Before there was Optimism, there was Plasma Group: a small and dedicated team of Ethereum scalability researchers. Faced with the challenge of Ethereum's urgent need to scale, they pursued the possibilities of plasma chains. The research they conducted was a public good, but it wasn't something they could monetize.
In 2019, the Plasma Group joined Gitcoin Grants Round 1, seeking support to fund their groundbreaking work.
"Those donations helped keep us going, but it’s not just the money: it’s a sense of community and a show of support. The validation that we received from seeing so many members of the community contribute was just as valuable as the money they gave."
What they discovered was a community that believed in their vision and was eager to help them realize it. They found other people who believed in the same future as them urging them to succeed.
"We’re not sure who you are, but every time you all tweet about our work, donate to our Gitcoin Grant, or encourage others to support us, the whole team gathers around one screen to read your words and we attack the day with renewed vigor."
Since then, the Plasma Group evolved into the Optimism Collective and went on to build one of the most successful Layer 2 scaling solutions for Ethereum. The work they did was technically challenging but their relentless determination and expertise in scalability research allowed them to create a highly efficient, secure, and user-friendly Layer 2 solution.
By massively lowering fees, Optimism not only helps reduce network congestion and transaction costs but also fosters a more inclusive and accessible decentralized platform for users around the world. As Ethereum continues to grow, the Optimism Collective's pioneering work remains instrumental in ensuring a sustainable, scalable, and robust future for the blockchain.
The Optimism Collective has also come back to repeatedly contribute to the Gitcoin matching pool and help other projects thrive. Most recently, with their retroactive public goods funding round, they gave away 10M OP or $25 Million, cementing their emphasis on public goods.