cLabs Proposes Migrating Celo to an Ethereum L2 leveraging the OP Stack

Dear Celo Community,

We are excited to present our tech stack suggestion for Celo’s migration to an Ethereum L2 (“CEL2”) following our original proposal published to the Celo Forum last summer. The continued support from various stakeholders throughout this journey from our community and beyond has been invaluable, and we are grateful for everyone’s dedication to Celo and its ecosystem.

Over the last eight months, we have done a technical deep dive across four different ecosystems. This has been an exciting process, as we have gotten to know deeply the technical stacks and the communities across these ecosystems. The quality of teams and pace of innovation in the L2 space makes us even more excited about the future of Ethereum than we were at the outset.

We extend our deep appreciation to each tech stack team that shared their proposals with cLabs and the Celo community, and look forward to continuing to build Ethereum scaling solutions together in the months and years ahead.

cLabs Proposes Migrating Celo to an Ethereum L2 Leveraging the OP Stack

Among the many strong options that were presented, the most direct path forward to building CEL2 is to leverage the OP Stack. (x) OP Stack fulfills the criteria previously outlined in prior cLabs shareouts, and it also fits our needs in three key areas: (1) time to production, (2) Ethereum alignment, and (3) positive-sum growth.

Key Criteria

1 - Time to Production


Choosing OP Stack accelerates our ability to deploy an L2, and allows Celo developers and its community to contribute to and benefit from Optimism’s ecosystem of builders, users, and public goods infrastructure.

OP Strengths

  • The OP Stack largely provides what is needed to deploy an L2
  • Minimal changes are needed to support Celo unique features
  • It is battle-tested with multiple chains in production and compatible with other stacks, such as Polygon’s Type 1 ZK Solution

2 - Ethereum Alignment


The Ethereum community consistently demonstrates a capacity to realize ambitious objectives. Celo began with many innovations that were not yet available on Ethereum to address real-world use cases upon launch. Continuing to align closely with Ethereum’s roadmap enables us to integrate these features within a robust foundation. We believe the strongest position for the Celo community is to prioritize cohesion with Ethereum’s roadmap and the thriving Ethereum ecosystem.

OP Strengths

  • The OP stack maintains close proximity to the core of Ethereum
  • Notably, the Optimism team is committed to minimizing the differences between op-geth and the geth client itself

3 - Positive-Sum Platform Growth Opportunities


Network effects are essential for Celo’s ecosystem success. One of the biggest benefits of “returning home” to Ethereum is to allow for deeper collaboration with its communities, fostering mutual contribution and reception.

OP Strengths

  • In addition to taking new steps towards joining the Superchain, aligning with an increasingly popular technical standard reduces the friction for other positive-sum partnerships
  • cLabs would like to be a force for collaboration rather than competition in Web3.

Stack Selection Analysis

To reiterate, each project’s proposal presented its own strengths, uniqueness, and impressive technology. The below demonstrates how the OP Stack will fulfill the framework outlined to optimize core Celo features and community needs:

Ecosystem & Project Alignment

  • Positive-sum platform growth Optimism provides avenues through Optimism Collective and RPGF to grow the Celo community and ecosystem. At the same time contributing to the Celo ecosystem helps accelerate Optimism’s development and adoption.

  • Mission & values alignment Optimism aims to fund public goods and build towards a sustainable future for Ethereum

  • Ethereum community alignment (mentioned above)

  • Ongoing role for Celo node operator community As a modular stack, determining the ongoing role for the Celo node operator community can be figured out independently and plugged into the stack

Technical Considerations

  • Ethereum compatibility Full EVM compatibility based on geth; all dev tools considered are available

  • Increased security A step in the right direction for security, although not as advanced as some other contenders

  • Preserving 1- block finality, maintaining comparably low gas fees, and token-based gas currencies Can serve as the basis of a solution that keeps low gas fees, 1-block finality, and token-based gas currencies

  • Opportunity to inherit new features The OP Stack is becoming an open standard for the Ethereum L2 ecosystem

Migration Feasibility

  • The least amount of time and risk to production By far the fastest route to production; the simplicity of the solution also reduces risk

  • Simple migration, with minimal downtime Minimal downtime acceptable, avoids subtle incompatibilities; no breaking changes for deployed apps or contracts, and no migration action required by Celo end users. Also the simplest and lowest risk of the available options (although migration will not be simple)

  • Commitment to developer collaboration OP Stack’s public documentation is strong, with Optimism achieving a mature, impressive open source project. cLabs found little need to consult their dev team in process despite having regular access to their resources and team

Governance & Economic Alignment

  • Independence within Ethereum The OP Stack is free and open source software licensed under MIT; cLabs can permissionlessly modify as needed

  • Roadmap influence OP has invited cLabs to become core developers. Core developers can work on the OP Stack roadmap and directly submit upgrade proposals for governance vote.

  • Contribution incentives Optimism’s well-established Retro Public Goods Funding (RPGF) process is a strong public goods funding mechanism.

  • Tokenomic implications Selection of the OP Stack as a technical starting point for CEL2 does not have tokenomic implications; there is an ongoing workstream to join Superchain which may have implications.

  • Bridging Existing bridges can continue to be used. Native bridging will have a seven day unlock period. This is not ideal but we do not believe this will be a showstopper, as there are workarounds to build a good user experience

Next Steps & Potential Testnet Deployment ( Summer 2024)

Various community touchpoints for detailed feedback on this proposal will take place across several formats (see below). We also welcome all community members to share their thoughts and opinions in the comments section of this Forum post.

  • Friday, 4/26: Kuneco Community Call
  • Thursday, 5/2: L2-Focused Community Call (TBC, we propose 7am PT/2pm GMT)

Following this, cLabs will submit an onchain proposal for a community vote via Celo governance. Pending a successful community vote, cLabs will provide more precise timing for the launch of the CEL2 testnet in Summer 2024. We deeply appreciate your ongoing support and encourage you to stay tuned for additional updates as we progress on the path to CEL2!

The cLabs Team

edit: Governance Call on 4/25 has a different agenda, the proposal will be discussed on GovCall #47 after the L2-focused community call


super exciting!!! looking forward to the community discussions aaaaand… testnet!


That’s a great choice.

Will Celo be a part of SuperChain?

(Edited) Yes, Got the answer. :tada:


OP is a good choice. with excellent developer tooling around. I support whatever gets cLabs up and running as fast and easy as possible.

However, I’m curious to see the security implications and risks considering ZK roll-ups are generally considered superior in almost every aspect.


That’s true, zk-rollups will be superior over fraud-proof and that should be the end state of every roll-up.
I am confident that OP Stack will have it with contributions from strong teams like Celo, Base, Mode & other Superchain devs.


Super happy about this! :yellow_circle: :red_circle:


A great opportunity for Kenyans and Africa…celo is the future we needed and now it’s here … :cowboy_hat_face:


From my POV this is the best choice :yellow_circle: + :red_circle:
Congrats cLabs team for hard work and this amazing decision :raised_hands:


Very exciting!

Can you share what changes, if any, are expected to the validator set, role, or rewards structure? There are ongoing conversations related to adjusting validator rewards, so any insight here would be relevant.

Thank you.


I’m so glad to see this decision. Considering that the schedule has been delayed, it would be nice to have updates on future milestones.


Kate from cLabs here. Registration is now open for the upcoming L2-focused community call on May 2nd! Secure your spot here: CEL2 - cLabs Community Call: Celo L2 Proposal on Optimism · Luma


Gm Celo Community!

Proposal #174, “CEL2 Proposal Temperature Check - Utilizing Optimism Stack for CEL2,” is currently open for voting. This vote differs from our usual process because decisions of this nature, especially regarding hardforks, fall under CIPs. Given the importance of this decision, we believed it was necessary to subject the proposal for stack selection to the governance process as well. Unlike other governance proposals where automatic upgrades follow a successful vote, this proposal won’t be automatically upgraded. Instead, it will require an update from our validators, hence the term “temperature check.” The voting will conclude on Friday, May 10th, 2024, at 6:29:47 PM UTC+02:00 (in 3 days) and will officially be approved upon the completion of upgrades from our validators.

-The cLabs Team


Hello all, what were the results of the vote?

1 Like

Proposal #174 , “CEL2 Proposal Temperature Check - Utilizing Optimism Stack for CEL2,” has passed!

Thank you for the incredible support! Stay tuned for CEL2 testnet Summer2024 updates!