New Optimism Collective to experiment with digital governance

Endorsed by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, the bicameral project seeks to gather information about digital democratic governance.

Optimism announced the launch of a new project called the Optimism Collective (OC). Founders are hopeful the new initiative will respond to the challenges posed by the accelerating crypto adoption and scaling.

In a statement, Optimism expressed concern that high scalability demand in crypto often favors “centralized layer-1” agents who “abandon Ethereum’s security and values under the guise of cheap fees and a quick buck.” The Optimism Collective will be tasked with solving this issue by scaling “our values along with our networks.”

The purpose of the OC is defined as funding public goods, building demand for OP blockspace, and making L2 more attractive so it can compete with L1 solutions. The OC will at first be supported by the newly-built Optimism Foundation, which will eventually dissolve to further decentralize the OC.

The idea was praised by Ethereum co-founder and ambassador Vitalik Buterin, who often voices concerns about crypto’s focus on quick money rather than on lasting social impact. Digital governance and voting are especially important to Buterin’s vision.

The OC will be governed by two separate bodies called the Citizens’ House, which will govern public goods funding through the use of non-transferrable NFTs, and the Token House supervising “protocol upgrades, project incentives, and more.”

Token House membership will be tied to a new token called OP. In Q2, Optimism expects to run the first airdrop favoring repeat Optimism users, Gitcoin donors, and multisig signers, among others.

The team views the launch of the Collective as the start of another chapter for the entire project. In a recent blog post, they summed up their story so far, boasting a team of over 40 employees and more than $175 million in funding led by a16z and Paradigm.