On-chain activity on Optimism drops after end of NFT incentive program

Quick Take

  • Transaction volumes on Layer 2 network Optimism have dropped 70% following a major spike earlier.
  • The fall in activity coincided with the end of an NFT incentive program called Optimism Quest. 

Transaction volumes on Optimism, a scaling solution for Ethereum, have dropped 70% following a major spike earlier. The daily transactions have declined to 238,000 after a peak of almost 800,000 transactions per day on Jan. 12, according to data from blockchain explorer Blockscan.

The fall in activity coincided with the end of an incentive program called Optimism Quest, which aimed to increase user engagement and educate users about the Optimism Layer 2 network.

The surge in on-chain activity during Quest was said to have been associated with speculations on a second airdrop by the Optimism team, according to a recent report by The Block Research.

Airdrop Optimism

In April 2022, Optimism announced an airdrop, a free token giveaway for early users, with amounts ranging from $500 to $10,000 per user. The team also mentioned a second, larger airdrop, however no further details were provided.

This sparked speculation among users that completing tasks during the Optimism Quest program, which rewarded participants with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), could make them eligible for the airdrop.


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During the Quest program, that lasted for four months, 450,000 wallets minted over 3.4 million NFTs after completing tasks involving the use of decentralized apps in the Optimism ecosystem, on-chain data shows. The program was powered by Galxe, an on-chain credentials framework.

A similar NFT program on Optimism's closest competitor, Arbitrum, called Odyssey, had been instrumental in increasing the amount of activity on the network, also driven by airdrop speculators. However, in Arbitrum's case, there has so far been no airdrop.

"The uptrend in on-chain activity serves as a reminder that the speculation of a potential airdrop can sometimes be used to boost on-chain activity, just like how the Arbitrum Odyssey had caused a surge in on-chain activity for Arbitrum," noted Arnold Toh, research analyst at The Block.

Despite the decrease in transactions, Optimism's native token, the OP token, reached an all-time high recently. The token has risen about 150% since the start of the year and currently trades at $2.25, according to CoinGeko.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Vishal Chawla is The Block’s crypto ecosystems editor and has spent over six years covering tech protocols, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Vishal likes to delve deep into blockchain intricacies to ensure readers are well-informed about the continuously evolving crypto landscape. He is also a staunch advocate for rigorous security practices in the space. Before joining The Block, Vishal held positions at IDG ComputerWorld, CIO, and Crypto Briefing. He can be reached on Twitter at @vishal4c and via email at [email protected]


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