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A16z’s Hyped-up Orange Balls Revealed to be an L2 Rollup Client

A series of mysterious tweets picturing orange balls were discovered to be raising hype for a new rollup client for Optimism (OP) called “Magi” from Andreessen Horowitz’s (A16z) crypto business.

Magi is developed in the computer language Rust, according to an April 19 tweet from a16z engineer Noah Citron, and will “help improve the client diversity and resilience of the entire OP Stack ecosystem.”

The OP Stack is the software stack that powers the Ethereum layer-2 solution Optimism. Among other advantages, it simplifies the process of constructing layer-2 blockchains.

Magi, according to Citron, “takes the place of a consensus client (often called rollup client) in the OP Stack, and works alongside an execution client such as op-geth to sync,” which means it allows the Ethereum chain to progress by feeding new blocks to the execution client.

Jesse Pollak, the head engineer for Coinbase’s layer-2 solution Base, also commented on the announcement, tweeting, “magi means more decentralization, security, and scale for the OP Stack.”

Citron stated in an April 19 blog post that decentralization improves network security, which is “critically important for rollups” as well as the Ethereum foundation layer. A16z’s cryptic hype orange circle tweets paralleled Coinbase’s promotion and introduction of its own layering network dubbed Base, which included tweets with a blue circle instead.

Citron started the hype train on April 18 with a tweet depicting an orange circle with the words “coming soon.” Its resemblance to the hoopla around the release of Base encouraged the crypto community to speculate that another Ethereum layer-2 solution was on the way before a16z’s chief technology officer, Eddy Lazzarin, put an end to the speculation.

Citron also stated that Magi is still in development, and that while it can presently sync to the Optimism testnet, it would be several months before it is ready for production.


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