OP ❤️ CEL2: Ecosystem Collaboration Proposal

Hey folks–Ben Jones here! I’m a cofounder of Optimism and currently work as Chief Scientist at the Optimism Foundation. Today, I wanted to make a more formal proposal for what it would mean for the Celo community to embrace the OP Stack.

I was lucky enough to sit down with another one of my cofounders, Karl, alongside Marek on the L2 Unplugged podcast. I hope it comes through loud and clear that working with the Celo community is an extremely exciting proposition – having folks like yourselves working alongside us to better the entire Ethereum ecosystem is core to our philosophy of Open Source, permissionless innovation, and the Superchain.

In addition, it’s been fantastic to see the work being put in by cLabs to perform such a thoughtful assessment of how different L2 ecosystems can serve Celo’s technical needs. I think that the rigor and care that Tim and his team have put into that analysis are a testament to your ecosystem, and you should be very proud.

The technical analysis means that I only feel the need to reiterate some of the upcoming highlights that we’re most excited about. For the majority of this post, I’ll focus on the ecosystem-level initiatives we’re excited to collaborate on.

Ecosystem and Project Alignment

Celo’s mission is to build a financial system that creates the conditions of prosperity for all. Optimism’s mission is to Empower builders to create an internet that benefits all, owned by none. These goals go hand-in-hand.

We’re also Ethereum-first. One of our key design philosophies is to maintain our protocol as a minimal diff with Ethereum–as Tim mentioned, it makes it “one of the easier options to maintain as Ethereum evolves.” Beyond the maintenance benefits for those building with the OP Stack, that EVM equivalence gives OP Chains the simplest developer experience for those building on top.

We believe that CEL2’s growth could accelerate exponentially as part of the Superchain. For example, once CEL2 is Superchain compatible it would be able to share liquidity with other large partners with emerging market user base - such as Worldcoin and Lisk - via the Superchain’s native interoperability product.

Technical Considerations

A few updates on the OP Stack roadmap -

The Optimism Collective is committed to bringing fault proofs to production and we believe it can be achieved in H1 2024. More importantly, we already have multiple client implementations being built (op-reth, op-erigon, magi, and nethermind, to name a few) by core contributors. Each of these implementations brings us closer to reaching the Stage 2 rollup milestone where multiple redundant implementations are required to achieve sufficient decentralization while preserving security.

The Lattice and OP Labs teams have also been developing “OP plasma,” which we believe provides the strongest possible guarantees for chains using non-L1 data availability. This work forms the basis for a DA interface which any DA provider can integrate into. This creates optionality that will allow for OP Chains to select their preferred DA provider and seamlessly migrate between DA providers. We plan to have the first version of this DA interface and the first DA provider integrated in production in H1 2024. Concretely, this means that CEL2 will be able to fully leverage EigenDA without maintaining custom code, and in the future will retain flexibility to leverage other solutions.

Migration Feasibility

Migration without developer and user impact can be challenging. We are amassing repeatable technical and ecosystem best practices from working closely with L1 teams who are migrating to the Superchain. We would love to work closely with the cLabs team to ensure a smooth migration in all aspects. Because of the OP Stack’s EVM equivalence, we believe there’s an opportunity for a staged migration path which would allow Celo to migrate incrementally, with minimized downside for the community.

Additionally, to improve developer and user experience during the migration process, Optimism would like to provide a 2m OP grant to help incentivize the migration and for ongoing builder or user grants. More details below.

Governance and Economic Alignment

The OP Stack has established core developer and core contributors programs. Alongside the OP Labs team, Base, Test in Prod, and Lattice have joined as core developers to accelerate the development of the OP Stack. Core developers not only work on the OP Stack roadmap but can directly submit upgrade proposals for governance vote. We would love to have cLabs as an OP Stack core developer!

There are multiple paths that Celo community developers can tap into to be funded for contributions.

  • Optimism has a vast contributor network and Celo community members can contribute via governance owned initiatives (eg. Missions) to work on critical areas of Optimism growth.
  • Celo community teams that are building public goods would be able to tap into Retro Public Goods Funding. Thus far, Optimism has run 3 rounds of RPGF amounting to 40m+ OP distributed to public goods for Optimism and Ethereum. By way of example, in the most recent round round, over 10M OP was allocated to public goods builders on Base.
  • Celo creators and builders will benefit from Optimism Superchain wide growth campaigns like We Love the Art funded by 1.2m OP, that will be expanded to other verticals.

Lastly, the Optimism Foundation is willing to provide a two part grant to spur the success of CEL2 on the Superchain.

  • 2m OP upfront for CEL2 to build on the OP Stack, and for migration and ongoing builder or user grants.
  • 4.5m OP vested over 3 years once CEL2 meets technical and governance requirements for joining the Superchain.

Next Steps

We’re excited to continue engaging with CLabs, the Celo Foundation, and Celo community to establish a meaningful partnership and scale Ethereum together. As I said at the start–the chance to work with such an incredible ecosystem is an honor and core to our mission. Please let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to provide any and all answers.

OP :heart: CEL2 – and, as always,

Stay Optimistic!


Hi Ben, thanks for your post.

Does interoperability require that each participating chain share the same sequencers? Or can Celo maintain an independent validator/sequencer set and still share liquidity with other large partners?

This is a very generous grant!


Really optimistic about this! Thank you for the post Ben!

I must say the pioneering work done by the Lattice team using the OP stack, as mentioned above, to develop autonomous worlds leveraging web3 deserves praise, and this proposal would open new opportunities to the the wider Celo developer ecosystem.

