Onboarding OP Chains to Optimism Governance

Welcoming More OP Chains to the Collective

Last year, Optimism launched the Superchain, marking the transition from an ecosystem built around a single chain to a Collective aligned towards a shared Superchain vision. The first step towards this vision was welcoming Base to the Collective. In addition to being an important contributor to the Collective, Base has set the standard for active governance participation among OP Chains.

In 2024, we plan to bring 5-10 more OP Chains into the Collective increasing the number of high impact contributors building the Superchain. For example, Frax is an early committer to the Superchain vision and we expect to welcome many more such OP Chains over the coming months.

Onboarding OP Chains to Governance

Increasing the number of OP Chains not only benefits the ecosystem but further decentralizes the core protocol and governance system by adding additional, high impact contributors. Importantly, OP Chains provide particularly relevant insight into Protocol Upgrades, a core responsibility of the Token House. Given the design of Optimism governance, which supports capture resistance and effective resource allocation, the addition of OP Chains should strengthen the overall governance system.

To support this goal, it is likely that new OP Chains receive grants from the Ecosystem Fund to incentivize long term alignment with the ecosystem and active participation in Optimism Governance. It’s important that OP Chains have skin in the game and participate in the governance system to which they’ve entrusted the future of their chains. That said, an important property of our governance system is that no one stakeholder gain unilateral decision-making power. As with Base, the Foundation is taking a thoughtful approach to aligning incentives as we facilitate the onboarding of OP Chains as active participants in Optimism Governance.

Encouraging Aligned Participation

Some proactive measures include:

  • Directing initial governance participation to occur through the Chain Delegation Program, which includes important accountability mechanisms and will help new Chains build a track record of participation before unlocking voting power through their grants. A proposal to adjust and/or extend this program to better support this goal may be put forward to the Token House in the upcoming Reflection Period.
  • Voting caps, based on % of votable supply, may be applied when appropriate. These caps may consider planned voting participation and delegation.
  • The Foundation will recommend OP Chains delegate all or a portion of their voting power.
  • In instances in which an OP Chain plans to vote directly, the Foundation will provide onboarding support to promote active participation.
  • Base serves as an example of what active participation can look like. All OP Chains will be strongly encouraged to take community feedback, attend community calls, and publish voting rationale and/or delegation frameworks.

As always, it’s important to ensure all governance participants remain accountable to the Collective.

  • All OP Chain delegates should uphold Optimist Expectations and will be subject to the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement, along with all other voters
  • The Anticapture Commission was established in Season 5 to monitor the Token House for signs of capture and alert the Citizens’ House, the ultimate check on imbalances in the Token House, to any concerns
  • Token grants do not confer any rights to participate in the Citizens’ House

2024 will be an exciting year for the Superchain and Optimism governance! Onboarding additional OP Chains should accelerate ecosystem growth and strengthen our governance system. It remains very important that Optimism governance continues to represent a broad range of relevant stakeholders. As always, the Foundation remains open to suggestions related to the distribution of voting power and broad distribution of delegation.