The Evolution of Superchains: From Cosmos to OP Stack

Author: @Hercules_Defi; Compilation: Web3 Map

Exploring the unknown and looking toward the future, this in-depth analysis of the evolution of “Superchains” provides an excellent opportunity. From the initial Cosmos IBC to the modern Polygon 2.0, the article focuses on this ongoing journey of blockchain technology. By delving into important stages such as Avax Subnets, OP Stack, Arbitrum Orbit, Op BNB, ZK Stack, and others, we can witness how these technologies matured and shaped today’s Superchains. If you are passionate about exploring the latest technologies in blockchain and eager to understand the development trend of this field, then this article will provide you with a valuable guide. Let us soar in the magnificent sky of Superchains and explore their infinite potential and opportunities together.

The Evolution of Superchains: From Cosmos to OP Stack

From Cosmos IBC to Polygon 2.0-let’s take a look at the evolution of Superchains??.

The Evolution of Superchains

Cosmos IBC –> Avax Subnet –> OP Stack –> Arbitrum Orbit –> Op BNB –> Zk Stack –> Polygon 2.0

Cosmos IBC

It all started with Cosmos IBC, which is a protocol that handles identity authentication and data transmission between two blockchains.

Although Inter Blockchain Communication was launched in April 2021, its popularity rose due to Terra’s success.

Cosmos IBC

However, things did not go as planned for the Terra blockchain, which relied on Cosmos IBC, as $LUNA began to crash and UST anchoring failed.

This was a black swan event in the history of cryptocurrency, and many investors lost a lot of money, which in turn damaged the Cosmos brand.

But Cosmos recovered from it, and here are some notable projects built on Cosmos:

  • @berachain,

  • @SeiNetwork,

  • @dYdX,

  • @noble_xyz

  • @CelestiaOrg

Avax Subnets

In April 2022, Avax introduced its subnets, which are a subset or partition of the entire Avalanche network.

It consists of a group of nodes called validators that collaborate to achieve consensus on-chain or cross-chain transactions.

Avax Subnets

You can think of a subnet as a network within the larger Avalanche network.

It has its own validator set and has its own rules and parameters for achieving consensus.

Subnets provide scalability and flexibility for the Avalanche platform.

OP Stack

OP Stack refers to a set of software components that support the Optimism ecosystem, including OP Mainnet and OP Superchain.

OP Stack

The goal of OP Stack is to support creating new L2 blockchains that can interoperate within the ecosystem.

OP Stack provides a shared, high-quality, completely open-source system for creating new Layer 2 blockchains.

By coordinating shared standards and avoiding duplicate work in separate silos, the Optimism Collective aims to streamline the process of developing new L2 chains.

Arbitrum Orbit

On March 16, 2023, the Arbitrum Foundation announced the launch of Arbitrum Orbit, a permissionless solution that allows any developer to build Layer 3 blockchains using Arbitrum technology.

Arbitrum Orbit

Arbitrum Orbit is a platform that allows developers to create their own private chains that connect to Arbitrum’s layer-2 (L2) chains, namely Arbitrum One, Arbitrum Nova, or Arbitrum Goerli.

The main advantage of using the dedicated AppChains with Arbitrum Orbit is that developers can customize various aspects of their chains flexibly.

This includes customization options such as privacy settings, permissions, fee tokens, governance mechanisms, and more.


opBNB is a high-performance Layer2 solution that runs within the BNB ecosystem and is built using the OP Stack.

By utilizing OP Stack, opBNB can maintain stable and affordable gas fees.

opBNB achieves significant performance gains by improving caching efficiency.


It aims to address the scalability challenges faced by blockchain networks, particularly in terms of transaction throughput and cost.

opBNB has a block size of 100M, which allows for a significant increase in the number of transactions that can be processed in a single block.

ZK Stack

ZK Stack aims to make it possible to create custom Zero-Knowledge (ZK) driven Layer-2 (L2) and Layer-3 (L3) solutions, called Hyperchains.

It is based on the code previously implemented in the zkSync Era.


ZK Stack is a modular and open-source framework developed in response to the challenges described in ZK Credo.

More details about ZK Stack have been described in another article:

Polygon 2.0

On June 20, the engineering team at Polygon Labs recently introduced a proposal to upgrade Polygon Proof-of-Stake (PoS) to zkEVM validium.

zkEVM validium is a novel concept that combines elements of zero-knowledge proof and EVM-compatible environment.

Polygon 2.0

Validium is an extended solution used to describe blockchain networks that combines aspects of Rollups and Sidechains.

It aims to provide higher throughput and lower costs than the main chain, while still benefiting from its security and decentralization.

Polygon 2.0 is a ZK-driven Layer 2 blockchain network, unified through a new cross-chain coordination protocol.

It revolves around each Polygon chain being a ZK L2.

The goal is to increase user security while maintaining existing functionality and low costs.

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