On the other hand, zk solutions require more compute and offer more security, they are still yet to mature and often hard to build on


I’ve been a Celo builder since 2021 working with Talent Protocol and couldn’t be more happy about this proposal. Optimism is the way!


Hey Ben!

Glad to see you in the forum and thank you for the write-up/proposal! Excited to see what the community thinks of this potential collaboration as Celo x Optimism are so closely aligned when it comes to values and mission!.

I’m optimistic about this one! :red_circle:


Hi @ben-chain ,

Amazing introduction :star_struck: and an exciting road ahead between Celo and Optimism. Glad to see this on the Celo forum and ready for more future updates on this initiative.

We need more: Optimistic <> Prosperity

, Bless Airu


This is a great question and also a pretty deep one. The word “interoperability” doesn’t really have a perfect/consensus definition across the ecosystem. The short answer is yes, it should be possible to maintain an independent validator set. The long answer is that it may come with latency tradeoffs at first.

From our perspective, the most important property for interoperability is “high security, native message passing”. This basically means the ability to send L2<>L2 messages between chains with the same security model as L2->L1 messages. Once you have that, you can build “fungible AND native” multichain ERC20 tokens, which do not degrade security or require swaps (and therefore slippage) into and out of “bridged representations” like when using third party bridges today. It’s basically 1:1, “mint-and-burn” transfers between chains, built into the protocol.

  • The requirement to enable this is unrelated to validator sets. Instead, the requirement is that CEL2’s changes to the OP Stack be merged upstream, so that all interoperating chains can sync each other using the same node software.
  • We’ve spent a good chunk of time diving into CEL2’s requirements to ensure confidence that the path to merge the CEL2 changes upstream is a feasible one. We think it is, though ultimately cLabs/CF are the experts on Celo’s requirements, so they should weigh in too.
  • As a slight aside, this is the exact kind of positive-sum behavior that we strive for. By doing this, we get to give the OP Stack the new superpowers that cLabs develops, and Celo gets to leverage the new superpowers developed by all the others doing the same thing. <3 :smiley:

Where validator sets do come into consideration is around the latency of those messages. It should be intuitive that you can’t send messages faster than the validator sets for each chain can come to consensus on the incoming/outgoing messages. Furthermore, if one sequencer/validator set does not trust another, then it has to wait for actual batches to be submitted to L1, since that is the ultimate form of “finality” for L2s. This is even slower than the time to finality for those validator sets, because there is additional waiting for batch submission and L1 finality on top.

  • The reason that you often hear about “shared sequencing” in this context is that the most trivial way to ensure that the validator sets trust each other is to just make them the same validator set. Again, this is not a requirement, but it is certainly the easiest path.
  • Candidly, this is an active area of research – both for us, and the Ethereum ecosystem at large – so I think your default expectation should be that the bridge latency is high (order of 10 minutes) for initial interop.
  • cLabs are very talented consensus engineers, and one of the many reasons I’m excited about this collab would be to work with them on iterating on the best future solutions here. We have thoughts on how to minimize latency while maintaining the independence of validator sets, but it’s a big design space.

As a co-founder of the first impact-driven dapp being deployed on Celo mainnet, impactMarket.com, following Celo mission driving financial inclusion and social impact, by providing UBI, Learn & Earn and Microcredit, this proposal seems extremely well aligned with Celo values. OP experience on public goods, scalability, roadmap and funding mechanisms, is a very strong value proposition for Celo and its ecosystem. I’m supportive! Let’s do this!


Hi Ben,

Thank you for your detailed and insightful post outlining the potential for Celo to join the OP Superchain. I, along with many others in the Celo community, am excited about the prospect of this collaboration and fully support exploring it further.

As the former technical lead for Public Goods Network (part of the OP Superchain) and current steward for Celo’s Public Goods council, I have a close understanding of both ecosystems and believe they share strong synergies. Here are some key reasons why I believe Celo joining the OP Superchain would be mutually beneficial:

Shared Values and Mission Alignment:

  • Both Celo and Optimism prioritize leveraging blockchain technology for global prosperity. This shared mission creates a strong foundation for collaboration and amplifies our collective impact. We are stronger when we work together.

Improved Interoperability and User Experience:

  • Joining the Superchain would connect Celo to other Superchains (Base, PGN, Zora, Mode), enabling shared liquidity, smooth bridging, and better interaction between the different ecosystems. This enhanced interoperability would significantly improve the UX for both Celo and other Superchain users.

Leveraging the OP Stack’s Strengths:

  • The OP Stack offers advantages such as Superchain builder community, RetroPGF, Law of Chains, etc. These features align with Celo’s goals of developer-friendliness, security, and decentralization.

Collaboration and Ecosystem Growth:

  • By joining forces, Celo can leverage the strengths the other Superchains, fostering innovation and attracting more developers and users to both ecosystems - leading to accelerated growth for both communities.

Overall, confident that this collaboration would unlock significant value for both communities and propel us closer to achieving each ecosystems respective missions.

Have a lot of thoughts on this so happy to expand in more detail :slight_smile:


Hi @ben-chain,

Thanks for the detailed post and follow-up. Having operated in both ecosystems, I see a lot of overlap regarding mission, values, and tech.

I’ve spearheaded the Celo Public Goods program (Celo Public Goods Funding H1 2024 | Updates and Info) and see a lot of potential in co-funding and supporting Public Goods together.

I look forward to potential proposals from other ecosystems, but consider this a solid starting point with clear value for Celo and Optimism!:heart::yellow_heart: