While the topic of Optimistic Rollups has somewhat fallen to the wayside in light of all the innovation we’ve seen in DeFi over the course of the last year, it’s quite exciting to see it come back to center stage with the demo of Synthetix and their upcoming Layer 2 decentralized exchange.

Over the next 2 weeks, Synthetix is hosting a testnet competition in which traders will compete for 50,000 SNX for turning the highest profit on an allocation of 100,000 sUSD.

For anyone who’s been on Crypto Twitter the past 24 hours, you’ve surely seen prominent community members sharing the following tweet – their right of passage to get involved!

What Makes This Unique

Working in tandem with the Optimistic team, the new Synethix.Exchange alpha showcases the power of the Layer 2 scaling solution offered by the Optimistic Virtual Machine – processing transactions in as little as 200 milliseconds.

The TLDR of the OVM scaling solution is that it allows for ~100x throughput without sacrificing security by moving computation off-chain and keeping important data onchain. This approach was most notably showcased by Uniswap and their Unipig experiment at Devcon 5, highlighting how the OVM provides instant transitions with no gas costs. Here’s an excellent take from Matteo Leobwitz on the power of OVM in the wider DeFi landscape.


What’s unique about this Synthetix integration is the unveiling of a general alpha version of the OVM which requires no custom code, teasing a full launch later this year. For SNX stakers, this comes as big news as the trading experience on the Synthetix.Exchange (which earns stakers fees) just became 10x more valuable.

Trading Competition Details

For those keen to flex their market foresight, the trading competition offers a novel way for traders to compete on equal footing. Every participant is given 100,000 sUSD to start, meaning there is no skewed advantage to whales with exorbitant amounts of capital. Traders can see how they’re stacking up against one another using a top 50 leaderboard which can be found here.

As for the prizes themselves, the 50,000 SNX prize pool is divided as follows:

  • 1st place: 15,000 SNX
  • 2nd place: 10,000 SNX
  • 3rd place: 5000 SNX
  • 4th-20th place: 1200 SNX each.

The competition is set to run until May 19th so dive in today! Seeing as there’s literally nothing to lose, we’d highly recommend checking out the speed and performance of Ethereum’s hottest scaling solution on a sector-leading derivatives exchange.

The Bigger Picture

As we touched on above, Ethereum is starting to center around the OVM as the leading scaling solution for the application layer. While many of us in crypto has become used to adjusting gas prices and waiting upwards of a few minutes for transactions to process, things like the OVM provide strong signals that the future of instant, global transactions we all clearly see is right around the corner.

For those who are keeping a close eye on the developments surrounding ETH2.0 and Serenity, the OVM should provide some confidence that regardless of when Serenity goes live, DeFi will be able to leverage scaling solutions which drastically optimize throughput and make them primed for mainstream adoption when it comes to onchain interactions and seamless value transfers.

Looking at this from the perspective of Synthetix, we’ve now seen the project further solidity why it’s the #2 project on the DeFi Pulse leaderboard. Tying together a robust token economy with a continued ability to ship innovative new features, we’re confident Synthetix has a bright future in the wider crypto landscape.

If you’ve haven’t done so already, dive into the demo trading competition here. If you’re looking to be more passively involved, check out the conversation on Discord or follow the official Synthetix Twitter.