The Dependency Set

Table of Contents

The dependency set defines the set of chains that destination chains allow as source chains. Another way of saying it is that the dependency set defines the set of initiating messages that are valid for an executing message to be included. An executing message MUST have an initiating message that is included in a chain in the dependency set.

The dependency set is defined by a set of chain ids. Since it is impossible to enforce uniqueness of chain ids, social consensus MUST be used to determine the chain that represents the canonical chain id. This particularly impacts the block builder as they SHOULD use the chain id to assist in validation of executing messages.

The dependency set is configured on a per chain basis.

The chain id of the local chain MUST be considered as part of its own dependency set.

While the dependency set explicitly defines the set of chains that are depended on for incoming messages, the full set of transitive dependencies must be known to allow for the progression of safety. This means that the op-node needs to be aware of all transitive dependencies.

Chain ID

The concept of a chain id was introduced in EIP-155 to prevent replay attacks between chains. This EIP does not specify the max size of a chain id, although EIP-2294 attempts to add a maximum size. Since this EIP is stagnant, all representations of chain ids MUST be the uint256 type.

In the future, OP Stack chains reserve the right to use up to 32 bytes to represent a chain id. The configuration of the chain should deterministically map to a chain id and with careful architecture changes, all possible OP Stack chains in the superchain will be able to exist counterfactually.

It is a known issue that not all software in the Ethereum can handle 32 byte chain ids.

Updating the Dependency Set

The SystemConfig is updated to manage the dependency set. The chain operator can add or remove chains from the dependency set through the SystemConfig. A new ConfigUpdate event UpdateType enum is added that corresponds to a change in the dependency set.

The SystemConfig MUST enforce that the maximum size of the dependency set is type(uint8).max or 255.


When a ConfigUpdate event is emitted where the UpdateType is DEPENDENCY_SET, the L2 network will update its dependency set. The chain operator SHOULD be able to add or remove chains from the dependency set.

Security Considerations

Dynamic Size of L1 Attributes Transaction

The L1 Attributes transaction includes the dependency set which is dynamically sized. This means that the worst case (largest size) transaction must be accounted for when ensuring that it is not possible to create a block that has force inclusion transactions that go over the L2 block gas limit. It MUST be impossible to produce an L2 block that consumes more than the L2 block gas limit. Limiting the dependency set size is an easy way to ensure this.

Maximum Size of the Dependency Set

The maximum size of the dependency set is constrained by the L2 block gas limit. The larger the dependency set, the more costly it is to fully verify the network. It also makes the block building role more centralized as it requires more hardware to verify executing transactions before inclusion.

Layer 1 as Part of the Dependency Set

The layer one MAY be part of the dependency set if the fault proof implementation is set up to support it. It is known that it is possible but it is not known if this is going to be a feature of the first release. This section should be clarified when the decision is made.

If layer one is part of the dependency set, then it means that any event on L1 can be pulled into any L2. This is a very powerful abstraction as a minimal amount of execution can happen on L1 which triggers additional exeuction across all L2s in the OP Stack.