Optimism Will Pause Ethereum (ETH) Withdrawals

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The Optimism (OP) network is poised for a temporary suspension of Ethereum (ETH) withdrawals on Thursday, February 15, starting at 9:00 ET.

The scheduled one-hour interruption is key to a broader strategy. It aims to enhance the network’s defense against security threats.

Optimism Network Plans to Pause Ethereum Withdrawals

The pause, announced by Optimism, will facilitate essential maintenance work and the implementation of a significant protocol upgrade.

“On Thursday, Feb 15th 9:00am ET (6:00am PT), OP Mainnet will be paused as part of a planned maintenance window lasting one hour. During the pause withdraws to L1 will be rejected. The network will be unpaused at 10:00am ET (7:00am PT), Optimism announced.

OP Labs first proposed the upcoming upgrade on January 25. A key part is the new SuperchainConfig contract. This innovative feature is meant to grow with the Superchain, adding new abilities over time. Not to mention, this contract has been working well on OP Sepolia since December 11, 2023.

At the heart of this upgrade lies the enhanced ability to manage security incidents across all OP Chains effectively. The Superchain, with its intricate web of interconnected chains, indeed presents unique security challenges.

Read more: Optimism vs. Arbitrum: Ethereum Layer-2 Rollups Compared

Amount Lost to Security Incidents in 2023
Amount Lost to Security Incidents in 2023. Source: DefiLlama

The upgrade introduces a Superchain-wide pause mechanism. Its goal is to reduce risks by offering a unified and strong response. This is especially for key areas like the L1CrossDomainMessenger and withdrawals for ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens.

This strategic enhancement is not merely about reinforcing individual chains but about harnessing the collective security prowess of the entire Superchain. The upgrade focuses on L1 smart contracts, ensuring that node operators and users face no disruptions or requirements for action.

It builds on the existing network pause feature on OP Mainnet, introducing a unified SuperchainConfig contract that enhances pause functionality, thereby offering stronger security assurances for all ETH, ERC-20, and ERC-721 tokens within the standard bridges.

Read more: A Beginner’s Guide to Layer-2 Scaling Solutions

The authority to enact or lift these pauses rests with the Optimism Foundation multisig, which applies to all OP Chains that opt into this mechanism. This “all-or-nothing” approach to pausing withdrawals ensures a cohesive and timely response to any discovered vulnerabilities, underscoring the importance of a synchronized security protocol across the Superchain.

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