Optimism, the Layer 2 rollup for Ethereum, announced the launch of $OP, its governance token, with a big airdrop to its early supporters.

This was rumored for a long time and many people have tried to game the system to qualify for free tokens. But the Optimism airdrop aimed to exclude “airdrop hunters”. This means that many people who bridged to Optimism and have done some trades still missed out on the first airdrop.

But don’t worry if you didn’t qualify for this airdrop.

The Optimism Foundation has confirmed that more airdrops are coming for future users soon. In this post, we’ll explain how you can get involved with the network and maximize your chances of getting future Optimism airdrops when they’re announced.

Spoiler alert: there is no shortcut, being present and active in the ecosystem is the best way to qualify for future airdrops.

1. Bridge from Ethereum to Optimism

The first step to taking part in the Optimism ecosystem is to move ETH from mainnet Ethereum to Layer 2.

You can go through the official Optimism bridge or one of other popular bridges.

Functionally, all bridges work the same way. You lock some ETH on the mainnet and the equivalent amount of ETH is minted on Optimism. But gas costs, bridge fees, and speed can vary, making it hard to know which bridge will give you the best deal at any given time.

Luckily Zerion can help you find the fastest or cheapest bridge.

Zerion aggregates bridges — native bridges and protocols like Hop.Exchange — to find the best deal for you.

Here’s how bridging on Zerion works.

  1. Connect wallet: Go to app.zerion.io and connect any non-custodial Ethereum wallet. Then click Zerion’s Bridge tab.
  2. Networks: Select Ethereum as the ‘From Network’ and Optimism as the ‘To Network’.
  3. Assets: Select the assets (start with ETH, you’ll need it to pay gas on Optimism) and how much you want to bridge. Because Optimism is specifically created for people “priced out of Ethereum”, you likely don’t need to transfer the whole bank.
  4. Bridging goal: You can select how you want to bridge. ‘Max Received’ will make sure you get the most tokens in Optimism. And ‘Fastest Transfer’ will find the fastest bridge.
  5. Get the offer: Zerion will automatically scan all available bridge options and will suggest the optimal bridge for you, estimating the transfer time and fees.
  6. Transfer: Click ‘Transfer’ and sign transactions with your wallet.
Zerion's bridge aggregator
Zerion's bridge aggregator found that Hop is the cheapest bridge

That’s it!

Typically after 15 minutes, the transaction is mined (you can check it on Etherscan) and you’ll receive ETH in your address but on the Optimism network. If it takes a bit longer, don’t worry, congestion can sometimes slow the Ethereum network.

Once your ETH is on Optimism, Zerion’s overview will reflect its value in your portfolio. Click on the ‘All Networks’ dropdown menu and you’ll notice your Optimism assets.

Zerion's tracking on Optimism
Zerion helps to track all your assets on Ethereum and Optimism

Now that you have some ETH on Optimism, it’s time to use it!

2. Use dApps on Optimism

Optimism, like any other Layer 2 network, wants to reward real people who are active in their ecosystem.

Regularly using dapps is the best way to show that you are a real person and not just hunting airdrops.

Let’s take a look at how you can swap, lend, and provide liquidity on Optimism to maximize your chances of getting the next airdrop.

Swap

You’ll need some assets to play in Optimism and you have a lot of choices when it comes to DEXes: Uniswap, 1inch, Curve, and many other top exchanges are already on Optimism.

Zerion’s trading aggregation can help you find the best deal across all major DEXes.

Just head to Zerion’s Swap tab and select the assets that you want to buy. Zerion will automatically scan all major DEXes on Optimism and will offer you the best deal, taking into account fees and slippage. For that Zerion will charge a 0.5% fee, which is waived if you hold a Zerion Genesis NFT.

What to buy?

It’s up to you, but here are some suggestions that would be useful in dapps in the Optimism Ecosystem:

  • DAI: the decentralized stablecoin by MakerDAO. You can lend it or use it to provide liquidity.
  • Synth sUSD: the synthetic stablecoin, minted through the Synthetix protocol. It’s used in several popular dapps on Optimism.
  • SNX: the native token of the Synthetix protocol. You can stake SNX to mint sUSD and earn rewards in SNX.

Lend

Now that you’ve bought some assets, you can lend them out to earn a yield.

Aave is probably the easiest and least risky option although it’s not the only lending platform on Optimism. The yields for stablecoins aren’t too high (2-3%) but it’s better than nothing.

Instead of depositing tokens to Aave, you can simply buy yield-earning tokens straight on Zerion. You can just buy these tokens on Optimism and they will accrue interest to your wallet:

Optimism markets on Aave
Optimism markets on Aave

Provide liquidity

If you’re looking for higher yields, you can also provide liquidity in one of the many protocols that are live on Optimism.

  • Uniswap: the top DEX that doesn’t need an introduction. Most people on Optimism will likely need to trade WETH/DAI, so it could be a lucrative pool to be in.
  • Hop Protocol: this is a popular bridge, where you can provide liquidity to people bridge assets. On Optimism, you can pool ETH, USDC, USDT, and DAI to provide liquidity to people who use the bridge.
  • Synthetix: it’s the protocol for creating synthetic assets. When you stake SNX, you mint sUSD and also earn rewards in SNX.
  • Lyra: this is a platform for trading on-chain options. You can lock up sUSD to provide liquidity to option buyers and earn trading rewards in LYRA tokens.

Wherever you decide to lend, stake, or provide liquidity, you can use Zerion to track your portfolio on Optimism, automatically calculating the value of positions, debts, and rewards.

Zerion shows all your positions on Optimism
Zerion shows all your positions on Optimism

3. Take part in DAO governance

The first Optimism airdrop rewarded people who took part in DAO governance.

On-chain voting is the easiest way to identify people who are active participants in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Here are several of the most active DAOs that are also on the Optimism network:

To vote in DAOs, you first need to own governance tokens and then connect your wallet to a governance dashboard like Snapshot or Boardroom. Those dashboards will also help you find governance proposals for any other tokens you hold.

4. Bridge to other networks – and stay active on Ethereum

Optimism is aimed at people who are priced out from the Ethereum mainnet.

But people who are on other EVM-compatible L1s (such as BSC) and L2s (e.g. Arbitrum) are also great potential recruits for Optimism. So, it might be a good idea to bridge some assets to other networks to qualify for future OP airdrops.

The first Optimism airdrop included active Ethereum addresses that bridged to these networks:

  • Polygon
  • Gnosis Chain
  • Arbitrum
  • Solana

You can use Zerion’s bridge aggregation to bridge assets from Ethereum to Polygon, Gnosis, and Arbitrum with the cheapest or fastest bridge. To bridge to Solana, you’d need to use Wormhole.

Optimism specifically mentioned that airdrop recipients who bridged still remained

“one of the most active users on L1 Ethereum”

So, don’t create brand new addresses that you don’t plan on using.

This leads us to another important action point.

5. Be a human!

Don’t just hunt airdrops. Actually use Optimism and Ethereum.

Future Optimism airdrops will reward active users who contribute to the network. Trade, swap, provide liquidity, lend assets, vote, mint — do what an actual human would do.