The Hop protocol is trustless and decentralized because it lives entirely on-chain. Anyone running an Ethereum node can interact with the contracts directly which will perform as programmed for as long as Ethereum exists.
Users can also access the Hop Protocol for bridging assets through other web interfaces such as bridge aggregators aggregators, or other DAPPs that have integrated Hop natively in their smart contracts. List: - IPFS-hosted Hop UI - Swing (Bridge Aggregator) - Movr (Bridge Aggregator) - Li Finance (Bridge Aggregator)
The Optimism Foundation granted 1m $OP tokens to Hop as a reward for being one of the early projects building on Optimism. Hop is using these tokens to subsidize bridging costs into Optimism by -80%. Every time a user bridges from Ethereum to Optimism (or from a L2 to Optimism) 80% of the transaction fee will be re-imbursed in $OP tokens. These $OP tokens can be claimed in the "Rewards" section of the app after the countdown period on the Rewards UI has ended (currently 14 days). These $OP rewards are calculated off-chain and then need to be verified and published on-chain by the 🔐community-multisig. The community multisig is not managed by Hop Labs but by community members who have full-time jobs in other projects and live in different timezones and continents. That's why it can take a couple of days after the countdown has ended before the rewards are actually claimable.
To participate in Hop governance with your $HOP tokens you need to first delegate your voting power to yourself. This requires an on-chain transaction and costs some gas. If you prefer you can also delegate your voting power to one of the existing delegates.
Once you have delegated you will be able to vote for the next governance vote, not the one currently live.