Introducing OpEVM: The Next Generation Optimistic EVM Rollup

August 9, 2023

Introducing OpEVM: The Next Generation Optimistic EVM Rollup

We are thrilled to finally introduce OpEVM - A sovereign EVM-compatible, optimistic rollup built on top of Avail and Polygon Edge.

OpEVM is designed for efficient and secure transaction processing and offers a foundation for achieving high-throughput, low-latency transaction processing. It also opens the door for building other sovereign rollups on top of Avail.

The development of OpEVM is a collaboration between Avail and Equilibrium Group (Equilibrium Labs & Eiger). 

Sovereign Optimistic Rollup

OpEVM is a Sovereign Optimistic Rollup, but what does that actually mean? Let’s break it down:

At its core, OpEVM is an optimistic rollup solution. It leverages L2 scalability techniques (off-chain execution and batching oftransactions) to achieve high transaction throughput, and fraud proofs for detecting malicious blocks and transactions.

On top of this, OpEVM is a sovereign rollup. It doesn’t require a smart contract residing on a separate settlement layer to perform fraud-proof checks. Instead, it relies on node operators to determine the canonical state of the chain. This is in contrast with smart contract rollups that rely on smart contracts on a settlement layer (such as Ethereum) to verify its blocks and settle disputes.

In summary, OpEVM is uniquely designed to provide a fully functional optimistic rollup solution without the need for a base layer that supports execution. 

Security and Fraud-Proof Detection

Security is a top priority for OpEVM. The system operates under a honest minority assumption and utilises a fraud-proof detection mechanism to identify and handle malicious blocks.

Watchtower nodes are responsible for block validation, fraud-proof detection, and transaction verification. They ensure the integrity of incoming blocks and identify potential fraud or malicious activities. This mechanism allows OpEVM to inherit the security of the base layer and only requires one honest watchtower to spot a malicious block and create a fraud-proof.

Watchtower nodes are light to run and fully permissionless, so that any user can opt-in to help validate and secure the network. Users who run watchtower nodes get compensated for submitting successful fraud proofs, meanwhile submitting malicious fraud proofs is penalised through slashing.

Enabling Smart Contract Execution

While Avail serves as an efficient data availability solution, it does not inherently support the execution of smart contracts. This is where OpEVM steps in - offering a robust execution environment that allows for the execution of contracts and custom logic.

OpEVM is EVM compatible and currently supports the execution of smart contracts written in Solidity. Any program or dApp currently on Ethereum can easily be deployed on OpEVM with little/no modification. This compatibility further extends the versatility of OpEVM, making it a powerful tool for a wide range of blockchain applications.

Cost Savings, Performance and Block Validation

Similar to other rollups, OpEVM reduces the cost of executing transactions by aggregating multiple transactions into a single batch. Users can benefit from lower fees compared to performing the same transactions directly on Ethereum, making it more affordable for everyday use cases. In addition, OpEVM can offer cost savings to other Ethereum-based rollups by using Avail as its data-availability layer rather than posting transaction data on Ethereum.

The system is optimised for high throughput, enabling fast and efficient transaction processing. In addition, OpEVM minimises transaction confirmation times to reduce latency and enable near-instantaneous settlement.

OpEVM extends the Polygon Edge framework as the blockchain engine, which provides a robust system for block validation and ensures the integrity of the blockchain. This ensures that incoming blocks conform to the specified structure and contain valid transaction data.


OpEVM is a game-changing solution that combines sovereignty, security, scalability, and efficiency. It’s a significant step forward in the blockchain space and introduces a foundation for building sovereign rollups on top of Avail. 

The work is open source and more information can be found on Github. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to develop and refine the technology!


OpEVM was built in collaboration between Avail and Equilibrium Group (Equilibrium Labs & Eiger).

Avail creates the base layer for future blockchains, enabling developers to build rollups and app chains with scalability, flexibility, and ease.

Equilibrium Group, a blockchain powerhouse founded in 2018, is composed of four entities: