ConsenSys-led Linea makes its debut Breaking through the limitations of ZK Rollup to achieve full EVM compatibility
ConsenSys-led Linea debuts, achieving full EVM compatibility by overcoming ZK Rollup limitations.
1. Project Introduction
Linea is an innovative blockchain solution that combines powerful zero-knowledge proof capabilities with full Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) equivalence. It allows developers to build scalable decentralized applications (dapps) or migrate existing dapps without changing code or rewriting smart contracts, greatly simplifying the development process. Linea is built by ConsenSys and is one of the Type 2 among the many types of zkEVM, leveraging the scalability properties of zkEVM to provide faster transaction times and higher throughput. zkEVM is the zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) version of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which ensures that transactions and smart contract executions are verified without leaking any sensitive information. This not only enhances security but also achieves a more scalable and efficient platform.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, ConsenSys launched the Linea internal test version, providing early access to a limited number of users, processing over 350,000 transactions, and deploying various decentralized applications. The testnet allows Solidity developers to build, test, and launch DApps while extensively testing zkEVM.
On March 28, 2023, Linea went live with the public testnet, releasing zkEVM rollup for stress testing Layer2 scaling technology. During the public testnet period, approximately 5.5 million unique wallets executed over 46 million transactions.
On July 18, Linea went live with the mainnet Alpha version. As of July 24, Linea mainnet has over 100 ecosystem projects, crossed 10,921 ETH, with 64,604 transactions and 58,344 interacting addresses.
According to hotpot_dao, the global business lead of Linea, after the mainnet launch, Linea plans to focus on the development of Layer3 and Appchain to meet the throughput and peer-to-peer transaction needs of gaming projects, while further advancing cooperation with Multi Prover.
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2. Background Team
Linea is developed and operated by ConsenSys, a leading Ethereum software company founded in 2014. ConsenSys has a global presence and employs top entrepreneurs, computer scientists, protocol engineers, software developers, and enterprise delivery experts. As one of the largest and foundational entities in the blockchain technology field, ConsenSys’ global personnel, projects, and company network are building development tools, decentralized applications, and solutions for enterprises and governments determined to harness the power of Ethereum to build the blockchain industry. The organization was named “the most famous and widespread developer and promoter of decentralized applications in the Ethereum community” by The New Yorker in 2018. The current product suite consists of Infura, Quorum, Truffle, Codefi, MetaMask, and Diligence.
Joseph Lubin is the co-founder of Ethereum and the founder of ConsenSys. Lubin was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and graduated from Princeton University with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. He developed autonomous music composition tools at Tomandandy Music’s Princeton Robotics Lab and autonomous mobile robots at the private research company Vision Applications Inc. Lubin focuses on the intersection of cryptography, engineering, and finance.
3. Analysis of ZK EVM Types
In the previous section, it was mentioned that Linea belongs to Type 2 among the four types of zkEVM. So what are these four types? What are their characteristics? Vitalik provides an overview of the zkEVM types based on Ethereum compatibility in his blog post.
Before reading the following content, it is important to know that **the closer zkEVM is to Ethereum’s functionality, the slower the generation of zk proofs and the higher the cost.** On the other hand, if a blockchain or Rollup is more compliant with Ethereum specifications and standards, developers will find it easier to build applications on it and integrate it into the Ethereum ecosystem. Therefore, blockchain platforms that are highly compatible with Ethereum may have a competitive advantage.
Type 1: This type is completely identical to Ethereum’s Zk rollups, replicating Ethereum precisely in all aspects, including hashes, state trees, transaction trees, precompiles, or any other consensus logic. So far, no zkEVM has achieved equivalence with Ethereum in practice, but Taiko’s ultimate goal is to achieve Ethereum equivalence, so theoretically it can be classified as this type.
Type 2: This type is identical to EVM’s Zk rollups and strives to be equivalent to the EVM, but not completely equivalent to Ethereum. They are fully compatible with existing applications but have made some minor modifications to Ethereum to make development easier and generate proofs faster. Linea currently belongs to this type.
Type 3: This type is almost equivalent to the EVM but sacrifices more elements and equivalence in order to generate proofs faster. Polygon zkEVM and Scroll currently belong to this type. This category is usually a stepping stone to enter the second type.
