Bond Incentives

Table of Contents


Bonds is an add-on to the core Fault Dispute Game. The core game mechanics are designed to ensure honesty as the best response to winning subgames. By introducing financial incentives, Bonds makes it worthwhile for honest challengers to participate. Without the bond reward incentive, the FDG will be too costly for honest players to participate in given the cost of verifying and making claims.

Implementations may allow the FDG to directly receive bonds, or delegate this responsibility to another entity. Regardless, there must be a way for the FDG to query and distribute bonds linked to a claim.

Bonds are integrated into the FDG in two areas:

  • Moves
  • Subgame Resolution


Moves must be adequately bonded to be added to the FDG. This document does not specify a scheme for determining the minimum bond requirement. FDG implementations should define a function computing the minimum bond requirement with the following signature:

function getRequiredBond(Position _movePosition) public pure returns (uint256 requiredBond_)

As such, attacking or defending requires a check for the getRequiredBond() amount against the bond attached to the move. To incentivize participation, the minimum bond should cover the cost of a possible counter to the move being added. Thus, the minimum bond depends only on the position of the move that's added.

Subgame Resolution

If a subgame root resolves incorrectly, then its bond is distributed to the leftmost claimant that countered it. This creates an incentive to identify the earliest point of disagreement in an execution trace. The subgame root claimant gets back its bond iff it resolves correctly.

At maximum game depths, where a claimant counters a bonded claim via step, the bond is instead distributed to the account that successfully called step.

Leftmost Claim Incentives

There exists defensive positions that cannot be countered, even if they hold invalid claims. These positions are located on the same level as honest claims, but situated to its right (i.e. its gindex > honest claim's).

An honest challenger can always successfully dispute any sibling claims not positioned to the right of an honest claim. The leftmost payoff rule encourages such disputes, ensuring only one claim is leftmost at correct depths. This claim will be the honest one, and thus bond rewards will be directed exclusively to honest claims.

Fault Proof Mainnet Incentives

This section describes the specific bond incentives to be used for the Fault Proof Mainnet launch of the OP Stack fault proof system.

Authenticated Roles

GuardianRole responsible for blacklisting dispute game contracts and changing the respected dispute game type
System OwnerRole that owns the ProxyAdmin contract that in turn owns most Proxy contracts within the OP Stack

Base Fee Assumption

FPM bonds are to assume a fixed 200 Gwei base fee. Future iterations of the fault proof may include a dynamic base fee calculation. For the moment, we suppose that the Guardian address may account for increased average base fees by updating the OptimismPortal contract to a new respected game type with a higher assumed base fee.

Bond Scaling

FPM bonds are priced in the amount of gas that they are intended to cover. Bonds start at the very first depth of the game at a baseline of 400_000 gas. The 400_000 value is chosen as a deterrence amount that is approximately double the cost to respond at the top level. Bonds scale up to a value of 200_000_000 gas, a value chosen to cover approximately double the cost of a max-size Large Preimage Proposal.

We use a multiplicative scaling mechanism to guarantee that the ratio between bonds remains constant. We determine the multiplier based on the proposed MAX_DEPTH of 73. We can use the formula x = (200_000_000 / 400_000) ** (1 / 73) to determine that x = 1.089. At each depth N, the amount of gas charged is therefore 400_000 * (1.089 ** N)

Below is a diagram demonstrating this curve for a max depth of 73.

bond scaling curve

Required Bond Formula

Applying the Base Fee Assumption and Bond Scaling specifications, we have a getRequiredBond function:

def get_required_bond(position):
    assumed_gas_price = 200 gwei
    base_gas_charged = 400_000
    gas_charged = 400_000 * (1.089 ** position.depth)
    return gas_charged * assumed_gas_price

Other Incentives

There are other costs associated with participating in the game, including operating a challenger agent and the opportunity cost of locking up capital in the dispute game. While we do not explicitly create incentives to cover these costs, we assume that the current bond rewards, based on this specification, are enough as a whole to cover all other costs of participation.


