Boba Network Launches as Ethereum’s Newest Layer 2


Enya’s Boba Network announced its public mainnet launch on Monday, adding to a small but growing group of layer 2 technologies working atop the Ethereum blockchain.

The network joins other projects, including Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, zkSync and StarkWare, in addressing Ethereum’s ongoing scalability, or expansion, issues.

“Everyone has a smile when they drink boba,” Alan Chiu, founder of Boba Network and CEO of Enya, told CoinDesk during the Mainnet 2021 conference in New York on Wednesday, referring to the tea-based drink with tapioca pearls. “That’s how we want our users to feel when they use [Boba network]. It evokes happiness.”

The Boba Network is part of a subcategory of Ethereum layer 2s called Optimistic Rollups, which are derived from the open-source Optimism codebase. However, Boba would allow users to withdraw funds in minutes, as opposed to days, while using Optimism, said Chiu.

Since its beta launch last month, Boba Network has partnered with several DeFi projects, including DODO, a decentralized exchange (DEX) with approximately $70 million in total collateral locked, and Sake, a protocol that allows users to buy perpetual contracts.

Chiu said the network will increase demand for Ethereum by allowing engineers to build more sophisticated applications using a wider range of programming languages.

“We have a feature called Hybrid Compute, which allows developers to build advanced algorithms that are too expensive to do on-chain,” Chiu said. Ethereum’s native programming language Solidity “is really constraining, he added. “A lot of DeFi developers have had to dumb down their algorithms.”

The project, which was developed by OMG Foundation core contributor Enya, also announced it would be releasing a $BOBA token to support decentralized governance of the network.

“From a community perspective, we’re lucky to have inherited the OMG network,” Chiu said. “We have a DAO and a token, so BOBA token holders can participate in the governance of the network. We are also sharing the profits generated from the network with our token holders.”

Existing $OMG token holders are expected to receive a one-to-one drop of $BOBA tokens “later next month” if they bridge their $OMG tokens to the new Boba network.

The price of $OMG has surged 140% over the past three months, bringing OMG Network’s market capitalization to approximately $1.3 billion.

Chiu also told CoinDesk that Boba Network plans to incentivize developers with the launch of an ecosystem fund “sometime in Q4.”

“Boba is targeting both DeFi and NFT use cases,” Chiu said. “We’re also the only layer 2 solution with a token.”

“Ethereum certainly has product market fit. That’s why there’s so much focus on helping it scale,” Chiu added.