (first goal in our vision).

I expect this discussion is going to go on for a long while.


Do you have the long-term intention to create a production fork of the Optimism codebase that uses Celestia as the DA layer? Or is this strictly meant to be a testnet?

Supporting alternative DA layers and giving users the choice (ala volition - though I don’t know how it’ll work with fraud proofs) may be a worthwhile feature in the long term - if, and very, very big if, there’s significant demand for this blockchain stuff. However, I agree that in the here and now, focusing on EIP-4844, as the Optimism team is doing, is the best approach.

Regarding the proposal, I do not believe it fits the stated goals for Phase 1, and does not directly incentivize growth to Optimism & Optimism dApps immediately. However, I’ll be happy to consider it for RPGF or a future Phase that’s more aligned with goals for building out such infrastructure.


From Celestia Labs’ perspective, this proposal is for creating a testnet without tokenomics. However, it’s possible that developers could use the codebase to create a production chain, who may choose to incorporate $OP incentives as part of their tokenomics. The testnet ideally benefits the development of Optimism as a broader codebase for R&D experimentation and bringing people into the Optimism ecosystem

really constructive feedback, thank you!

Although I think R&D should always be encouraged, and every DA research (if open source) will probably also help upon improving Ethereum’s L1 DA, I don’t think the incentives align correctly here.

It kinda feels like a proposal to fund:

  • Possible competition.
  • Private parties where all possible profit in the future won’t go directly to Optimism ecosystem.

In this sense, this seems more appropriate for a EF grant. Or, there might be a time when this comes of as a retro-active public good.

There might be an iteration of this proposal that I’m not thinking right now, that might align better. But that would mean Celestias lab to give up on some of their reward in this deal.


I think that realistically this proposal is maybe at least 6-12 months too early to be executed on effectively. I’m hoping that the Optimism codebase can eventually turn into a base platform for other optimistic rollups and this proposal aligns with that idea. From a practical standpoint though, Bedrock, Cannon, and EIP-4844 should be the primary focus right now and finishing these tasks will make it much easier to plug in alternative DA layers (I assume that implementing EIP-4844 will be a good test for Bedrock’s modularity).

So for right now my opinion here is that this proposal too early right now but is worth considering at a later point in time and should probably be re-proposed in 6-12 months when Bedrock and EIP-4844 are live.


Nothing new to add from side, just want to echo others opinion by saying that this proposal is no aligned with our Phase1 funding goal(on-boarding user and liquidity).

1 Like

If Optimism starts using something else other than ETH, it will no longer be an Ethereum L2, but a hybrid,

Suddenly on top of running an Ethereum node + optimism node I will also have to run a Celestium node to use it properly.

Agreed with this - the pragmatic opportunity is to expedite & focus on EIP-4844 now, and then revisit in ~12 months or so when hopefully 4844, Bedrock, Celestia & other DA layers are live. EIP-4844 development should absolutely be a top target for RPGF.


The replication of optimism’s rollup tech is not dissimilar to the proliferation of the EVM. This has brought added utility to the Ethereum ecosystem through network effects not limited to dev tooling, familiar UI, and proven security.

While a grant of tokens does not make sense given that the incentives do not lead to more usage of Optimism on Ethereum, I think it would be smart of the Optimism community to support the initiative to launch an Optimism-based celestium.

1 Like

the beauty of optimism is data on eth but yes for test purpose you can have a testnet.

Sure, but I would leave it at the tbh…

A little early for poaching.

AND sure, no problem.
XOR hard against

not because of tribal reasons, but spreading $OP funds too widely will prevent us growing. eventually we’ll need to fund public goods at a wider level. I think that’s a great time to start considering funding celestia in a way that DOESN’T devalue optimism.

if we can mirror the settlement somehow, i have no problem with using celestia as a redundancy. may the best L1 settlement chain win. I wouldn’t support any proposal encouraging a switch off ethereum though

certainly not at this stage.

this feels like asking a competitor for funding. the value accrual seems to flow in the wrong direction. open to being wrong. thank you for having the courage to ask and explain