FPM introduces a contract DelayedWETH designed to hold the bonded ETH for each Fault Dispute Game. DelayedWETH is an extended version of the standard WETH contract that introduces a delayed unwrap mechanism that allows an owner address to function as a backstop in the case that a Fault Dispute Game would incorrectly distribute bonds.

DelayedWETH is modified from WETH as follows:

  • DelayedWETH is an upgradeable proxy contract.
  • DelayedWETH has an owner() address. We typically expect this to be set to the System Owner address.
  • DelayedWETH has a delay() function that returns a period of time that withdrawals will be delayed.
  • DelayedWETH has an unlock(guy,wad) function that modifies a mapping called withdrawals keyed as withdrawals[msg.sender][guy] => WithdrawalRequest where WithdrawalRequest is struct Withdrawal Request { uint256 amount, uint256 timestamp }. When unlock is called, the timestamp for withdrawals[msg.sender][guy] is set to the current timestamp and the amount is increased by the given amount.
  • DelayedWETH modifies the WETH.withdraw function such that an address must provide a "sub-account" to withdraw from. The function signature becomes withdraw(guy,wad). The function retrieves withdrawals[msg.sender][guy] and checks that the current block.timestamp is greater than the timestamp on the withdrawal request plus the delay() seconds and reverts if not. It also confirms that the amount being withdrawn is less than the amount in the withdrawal request. Before completing the withdrawal, it reduces the amount contained within the withdrawal request. The original withdraw(wad) function becomes an alias for withdraw(msg.sender, wad). withdraw(guy,wad) will not be callable when SuperchainConfig.paused() is true.
  • DelayedWETH has a hold() function that allows the owner() address to give itself an allowance from any address.
  • DelayedWETH has a recover() function that allows the owner() address to recover any amount of ETH from the contract.

Sub-Account Model

This specification requires that withdrawal requests specify "sub-accounts" that these requests correspond to. This takes the form of requiring that unlock and withdraw both take an address guy parameter as input. By requiring this extra input, withdrawals are separated between accounts and it is always possible to see how much WETH a specific end-user of the FaultDisputeGame can withdraw at any given time. It is therefore possible for the DelayedWETH contract to account for all bug cases within the FaultDisputeGame as long as the FaultDisputeGame always passes the correct address into withdraw.

Delay Period

We propose a delay period of 7 days for most OP Stack chains. 7 days provides sufficient time for the owner() of the DelayedWETH contract to act even if that owner is a large multisig that requires action from many different members over multiple timezones.


DelayedWETH is expected to be integrated into the Fault Dispute Game as follows:

  • When FaultDisputeGame.initialize is triggered, DelayedWETH.deposit{value: msg.value}() is called.
  • When FaultDisputeGame.move is triggered, DelayedWETH.deposit{value: msg.value}() is called.
  • When FaultDisputeGame.resolveClaim is triggered, DelayedWETH.unlock(recipient, bond) is called.
  • When FaultDisputeGame.claimCredit is triggered, DelayedWETH.withdraw(recipient, claim) is called.
    participant U as User
    participant FDG as FaultDisputeGame
    participant DW as DelayedWETH

    U->>FDG: initialize()
    FDG->>DW: deposit{value: msg.value}()
    Note over DW: FDG gains balance in DW

    loop move by Users
        U->>FDG: move()
        FDG->>DW: deposit{value: msg.value}()
        Note over DW: Increases FDG balance in DW

    loop resolveClaim by Users
        U->>FDG: resolveClaim()
        FDG->>DW: unlock(recipient, bond)
        Note over DW: Starts timer for recipient

    loop claimCredit by Users
        U->>FDG: claimCredit()
        FDG->>DW: withdraw(recipient, claim)
        Note over DW: Checks timer/amount for recipient
        DW->>FDG: Transfer claim to FDG
        FDG->>U: Transfer claim to User