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Optimism Leads New Crypto Wave as it Tops Developer Activity Table, Thanks to Ethereum Dencun Upgrade

Last Updated April 25, 2024 12:23 PM
Eddie Mitchell
Last Updated April 25, 2024 12:23 PM
By Eddie Mitchell
Verified by Peter Henn
Key Takeaways
  • Optimism developer activity is soaring to new heights following Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade.
  • Layer-2’s building on Ethereum are increasingly leveraging Optimism for its efficiency.
  • Optimism’s net flows have also surpassed Solana, Arbitrum, and Ethereum itself.

Ethereum’s efficiency-focused Layer-2 (L2), Optimism, is now the leading protocol by developer activity and 7-day net flows following Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade. This move comes less than two years after the platform’s launch.

It has beaten Cardano, Polkadot, and other reputable chains that have long-dominated the market. But can Ethereum’s upgrades continue to boost Optimism’s capabilities and vice versa?

Optimism Dev Activity Peaks

Developer activity on Ethereum’s L2 scaling platform, Optimism, has pushed it to the top of the rankings according to the latest data from Santiment.

Optimism is a comparatively young product. Within a couple of years since launching its Open Mainnet, it’s overtaken the likes of Polkadot, Kusama, Hedera, and even Cardano. According to DeFi Llama , the number of core developers and Github commits has now begun to skyrocket, whilst total-value-locked (TVL) continues a steady and healthy climb.

(Source: Defi Llama)

The Optimism protocol was already proving itself popular among L2s, as evidenced by the 300,000+ transactions a day  processed on its mainnet throughout 2023, and the spike of activity on March 2024 following Ethereum’s “Dencun” upgrade.

Post-Dencun Effect?

L2 platforms on Ethereum, which were struggling under the weight of the network’s bottlenecks, received a huge boost in efficiency following the Dencun (EIP-4844) upgrade.

Among Dencun’s numerous upgrades were new ways of processing transactions and handling data. These were proto-danksharding and “Data Blobs”.

With these in place, gas fees for L2 transactions shrunk considerably. According to Dune , the gas volumes consumed to settle/proof L2 activity on Ethereum fell off a cliff following the upgrade.

Considering Optimism is an L2 designed to help other projects scale on Ethereum, it was already markedly cheaper than other protocols. The Dencun upgrade amplified that efficiency even further, which is a huge draw for developers.

An Optimistic Future

With the Bitcoin Halving and Dencun upgrade behind us, investors are beginning to feel confident in the markets once more. Notably, Optimism is also leading the charge in terms of venture capital funding having secured $89 million in a recent private token sale.

Furthermore, the latest seven-day net flow data shows that Optimism is consuming a large portion of Ethereum’s net flows.


If Ethereum continues to focus on increasing its efficiency, Optimism may continue to dominate L2 developer activity.

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