Expanding the Potential of Ethereum An Analysis of the New Design of Linea zkEVM

Analyzing Linea zkEVM Expanding Ethereum's Potential

In the past year, there have been many different solutions to address the scalability challenges of Ethereum. Among the many potential solutions, zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines (zkEVMs) have emerged as one of the developer’s preferred choices. Linea’s zkEVM is a relatively new competitor in this field, but it has undoubtedly quickly gained widespread attention. Let’s take a closer look at Linea and how it has attracted attention in today’s Ethereum community.

So, what is zkEVM?

Before delving into zkEVM, let’s first understand the basic concept of Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP), which is the foundation of zero-knowledge technology. Essentially, a zero-knowledge proof is a cryptographic method that allows one party to prove to another party that they possess specific information without revealing the actual information content. Currently, there are multiple algorithms for generating zero-knowledge proofs, with zk-STARKs and zk-SNARKs being the most notable.

Now, let’s explore the concept of zkEVM in more depth. It is essentially a form of zk-rollup, which simulates the execution of transactions and smart contracts on Ethereum. By emulating Ethereum’s design, zkEVM provides developers and users with a familiar environment. Developers can easily integrate their applications into zkEVM without modifying their application codebase and smart contracts.

Linea Project Introduction

Developed by the Consensys team, Consensys is the parent company behind MetaMask, Infura, and Truffle. Linea joins a lineup of successful products and has an important mission.

At its core, Linea’s driving goal is to improve transaction speed and significantly reduce transaction costs while replicating the familiar user experience of the Ethereum mainnet—potentially up to 20 times cheaper than Ethereum—thanks to Linea’s recursion-friendly, lattice-based proof mechanism. According to Vitalik Buterin’s classification, Linea will be classified as a Type-2 zkEVM. As a zkEVM, Linea not only mirrors the user experience of Ethereum but also seamlessly integrates with almost all existing Ethereum decentralized applications (dApps).

Linea’s product manager, Declan Fox, said, “If you are a Solidity developer, building on Linea is no different from building on Ethereum.”

Highlights of Linea

  • Linea integrates mature Consensys tools such as MetaMask, Truffle, and Infura.

This integration allows developers to easily connect with users through the MetaMask web3 wallet. It is worth noting that Linea’s mainnet is automatically included in the network options of the MetaMask wallet extension. This eliminates the need for users to manually enter network details, improving the user experience and making it more seamless.

Image source: Linea

  • Vortex and Arcane: Linea’s proprietary proof system

Image source: Linea

The technology behind Linea differs from other zkEVMs in terms of arithmetic schemes and internal proof systems. Linea’s transaction verification process begins with arithmetic, transforming computer programs into math expressions understandable by zero-knowledge proofs. This turns transactions into traces and a set of constraints used to verify the accuracy of computations.

Linea then employs its proprietary internal proof systems, Vortex and Arcane, to optimize computations and reduce proof size through specific algorithms, consistently enhancing the efficiency and compactness of proofs. Through multiple iterations and internal optimizations, the proofs are further compressed using the external proof system Plonk.

This architectural design enables Linea to quickly generate and verify zero-knowledge proofs, ensuring transaction confidentiality and security. By implementing recursive optimization strategies in its internal proof systems, combined with a final compression stage, Linea effectively reduces proof size while improving overall performance, providing users with fast and efficient transaction experiences. This innovative technical approach sets Linea apart in the field of zkEVMs, offering a powerful network for building scalable decentralized applications.

Linea’s Broad Applications and Strong Ecosystem

During the nine-week sailing testnet phase starting in May, Linea achieved remarkable results by processing over 30 million transactions, all from 5.2 million unique addresses. This accomplishment makes Linea one of the largest and most active projects on the Goerli testnet to date.

In July of this year, Consensys introduced the alpha version of the Linea mainnet to the public at ETHCC, marking a significant milestone. Since then, Linea has gained considerable attention, with over 150 dApps deployed on the network, including notable projects such as Aave, LianGuaincakeSwap, Beefy, and Sushiswap. It is worth mentioning that user retention is high, with over 100,000 active users returning to the network weekly, highlighting its growing popularity and active user base.

According to L2 Beat, Linea has successfully processed approximately $2.7 million in transactions in the past 30 days. As of now, the total locked value (TVL) of the network is $41 million, reflecting the significant value and participation that Linea is able to attract.

Image source: L2Beat

To drive the growth of the Linea ecosystem, Consensys is introducing the Linea Ecosystem Investment Alliance (EIA). This alliance consists of more than 30 prominent venture capital firms. The primary goal of the EIA is to empower developers by providing funding, developer resources, and clear pathways to becoming part of the Linea network.

What will be Linea’s next steps?

Following its initial launch on the mainnet, Linea has unveiled a detailed five-phase roadmap that charts the direction of the network’s development. The team plans to gradually achieve the goals of each phase through collaboration with the broader Linea ecosystem and community. With the progress of each phase, Linea moves closer to its ultimate goal of evolving into a fully matured Rollup network secured by Ethereum.

Image source: Linea

If Linea fulfills its promises, it will become one of the preferred choices for developers to deploy their applications onto Rollup, as the Consensys ecosystem already has a large user base.

The launch of Linea opens up a new design space for Ethereum developers, especially those who have integrated with Consensys products. With Linea, we may see a variety of scalable decentralized applications covering various areas such as DeFi, gaming, decentralized identity, decentralized social networks, and NFTs.