The Optimism network has surpassed Arbitrum in transaction volume for the first time in six months, according to July 27 data from blockchain analytics platform Artemis. Both networks are layer 2s of Ethereum that use optimistic rollup technology, which compresses and batches transactions before submitting them to Ethereum, potentially lowering transaction fees.
Optimism fell behind Arbitrum based on volume in January, as season one of its “quest” feature ended. However, it recovered the top spot on July 25 as Worldcoin launched.
Data from Artemis shows that the networks had similar levels of transaction volume from August to December 2022. In December, Optimism pulled ahead of Arbitrum but fell behind again in January. This coincides with season one of Optimism’s “quest” feature, which rewarded users for performing various on-chain activities. Arbitrum also saw a dramatic increase in volume in March, when it launched its Arbitrum (ARB) token and airdropped it to users.
Logarithmic chart of daily transactions for Optimism and Arbitrum. Source: Artemis
In June, Optimism implemented its Bedrock upgrade to lower transaction fees, resulting in a 67% surge in transaction volume. Still, Artemis data shows that this surge was not enough to overtake Arbitrum at that time.
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From July 23-26, Optimism transactions increased even further, going from 490,500 to 809,070, an increase of nearly 65%, pushing Optimism into the top spot between the two networks. The final two days of this period coincided with the July 25 launch of Worldcoin on Optimism.
The recent surge in Optimism activity may also be influenced by the upcoming launch of Coinbase’s Base network, which its developers say will be connected to Optimism as part of an upcoming “Superchain.”
Despite winning the race for transaction volume, Optimism is still far behind Abitrum in terms of capital deposited into its contracts, also called total value locked (TVL). According to blockchain analytics platform DefiLlama, Optimism has only $923 million TVL, whereas Arbitrum has over $2 billion TVL.