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Optimism Airdrop Goes Live, Gets Overwhelmed

Ethereum Layer-2 system, Optimism announced on May 31st that its governance token airdrop was going live. A few hours after the airdrop launch, the network suffered from low performance as traffic surged. 

The governance token, OP, is the beginning of a shift to a bicameral governance system of funding for the network, called the Optimism Collective. In April, Coinbase carried an OP token page, which roused speculations that a token airdrop was in the offing. A week later, Optimism confirmed this in a thread outlining their plans for “Ethereum’s New chapter” as the tweet named it.

What is the Optimism Collective?

The Optimism Collective is a democratic initiative by Optimism to reward creators of public goods on the Ethereum blockchain. Optimism stresses that profits can be collectively made via positive impact, even while scaling the blockchain. According to its announcement, the DAO collective was designed to generate “boat-loads of revenue” and to “properly” incentivize communities in need of it.

Optimism’s Optimistic Plans

The new DAO employs co-equal governance shared between two houses. The first is the Citizens’ House for goods funding and the second is the OP-governed Token House.

On May 31st, the first airdrop of OP went live, with a total of 214 million tokens. This represents only 5% of the total supply of 4.29 billion. Early adopters of Optimism from before the 25th of March are eligible to partake in this token event.  According to Optimism stats, there are 231,000 such addresses, and each is eligible for an average of 860 tokens.

In addition, those who missed out on this initial airdrop can catch up with the future ones. Optimism plans to spread the process throughout the second quarter. In all, the Collective means to put out 14% of the total supply for its users.  Projects operating on the platform will also receive their part.

Network Gives in to Overwhelming Demand

Massive traffic loads put Optimism’s scaling strengths to test shortly after its airdrop went live, late Tuesday. Following the launch, some users reported delayed or failed transactions, as activity peaked. Optimism Status took to Twitter to reveal that protocol was struggling to cope with demands, and that its team was on it. 

The team reported that the system got “slammed” after its launch, and was significantly poor for almost four hours.

In its attempt to resolve the situation, the team said:

Our biggest mistake here was failing to make this contract pausable.

It took “five hours of non-stop work” before the network adjusted the capacity to sustain the traffic load.

Finally, Optimism noted that it learned a lot of lessons, and will be publishing a retrospective piece summarizing the ordeal in the coming week. 

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At present, Optimism’s OP token is available at major exchanges like Coinbase, Bybit, AAP, MEXC, among others. 

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