In December of 2021, our team at Quix launched the first NFT marketplace on the Optimism Layer 2 network. As both NFT creators and collectors on Ethereum mainnet ourselves, we were well acquainted with ETH’s pain points, and we were excited by the possibilities that Optimism presented. It had cheap gas fees, an untouched NFT ecosystem, and a team with the mission of scaling Ethereum’s values and rewarding projects for the impact they bring to the network. It checked every box for us, but for something that seemed to be such an obvious solution to so many of the issues on Layer 1, and that even had Vitalik’s stamp of approval, Optimism still felt like a secret gem of web3. So, we worked to deploy Quix as fast as we could, but when we came up for air and looked around, it turned out we may have been even earlier than we thought.
At the time of our launch there were only three NFT collections on Optimism, and while we saw plenty of potential, it wasn’t abundantly clear what the future held for OP NFTs. Would creators actually consider deploying their projects on L2 instead of mainnet? Would collectors even want to trade these L2 collections? What would OP NFT culture look like? Would we be able to help foster an ecosystem of high quality projects and developers?
Now, over nine months, 100 collections, 2800 ETH, 68,000 users, and 180,000 transactions later, we have better answers to these questions and have a much more clear idea of where the OP NFT ecosystem is headed. But, before we jump in our rocket ships for the moon, it’s worth quickly taking a moment to look back at some of the significant developments that have happened so far:
Rainbow Wallet’s integration for Layer 2 lets users see their OP NFTs natively in a wallet for the first time ever.
Writing NFTs can be minted directly to Optimism via Mirror, the premier platform for publishing on Web3.
Quix is the third largest delegate in Optimism’s Governance Voting System.
Claiming an NFT on Quix is part of Optimism’s official New User Getting Started Guide.
DAOs like CryptoTesters have moved their membership tokens to L2.
There are now four separate Launchpads for Optimism NFT creators.
And so much more…
Optimism is no longer a theoretical home for NFTs that sounds good on paper, it’s actively proving itself to be a habitable ecosystem for NFTs - and we think it’s time to share it with everyone else. So on that note, there’s one more development we’re incredibly excited to officially announce.
Developed by the Quix team, the Optimism NFT Bridge is a cross-layer ERC-721 bridge that allows anyone to bring their Layer 1 Ethereum NFTs to Optimism. In short, the bridge lets users trade the L1 NFTs we all know and love on Optimism, where an average transaction costs less than $0.20 in gas and is up to 100x faster than on mainnet.
What are the benefits of Optimism?
When considering why to bridge NFTs to Optimism, it helps to start with what the network offers as a whole. At a high level, Optimism provides a cost-efficient and lightning-fast experience for developers and collectors alike while inheriting all of the security of Ethereum. The network is also EVM equivalent, so for developers, this means that smart-contracts are written the exact same way as they would be on mainnet. For users, it means that Optimism shares the same tooling suite they already know from L1 (ENS, Etherscan, Uniswap, ETH/WETH, Metamask, etc). Adjusting to life on Optimism is a seamless transition for all ETH native web3 users and its usability makes it a logical new home for those who want to use Ethereum at scale.
Operating at Scale
Speaking of using Ethereum at scale, the low cost of executing on Optimism allows for countless use cases that have been historically difficult to execute or entirely unsustainable on mainnet. The one we’re most excited by is the opportunity for developers to create composable and high frequency on-chain mechanisms for their NFTs. Whether it be equipping Dope Wars Hustlers with NFT gear, leveling up Dragonia Dragon Trainers with experience points earned in gameplay, or minting online writing NFTs via Mirror, collections on Optimism are already leveraging the network’s capabilities to add features to their projects that weren’t often feasible before. The possibility of what can now be delivered on-chain feels limitless and we’re eager to see the innovations - from metaverses, to companion collections, and even fully playable games - that come as a result.
As for NFT collectors, they don’t just stand to benefit from future developments to be made on Optimism, the network already immediately adds so much to their experience. At Quix, we like to say that the best play-to-earn NFT game ever created was NFT trading itself and there is no better place to trade NFTs than on Optimism. In an ecosystem where gas fees are never an issue, entirely new opportunities are made possible for trading NFTs at scale. Cheap and free-to-mint NFTs become a viable trading strategy because the cost of minting relative to the NFT is no longer a deterrent. Entire collection floors can be swept for less than $1 in transaction fees. Even the most minor price pumps become an opportunity to take gains. The experience of that first NFT trade on Optimism with a gas price of .00001 ETH is truly eye opening and we’re positive NFT collectors are going to love it.
In the past few years, NFT creators have made a herculean effort to get the ecosystem where it is today, spending countless hours developing their collections and growing their communities. They’ve meticulously crafted their brands, filled and managed Discord servers, secured first-class partnerships, and hosted countless Twitter spaces, amongst so much else. In the same vein, holders have returned the favor with an avid fervor of their own. However, It’s no secret that things have quieted down for many collections on mainnet in recent months. Even projects that minted thousands of NFTs and generated millions in sales have struggled to keep trade volume up, deliver compelling experiences, and maintain excitement within their communities. Of course much of this is attributable to macro conditions and rising gas fees, but there hasn’t been a great choice for communities to make in order to restore that lost energy. Until now.
The Optimism NFT bridge provides a promising new opportunity for collections that decide to utilize it. All it takes is a few clicks and holders can trade NFTs as if it’s Summer 2021 again, only this time without the gas fees. Couple that with the new features that devs can provide for their projects on OP and there’s no telling how much of an influx of engagement will come. The way we see it, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you can just make it easier to spin. Collections have done an incredible job building so far and we’re confident the bridge will only help them add to everything they’ve accomplished already.
Optimistic for the Future
All in all, we launched Quix on Optimism because we saw so much untapped potential for NFTs here. It may have been a quixotic effort, but if this bridge helps others realize that potential as well - and helps to scale Ethereum as a result - then our work will have been a resounding success in our eyes. As we mentioned, our team is made up of NFT developers and collectors, and it is our utmost hope that the bridge will help all of the others like us in the Ethereum community. To everyone who has been with us for the ride so far, we can’t thank you enough, and to anyone who is about to cross the bridge and join us, welcome. We hope you’re as optimistic as we are!