Ethereum expansion research organization Plasma Group transforms into company with $ 3.5 million investment

Four months ago, the non-profit research organization Plasma Group proposed the design of an Ethereum Layer 2 expansion solution Optimistic Rollup.

Today, the team has received a $ 3.5 million investment from crypto VC Paradigm and the design firm IDEO's venture capital unit to put Optimistic Rollup into practice.


The money will be used to fund a new company-which happens to be called "Optimistic"-which was set up in December 2019 by Plasma Group. Earlier this month, the five-member team disbanded the non-profit organization on the first anniversary of Plasma Group and donated its remaining funds to Gitcoin, a fundraising platform for Ethereum developers.

Optimism CEO Jinglan Wang said the change from a non-profit organization to a for-profit company was partly due to the team's experience of financing difficulties in the past year.

Plasma Group, a non-profit organization, relied on donations and maintained its daily operations with small checks. Now with a $ 3.5 million upfront investment, the company can save itself from the dilemma of covering costs and focus on research.

Wang said:

"Financing for non-profit organizations is a full-time job, that is, putting together 100 different small donations so that you can make the next money. In a for-profit company, as long as you can stick , You get financial support, and you can also provide benefits and medical insurance. "

The funds just raised will be mainly used to help the team deploy Optimistic Rollup solutions and allow developers to build related applications. At the same time, researchers are still adapting to their new role as for-profit companies. At this stage, the startup has yet to develop a business model that can contribute to open source research as in Plasma Group.

"We believe there are ways to make ethical profits from public infrastructure, and we are still working on specific ways."

Optimistic Rollup revealed

Optimistic Rollup-an Ethereum-based Layer 2 expansion solution-promises to increase transaction throughput by 10 times while maintaining the Layer 1 development experience. Decentralized applications (dApps) can take advantage of this solution with minor improvements to achieve interoperability with other dApps.

Specifically, Optimistic Rollup increases network throughput by calculating status updates (the latest state of the network). ZK-Rollup also uses rollup technology, which uses zero-knowledge proof to ensure the validity of each state update.

However, unlike ZK-Rollup, Optimistic Rollup does not verify the validity of each state. Instead, it treats all rollup blocks on the chain in an "optimistic" manner and assumes that they are all valid.

However, one can challenge this assumption and prove that a block is invalid. When an invalid block is found, the original block producer will lose the security deposit, and some of it will be transferred to the person who initiated the challenge.

Since the Plasma Group first introduced the concept of Optimistic Rollup in August last year, research on Optimistic Rollup has made significant progress.

It has already been widely discussed in the community, and at the Ethereum Developers Conference in October 2019, Plasma Group demonstrated Unipig, a derivative of Uniswap, a decentralized exchange that includes capacity expansion solutions.

Wang said:

"We are now seeing 4 to 5 different projects deploying our various Plasma solutions, such as generalized Plasma, optimistic game semantics, etc … We think this is the deployment phase, not just the research phase. So we think we cannot just A research organization, it depends on what work our team members want to spend time on. "