How to Use Optimism | A User’s Manual

HOW TO USE OPTIMISM

Are you ready to utilize the full power of the Ethereum network but at a fraction of the price? If the answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place.

This is a user’s manual for how to get started with Optimism, one of Ethereum’s most popular layer 2 (L2) scaling solutions.

This manual covers the following:

  • A brief overview of Optimism
  • How to get started with Optimism in 3 simple steps
  • Recommended dApps and additional resources

What is Optimism

Optimism is an L2 optimistic rollup for Ethereum. It was launched in December of 2021 and quickly became one of Ethereum’s largest L2 scaling solutions.

Using Optimism feels exactly like using Ethereum. DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, Web3 tools – Optimism has it all. The only difference is Optimism users pay a fraction of the gas fees compared to Ethereum mainnet users. And how much can you actually save? Well according to L2Fees, Optimism users generally save somewhere between 85% to 95% per transaction!

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

Concerning more technical aspects of the protocol, Optimism is an L2 built “on top” of Ethereum for the purpose of improving Ethereum’s scalability and efficiency. Optimism executes transactions on its own network infrastructure, and then batches over compressed transaction data to Ethereum for ultimate validation.

Optimism is “optimistic” because the protocol assumes that the executed transactions on its network are valid and correct. This optimism makes the protocol more efficient, which translates to more savings for you! However, Optimism isn’t a fraud free-for-all! Anyone can dispute a transaction during a “challenged period” window. When a dispute is submitted, the protocol kicks into action and determines the veracity of the dispute.

Now you know the basics. So let’s get you running on Optimism so that you can start saving bigly on your gas fees!

How to Use Optimism: Getting Started in 3 Simple Steps

Getting started with Optimism takes three quick steps:

  1. Get a Web3 wallet.
  2. Add the Optimism Network to your wallet.
  3. Deposit ETH into your wallet’s Optimism Network section.

Directly below is a breakdown of the steps. Here’s the web-links you’ll need during this process:

Step #1: Get a Web3 Wallet

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a quality Web3 wallet to start using Optimism.

I recommend MetaMask. https://metamask.io. Other wallets that Optimism recommends can be found in the Optimism Getting Started Guide, https://app.optimism.io/get-started. Remember, these are non-custodial wallets, so be sure to practice basic security hygiene when using these.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

Step #2: Add the Optimism Network to your Wallet

Next, you’ll need to add the Optimism network to your Web3 wallet (skip this step if you’re using a Coinbase or Rainbow wallet, because Optimism is already enabled by default). The easiest way to do this is the following:

A. In your browser, unlock your Web3 wallet.

B. Go to the Optimism Getting Started Guide, https://app.optimism.io/get-started. Click “Read more” under step 2.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

C. Under “Connect Automatically”, click “Add Optimism network to wallet”.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

D. Select your wallet when the prompt appears.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

E. Open your wallet, and click “Next” and “Connect” when the prompts appear.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024
How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

You’re done! Optimism is now connected to your Web3 wallet.

Step #3: Deposit ETH into your Wallet’s Optimism Network Section

Next, you’ll need to deposit some ETH into your wallet’s Optimism Network section (ETH is used for transaction fees on the network). The easiest way to do this is to send some ETH to your Web3 wallet, and then bridge it over to Optimism. So, after you’ve got some ETH in your Web3 wallet:

A. Go to the official Optimism bridge. https://app.optimism.io/bridge/deposit.

B. Select how much ETH you want to bridge over, click “Review Deposit”, and send it over. ETH will soon appear under the Optimism Network section of your wallet.

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Boom! You’re done. You’re ready to use any dApp on Optimism to enjoy some serious gas fee savings.

Possible Troubleshooting Tip: Switching to the Optimism Section of your Wallet

After you’ve completed the three steps above, you might be wondering how to get to the Optimism section of your wallet. To go there:

A. Simply open your wallet, and click the drop down menu at the top right where it says “Ethereum Mainnet”.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

B. Then select “Optimism” in the drop-down menu. Your wallet will automatically switch over to the Optimism network section. If you don’t see Optimism as a possible selection, click “Add network”, then select Optimism from the choices. It will automatically populate in your wallet.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

If you’re just starting out with Optimism, below are some recommended dApps and additional resources that you might want to check out first.

With regards to dApps, here’s Optimism’s official resource for an overview of dApps and integrations:

OpenSea

OpenSea, the premier NFT trading marketplace, is on Optimism.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

SushiSwap

SushiSwap, an excellent decentralized trading platform, is live on Optimism.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

Synthetix

Synthetix, the powerful DEX and synthetic asset protocol, is on Optimism.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

Uniswap

Uniswap, the popular decentralized trading protocol, is live on Optimism as well.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

Additional Resources

Below are two additional resources that will be helpful when using Optimism.

Optimism Block Explorer

Track transactions on Optimism and Ethereum.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

L2BEAT

Check the total value locked of all L2s on Ethereum and see how Optimism compares with the competition.

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

Final Thoughts

Now you know what Optimism is, how to get started, the best dApps to try first, and some quality metric resources for the protocol.

Go now, and enjoy the full power of Ethereum at a fraction of the fees!

How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024

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How to Use Optimism | A User's Manual - - 2024
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