If you have ever traded NFTs on Ethereum before, you know that gas fees can be quite expensive, often costing users $20-30 per transaction… and in some cases, much, much more.
THE GOOD NEWS is that once you know how send ETH or buy/sell an NFT on Eth Mainnet, switching over to Optimism is incredibly easy.
Save gas by using Optimism Layer 2 instead of Ethereum Mainnet
In this post, we’re going to compare typical transaction fees on the Ethereum Blockchain, and compare it to the Optimism Layer 2 network.
How Much are Ethereum main-net fees?
Most of us on Mainnet use Opensea or like X2Y2.io
Ethereum Mainnet fees are an order of magnitude (if not more) higher than on Optimism.
As you can see from the summary chart below, in these seven transactions alone, I would have saved over $257 if all of the transactions had occurred on Optimism instead of Mainnet ethereum.
Why are people paying such high gas fees when they don’t have to?
There are a few reasons people spend a lot of money on gas fees to use Ethereum Mainnet.
For one, Mainnet Ethereum is where the largest number of users live. Network effects incentivize users to stay on Layer 1 Eth, despite the high gas fees.
SOLUTION: What are the best alternatives to Ethereum Mainnet?
When you decide to purchase an NFT from a collection that leverages a layer 2 network like Optimism or Arbitrum, gas fees are going to be lower.
If you’re a developer / founder, you can even launch your own NFT collection on one of these networks.
My friend Fractal Visions has launched a different NFT project across a variety of networks — its great to see a founder like Fractal with a presence across so many different blockchains!
Fractal calls this “Omni Chain NFTs”, which I think is a great term for it.
What is Optimism Layer 2?
Optimism is a network runs on top of Ethereum, but compresses data so that smart contracts and transactions are cheaper and more efficient.
This means means you will end up paying lower gas fees, while your transactions are still secured by Ethereum.
Vitalik Buterin, who is the founder of Ethereum, has discussed Optimism and Optimistic rollups. in his blog post, from which an excerpt is below.
Vitalik, let me remind you, dropped out of college after receiving the Thiel Fellowship to build Ethereum, went on to successfully found Ethereum, was recently on the cover of Time Magazine, among many other impressive achievements.
The fact that he received the Thiel Fellowship is a big deal… in getting the Thiel Fellowship, he’s basically backed by Peter Thiel who founded Paypal… and given the Paypal Mafia, Vitalik has OG internet entrepreneurs behind him.
In his blog post, Vitalik goes on to say that “in the short term, optimistic rollups are likely to win out for general-purpose EVM computation”.
More reasons that the Optimism Network deserves credit
OpenSea has listed the Optimism Goerli Testnet on their testnets website, which is certainly exciting to see.
Its hard to say what exactly this means for the network, however, it looks like OpenSea could be exploring some sort of future functionality with Optimism.
Getting Started on Optimism
If you’ve been using Ethereum Mainnet to buy and sell NFTs for a while, getting started with Optimism will be extremely easy.
The best part? You don’t need to switch wallets!
Optimism Network is embedded within Metamask already.
Unlike moving over to Solana or Tezos where you need to use a different wallet provider, with OP, its already built on top of Ethereum, so any Ethereum wallet is usually compatible.
How to move funds from Layer 1 Ethereum to Layer 2
Moving funds from Eth Mainnet to Optimism is easy and you can bridge with HOP protocol for less than a dollar.
HOP provides an extremely easy and intuitive user experience to move ETH from Layer 1 to Layer 2.
Top NFT Marketplace on Optimism – Quix
Let’s dig into the NFT marketplace on Optimism where you can buy NFTs. Now called Quix, the company formerly called Quixotic recently changed its name to shorter, more elegant, “Quix”.
Mark, the founder of Quix, joined the Web3 Experience podcast for episode 2. Listen here.
Of every NFT Marktplace I’ve used, I have to say, I think Quix provides the most intuitive and user friendly user experience.
According to DappRadar, Quix is the number 1 marketplace app on the Optimism network.
DappRadar has a few charts about Quix that are helpful to understand the growth of the platform and how usage, volume, and transactions have changed over the last few weeks / months.
To use Quix, simply connect wallet the same way you would for any other dapp, and make sure you’re on the Optimism Network.
To learn how I use Quix to browse, search, and filter NFT collections and dig into statistics, please find the video below.
Overview of Quix starts at timestamp 11:28.
I really like how easy Quix makes it to stack filters within an NFT collection. This enables users to search for exactly what they want.
The ability to have multiple filter criteria selected at the same time helps you get super specific when shopping for NFTs.
Quix enables people to create and launch their own NFTs on Optimism via the Quix Launchpad.
This can be done by non-technical users that don’t know how to code or write smart contracts.
The launchpad currently supports free to mint NFTs.
Quix uses the Seaport Protocol, which is OpenSea’s back-end for NFT transactions.
The good news is that Seaport is an open-source and decentralized protocol to make buying and selling NFTs easier.
It certainly makes sense to re-use infrastructure components to avoid reinventing the wheel. I think its a great strategy for Quix to leverage Seaport.
L1 to L2 NFT Bridge
There have been talks about an NFT bridge that will enable anyone to bridge an NFT from Ethereum mainnet over to Optimism Layer 2.
Given that interoperability and composability are inherent to the web3 ethos, its certainly exciting to think about an NFT bridge across L1 to L2.
Making NFTs “Omni Chain” would not only mean that the ecosystem would be more inviting to new users, but also that it would expand to users that would never come over to it in the first place, because everything seamlessly works with other networks.
According to Dre in the Quix Discord, it looks like as of 8/17 the L1 – L2 NFT bridge is still in development.
How would an L1 to L2 NFT bridge work?
Bridging NFTs from a layer 1 to a layer 2 would have a bit of an interesting architecture.
According the my friend FourPoops, “you lock up value on L1 in a random contract address and create a copy of that value on L2”.
Essentially, the blockchain would lock the contract on L1, and create a transferrable contract on L2, the owner of which would be the only one who has the ability to unlock the Layer 1 NFT.
FourPoops goes on to say that, “if we think about the real world art scene, people lock up the real assets in a vault and only display/transfer copies”…
This is a great comparison between blockchain based art and real-world art. And FourPoops is right.
In traditional art, there are these areas called “freeports”, which enable art collectors to place artworks in tax-free holdings vaults where the contractual ownership of the art can be transferred, while the piece of art itself remains in this tax-free zone.
According to Artsy, freeports provide collectors with “the temporary exemption of taxes for an unlimited quantity of time”.
GitHub post on L1 to Optimism NFT bridge
According to the link below, some people from the Optimism community have been discussing the idea of an NFT bridge from layer 1 to optimism since as early as April of 2022.
However, it appears as thought this particular Github repository was closed out. My theory is that it was closed by the Optimism ecosystem because they were aware of the work that Quix was doing to build their own NFT bridge, and the two teams did not want to duplicate efforts.
Ultimately, it seems like a great time to launch a bridge. Layer 1 transactions are still quite low, so users can bridge over their assets before gas gets high again.
This would enable us to move our assets from L1 over during a time when mainnet fees are low, and then house them on Layer 2 where they can later be transferred as needed for much much lower gas fees.
Listen to the podcast
If you want to learn more about crypto, NFTs, dapps, DAOs and more, please check out the latest episode of The Web3 Experience podcast: