Hello, Optimist! Please read this entire notice carefully. It contains important legal information about OP Mainnet (the Ethereum layer 2 scaling protocol we help steward), the Optimism Collective (the community governance body of Optimism), the Optimism Foundation (our foundation), and other important things.

This notice has two main components:

1. A legal disclaimer.  Basically, it says that the Optimism Foundation does not guarantee, and will not be liable for, its public contributions or those of the broader community.

2. A list of key points for you to be aware of.  This list is intended to help you make informed decisions about your interactions with Optimism, the Optimism Collective, and us.

Again, please read this entire notice carefully. 


Optimism is (an ethos, a movement, and) a public, internet-based blockchain computing platform. It is configured to inherit permissionless-ness, decentralization, and security attributes from another blockchain computing platform, Ethereum. Because of this configuration, OP Mainnet is referred to as a “Layer 2” blockchain computing platform.

Optimism and the suite of open source code, tooling, infrastructure, and governance systems underlying it are composed of many different and evolving components, which are contributed, used, and supported by a wide variety of participants. These participants, ranging from developers to node operators, creators to token holders, and builders to web3 enthusiasts and beyond, comprise the Optimism community, the “Optimism Collective.” Optimism grows and changes through the efforts of the Collective.

Optimism governance is driven by the Optimism Collective. The Collective is represented by a bicameral community organization, jointly governed by holders of the ‘OP’ token and Optimism citizens, and stewarded by the Optimism Foundation.

The Optimism Foundation contributes to the Optimism Collective. Among other things, the Foundation contributes to the continuing development and maintenance of Optimism by making, maintaining, facilitating, publicizing or otherwise working on or encouraging:

  • Community education and involvement.
  • Procedural and administrative support of Optimism Collective governance.
  • Allocations and disbursements of community grants and retroactive public goods funding. 
  • Optimism software, smart contracts, APIs, and utilities, including Gateway and AttestationStation front ends that interact with Optimism smart contracts.
  • Data processing for the network and operating one or more nodes. 
  • Written, video, and other content on our website, various social media platforms and elsewhere.
  • Generally being a resource to the community in a variety of other ways. 

We work in the open, guided by an open source ethos, with products on the bleeding edge of what we believe to be a technological revolution in decentralized computation. This is a fundamentally experimental enterprise. Accordingly, unless we specify otherwise in writing to you, please keep the following terms in mind.

The Optimism Foundation makes no representation, warranty, guarantee, or undertaking regarding Optimism or any of our Software, Content, and Activities, whether express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of compliance, accuracy, reliability, validity, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, quality, availability, durability, and noninfringement, or as to any of it being uninterrupted, error free, free of harmful components, or secure. 

The Optimism Foundation is not liable for, or in connection with, any actions, proceedings, claims, damages, expenses or other liabilities, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from, related to or in connection with Optimism, our Software, Content, and Activities, or the use or dealings in or with any of them or in reliance thereon.


When interacting with Optimism, us, or our Software, Content, and Activities, please keep the following points in mind.

  • We do not control OP Mainnet.  OP Mainnet is an Ethereum Layer 2, meaning that the canonical state of its blockchain can, at any time, be derived (by anyone) from information embedded in existing blocks on the Ethereum blockchain. Moreover, the Optimism protocol can only be validly upgraded through governance decisions by the Optimism Collective. We do not control Ethereum or the Collective, and you should not rely on us (or any other party) to control Optimism. For the above reasons and others we do not, and cannot, do so.  
  • Optimism is a work in progress.  Optimism is built on new and evolving technology. Its codebase has been audited, but it still may contain unknown bugs. In addition, the security of Optimism is currently dependent on a multisignature wallet, managed by several anonymous individuals, which can be used to maliciously upgrade core Optimism smart contracts without upgrade delays or the approval of the Optimism Collective. This introduces various risks, including the loss of some or all of the assets held within the system.
  • Do your own research before using or engaging with Optimism.  Be careful and always do your own due diligence before engaging with any component of Optimism, regardless of who built or implemented it. Read widely. Stay on top of updates and developments. Be curious. Don’t leave any stone unturned, and don’t assume that something is correct or will function a certain way without verifying.
  • When you use Optimism, it is at your own risk.  This includes risks specific to the Optimism (such as those described above) and the risks inherent in using any cryptographic or blockchain-based system (such as wallet and private key management, variable transaction costs and speeds, technological vulnerabilities, cryptographic attack vectors, and risks relating to digital assets). You should not use Optimism unless you have sufficient knowledge to understand and accept all the risks.
  • … this includes the risk of loss of your wallet private keys and seed phrases.  You are solely responsible for securing the wallet private keys and seed phrases you use to store and transfer assets on Optimism. It is your responsibility to avoid losing them or sharing them with anyone else. Once lost, there may be nothing that can be done to recover access to your wallet or to otherwise provide you with recourse.
  • We are not, do not speak for, and cannot bind, the Optimism Collective.  The Collective is a collection of independent contributors to the Optimism project. The Optimism Foundation is a separate, independent entity. While we currently do work to steward the Collective and its mission, we do not speak for the Collective, and cannot contractually bind it in any manner. Unless we say otherwise in writing, the individual conduct of participants in the Optimism Collective are not covered, or endorsed by, the Foundation in any way.  
  • We do not endorse third parties or third party information.  Any time we link to, quote or otherwise reference a third party or reproduce or incorporate their information, content or material, it is solely for informational purposes. You should not assume that we have verified the accuracy of, or endorse in any way, such information, content or materials. 
  • You are responsible for your own compliance.  We attempt to comply with applicable laws, rules and contractual obligations with respect to all of our Software, Content, and Activities. However, that landscape is constantly changing and differs jurisdiction by jurisdiction. It is your responsibility to conduct your own inquiry to ensure that your activity on Optimism complies with all applicable laws, rules, and contractual obligations.
  • When we talk about future ideas or prospects, we are expressing our vision and hopes, and there is no commitment or guarantee that it will come true, that we will implement any of it, or that it will work.  The world changes quickly and technology at an even faster pace. We have no idea how things will turn out and our aspirations and predictions may be unreliable. Look carefully at the date of things because after that date, things might have changed (a lot).
  • You should not rely on us for any specific future work relating to Optimism.  The Optimism Foundation aims to create the technical and governance foundations that allow the Foundation to decentralize its role over time. We happily contribute to the Optimism community today, but we are also proud to pursue a world where this community does not need us in order for it to continue to thrive tomorrow. That’s the whole point of a public, open source, blockchain-based system governed by a decentralized Collective.

While the above is not an exhaustive list of potentially relevant considerations, we hope you find it, and the other content of this notice, helpful. Please save a copy of this notice for your records. It may be modified from time to time – at which point we’ll notify you by updating the date at the bottom of this page. Finally, if you are a member of the Optimism community and believe some or all of the information in this notice will be helpful to present to your users, clients, or friends, please fork it!

Date last updated: March 2, 2023