Type 4: This type is equivalent to high-level languages, which means they accept smart contracts written in Solidity and then convert them into another custom language suitable for Zk. zkSync and StarkNet belong to this category, although zkSync may add compatibility with EVM bytecode over time and eventually transition to higher types like Type 3 or Type 2.
It should be noted that these different types are not superior or inferior to each other. The choice of development is mainly based on different technical considerations and the speed of proof generation. They can also be converted into each other.
As a Type 2 solution, Linea is fully equivalent to the EVM. Unlike Type 3 and Type 4 projects, if a project has a Dapp on the mainnet, it can be directly migrated to Linea without any code changes, simply by performing a one-click conversion to use Linea’s Layer2 protocol. However, migrating to Type 4 StarkNet requires a compiler and an additional step, which may introduce security issues and additional development costs.
Currently, Type 2 is relatively easier to implement compared to Type 1. Linea has already been launched on the mainnet, while the Type 1 solution Taiko has not announced its mainnet launch date yet. This indicates that Type 2 may be more practical, while Type 1 is relatively more idealistic and its project is in the early stages.
IV. Linea vs other zkEVM
In terms of funding, Linea did not carry out separate project financing, but its parent company ConsenSys has raised $726 million, so it has sufficient funds. At the same time, ConsenSys’ project MetaMask, a leader in the wallet track, has provided strong support for Linea while bringing considerable profits to ConsenSys.
In addition, other zkEVM projects have also received substantial financing: zkSync has received $458 million, StarkNet has received $273 million, Polygon zkEVM has received $450 million, Scroll has received $83 million, and Taiko has received $22 million. Compared with these projects, Linea has sufficient funds and strong background support, making it one of the leaders in the zkEVM field in terms of funding.
In terms of technology, Linea has the advantage of Type 2 (which has not yet achieved 100% compatibility and is in the transition from Type 2 to Type 3, which will be detailed in Part 7), and it has EVM equivalence. It can fully equivalent to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), so developers can build scalable decentralized applications or directly migrate existing decentralized applications without modifying code or rewriting smart contracts.
In addition, Linea adopts a unique prover (which will be detailed in Part 5), which can increase transaction speed and reduce gas fees as much as possible while ensuring compatibility.
However, due to the inherent difficulty of zk-rollup in being compatible with EVM, Linea’s transaction speed is relatively slower and its gas fees are slightly higher compared to Type 4 and Type 3 zkEVM projects (such as zkSync, StarkNet, Polygon zkEVM) that maintain a high degree of compatibility.
Other technologies are shown in the following figure:
Note: Scroll and Taiko have not yet launched on the mainnet, so they are replaced by Arbitrum and OP Mainnet.
The above charts show the relevant data of major zkEVM projects. It should be noted that Linea’s mainnet has just launched, so its data is not significant at the moment and is for reference only.
As shown in the charts, zkSync is in a significant leading position in terms of data. However, it should be pointed out that Web3 data has a certain degree of unreliability, and many of the data are contributed by airdrop hunters, but this also reflects more people’s optimism about the project.
One of the reasons why zkSync is far ahead in data is that shortly before its mainnet went live, another Layer 2 solution called Arbitrum, belonging to the same track, launched its token and airdropped it to many users, allowing many airdrop hunters to earn substantial profits. This situation boosted the enthusiasm of Web3 users and attracted nearly 100,000 unique wallets to zkSync within just three days of its mainnet launch. At the current stage, the market is undoubtedly in a bear market, with a sluggish market and a cold market atmosphere. Many users choose to wait and see, so Linea, which has just launched its mainnet, did not generate as much hype as zkSync did during its mainnet launch, attracting fewer than 25,000 unique wallets in the first three days.
In addition, only Polygon zkEVM currently has its token, which may be one of the reasons why its data is relatively inferior to zkSync Era and StarkNet. After all, this means that Polygon zkEVM does not have the expectation of airdrops and cannot attract community contributors to provide data.
Finally, the chart shows that among various zkEVM projects in the entire Layer2 track market share, zkSync Era occupies an absolute leading position of 4.27%, followed by StarkNet, while Linea only accounts for 0.24%, nearly 20 times less than zkSync Era. It can be seen that if Linea wants to stand out among many zkEVM projects, it will inevitably need to make more efforts.
5. What are the highlights of Linea?
1. Linea can seamlessly integrate with ConsenSys products such as Infura, MetaMask, and Truffle:
Builders can easily attract users using the web3 wallet MetaMask. For example, in the network selection of the MetaMask wallet plugin, the Linea testnet is automatically available, eliminating the user experience barrier of manually adding networks and reducing the threshold to a certain extent.
In addition, with the easy-to-use API provided by Infura, developers can release and scale dapps faster. Developers can use Truffle or popular developer environments such as Hardhat, Foundry, and Brownie to build, test, debug, and deploy their Solidity smart contracts. Ganache and Diligence, which are compatible with them, respectively support local code testing and auditing.
In addition, ConsenSys’ native, trustless bridges and MetaMask user-friendly bridges also allow developers to securely move tokens in and out of networks.
2. Unique internal proof system and compression method
Linea Proof Process
Linea’s technology differs from other zkEVMs in terms of arithmetic schemes and internal proof systems. To prove the occurrence of transactions, Linea uses a series of steps. It starts with arithmetization, converting computer programs into mathematical expressions that zk proofs can understand. This process transforms transactions into traces and a set of constraints that verify their accuracy.
Next, Linea adopts the internal proof systems Vortex and Arcane, which recursively reduce the size of proofs, improve the efficiency and compactness of proofs through optimized calculations and specific algorithms. Finally, through multiple iterations and internal optimizations, the proofs are further compressed into the final external proof system, Plonk.
This design allows Linea to efficiently generate and verify zk proofs, ensuring the privacy and security of transactions. By using recursive optimization of internal proof systems and the final compression step, Linea is able to reduce the size of proofs and improve overall performance, providing users with fast and efficient transaction experiences. This innovative technical approach sets Linea apart in the zkEVM track and provides powerful technical support for building scalable decentralized applications.
Internal Proof Systems: Vortex and Arcane
1. Lattice-based design:
Vortex is a lattice-based SNARK scheme that can run on any domain with reasonable binary precision and efficiently handle various types of queries. Lattice-based hashing has multiple advantages over traditional cryptographic methods. It has faster performance than popular elliptic curve cryptography and is post-quantum, meaning it can resist quantum computing attacks. Lattice-based optimization for recursion enables efficient hardware acceleration and compatibility with SIMD parallelism. In addition, lattice-based functions avoid the trade-off between speed and usage in SNARKs, making them more versatile.
Moreover, SNARK schemes themselves have some advantages over STARKs: SNARKs are actually much faster than STARKs in terms of adoption speed. SNARKs were discovered several years earlier than STARKs, giving the technology a significant lead in adoption. Additionally, SNARKs have more developer libraries, released code, projects, and developers actively working on the technology. Furthermore, the gas required for SNARKs is estimated to be only 24% of that required for STARKs, making transactions using SNARKs much cheaper for end users. Finally, SNARKs have much smaller proof sizes than STARKs, requiring less on-chain storage.
2. Transparent setup:
The setup process of Vortex is transparent and does not require trust in setup participants, making Vortex more secure and reliable.
3. Linear commitment scheme:
Vortex uses an innovative linear commitment scheme that efficiently handles commitments of multiple scalar products and has smaller proof sizes compared to other schemes.
4. Self-recursion technique:
Vortex utilizes self-recursion technique, allowing the reuse of different Ring-SIS instances and different error correction codes, which provides flexibility in choosing Ring-SIS parameters and error correction codes to balance proof sizes and runtime.
5. Interactive Oracle Proof (IOP) model:
Arcane compiles arithmetic into the Interactive Oracle Proof (IOP) model, which allows verifiers to query oracles, which are trusted third parties that probabilistically provide necessary information. Linea adopts the Wizard-IOP framework, which offers more complex queries than the standard IOP model, and Arcane transforms constraint sets into polynomial evaluations, enhancing the mathematical form of the proofs. To eliminate reliance on third parties, Linea adopts cryptographic assumptions and iterative transformations, replacing oracles with polynomial commitment schemes.
Final compression step: Plonk
In order to enable proofs to be directly verified on Ethereum’s L1, Linea uses PlonK proof execution for the final compression step. PlonK is a zkSNARK construction, similar to Groth16 (which Linea originally used), that utilizes advanced encryption technology. PlonK’s SNARK-friendly properties and hash-based on “lattice” ensure fast verification and generate compact proofs suitable for efficient verification on L1.
Plonk vs Groth16: The transition from Groth16 to PlonK is driven by a trusted setup process. Whenever the circuit changes, Groth16 requires repeated setup, while PlonK performs setup only once, independent of the circuit. Linea’s iterative circuit design necessitates frequent re-running of the trusted setup with Groth16, raising concerns about trust. By adopting PlonK, Linea maintains the integrity of the protocol while providing confidence in fair competition to the community.
Following this transformation, a proof will be created for verification by Linea’s validator contract on Ethereum L1. After successfully verifying the proof, state commitments, and call data, the new aggregated state will be finalized on the L1 smart contract.
What are the benefits of these technologies for Linea?
In summary, the aforementioned technologies enable Linea to achieve improved transaction speed and reduced user gas fees while ensuring high compatibility with EVM. Since zk-rollup itself is difficult to be compatible with EVM, there is a negative correlation between zk-rollup’s compatibility and speed. As a highly compatible Type 2 zkEVM that is fully equivalent to EVM, Linea faces even greater challenges in improving speed. Therefore, the lattice-based SNARK scheme Vortex represents a remarkable and rare technological breakthrough in this regard.
3. Driving Multi-Prover
Multi Prover treats Linea as a client of Ethereum, and there are already many different clients such as zkSync, Polygon zkEVM, and other Layer 2 projects. Only by having multiple clients can the security of Ethereum be ensured, as even if one client fails, there are other backup clients available.
Declan Fox, Linea’s Senior Product Manager, stated that to mitigate potential risks, Linea will promote the use of Multi-Prover. This means that multiple provers (which can be understood as different Layer 2 products) will jointly use multiple different implementations of zkEVM to verify transactions. In this way, if one prover is incorrect or becomes unavailable, as long as the other available provers reach the required number, the system will continue to operate reliably.
Hotpot DAO, ConsenSys’ Global Business Lead, explains: “Multi Prover is a product that allows three different Layer 2 solutions to provide proofs. As long as all three pass, the product can be verified and returned to the mainnet, greatly enhancing the security of Ethereum. This is also one of the purposes we believe Linea serves in building Layer 2 protocols. As ConsenSys, we are mainly committed to promoting Multi Prover. This aligns well with the direction of the entire Ethereum or the future envisioning of the Ethereum network, while also presenting a significant technical challenge.”
Multi Prover is crucial for the entire Layer2 track. As the initiator, promoter, and even leader of Multi Prover, Linea will gain more market recognition and trust, and obtain more opportunities and advantages in future development if Multi Prover is successfully implemented.
Six. Ecological Development
So far, Linea has attracted more than 100 ecological partners to join. The mainnet of Linea will be launched together with this massive ecosystem formed by these partners, providing opportunities for users, builders, and developers to build the next generation of scalable Ethereum Dapps.
Based on our long-term observation of Linea, Linea has been focusing on building basic infrastructure such as cross-chain bridges and wallets in the early stage of the ecosystem, and has laid out Defi tracks including DEX and lending. At the same time, it is also deeply cultivating Social and Gamefi, continuously attracting users and developers, and achieving large-scale implementation of web3. As the Global Business Director of ConsenSys said, “Like social networks need network computing, there is a cold start problem, which is difficult to achieve on the second layer protocol. So we first do Defi well, then do some small Gamefi, and then Linea hopes that users can first experience our platform and network, lay a solid foundation, and then hope that good social software will come to develop.”
With the launch of the mainnet, we have selected some of the currently hot and active projects from the Linea mainnet ecosystem for analysis. For more detailed and comprehensive information, please refer to the official website.
LineaBank is a lending protocol built on Linea, which focuses on privacy protection and scalability. The protocol empowers users with full control over their assets and eliminates intermediaries through decentralized markets, providing users with competitive interest rates. From its project name, it can be seen that LineaBank is a native project on the Linea blockchain. In addition, according to the above chart, LineaBank is currently the project with the highest Total Value Locked (TVL) on Linea, reaching 5.81 million US dollars as of today (7.27).
In addition, it is worth mentioning that after the launch of the mainnet, LineaBank held a “pre-mining” activity, during which users were able to receive 100% of the protocol’s income.
iZUMi Finance is a liquidity optimization protocol built on the Ethereum network. It is a Uniswap V3 ecosystem project that provides “programmable liquidity-as-a-service” for blockchain projects.
iZUMi’s LiquidBox program assists projects in attracting liquidity by planning effective incentive liquidity supply programs. It also provides a shared liquidity box that maps the liquidity of a token to multiple chains, allowing LPs to mine on multiple chains using liquidity from the original chain.
iZUMi Finance has also launched iZiswap on the BNB Chain and zkSync. This is an upgraded version of the concentrated liquidity model of Uniswap V3. iZUMi is also developing iUSD, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar backed by USDC. iUSD is used for iZUMi’s bond mining program.
iZUMi’s other user-centered decentralized financial products include the impermanent loss insurance plan, which provides liquidity providers with refunds for impermanent losses caused by their LP tokens. It also offers fixed-income opportunities with an annual interest rate of up to 10% and a 30-day term.
iZUMi Finance has raised a total of $57.6 million so far, with investments from Mirana Ventures, Everest Ventures Group, IOSG, and other investors, providing strong funding and resources.
As shown in the above image, on July 11th, iZUMi announced a partnership with Linea. As of today, iZUMi Finance ranks fourth in Linea’s TVL leaderboard, with a TVL of $1.36 million as of today (7.27). This means that iZUMi Finance has been recognized and actively involved in the Linea ecosystem. Through the partnership with Linea, iZUMi will further expand its influence and contribute to the development of the Linea ecosystem.
Mendi Finance is an EVM-compatible lending protocol that will be launched on the Linea network.
Mendi Finance provides peer-to-peer lending in a fully decentralized, transparent, and non-custodial manner. As a native project on Linea, its goal is to become the leading lending platform on Linea by providing competitive incentives and the deepest liquidity in the money market.
After its launch, users can lend out any supported assets on Mendi Finance and borrow these supported assets using their own funds as collateral, including ETH, BTC, USDC, USDT, and DAI. The collateral factor for these assets ranges from 0% to 90%, representing the maximum limit for borrowing against a specific asset. If the borrowed balance of an account exceeds the collateral factor limit, the account will be liquidated.
HorizonDEX is a centralized liquidity decentralized exchange that allows users to allocate liquidity within a customized price range, enabling traders to maximize efficiency and minimize slippage. As a native project on Linea blockchain, HorizonDEX ranks second in Linea’s Total Value Locked (TVL) leaderboard, with a TVL of $1.87 million as of today (7.27).
In addition, as shown in the above image, after the launch of the Linea mainnet, HorizonDEX held an activity where users could earn airdropped tokens $HZN by trading and providing liquidity. During the activity period (7.19 ~ 8.2), for every $1 worth of trading or providing liquidity maintained for 24 hours, users will be able to receive 1 yHZN token. After the activity ends, airdrops will be distributed proportionally based on the amount of yHZN held. The more yHZN held, the more airdropped tokens will be received.
EchoDEX is a decentralized trading platform built on the Linea Consensys network and is also a native project on the Linea blockchain. It is the first decentralized exchange (DEX) to go live on Linea and currently ranks fifth in Linea’s Total Value Locked (TVL) rankings, with a TVL of over $780,000 as of today (7/27).
It is worth mentioning that its token ECP currently has a market value of $37.4 million and has attracted a lot of attention from the community during its initial issuance.
Furthermore, EchoDEX, like the two projects mentioned earlier, also has its airdrop expectations. On July 19th, they announced that users can earn points by swapping, adding liquidity, mining, or even daily check-ins, and have the opportunity to receive airdrops.
Owlto Finance is a decentralized Cross-Rollup bridge that provides a low-cost, secure, and fast asset transfer solution. The smart contract is audited by the security company Beosin. It is worth mentioning that after the launch of Linea’s mainnet, Owlto Finance initiated a 7-day zero-fee cross-chain activity for Linea.
It is worth mentioning that in the official documentation, Owlto Finance states that this Cross-Rollup bridge is different from other Cross-Rollup bridges based on secure Rollup technology. Asset transfers are made between EOA addresses of the “sender” and “liquidity provider” on the “source” and “target” networks, and the “sender” does not interact with smart contract addresses. This design reduces risks because smart contract addresses may be more susceptible to attacks, while EOA addresses are typically more secure.
To simplify the process of creating, deploying, and managing NFTs on the Linea network, NFTs2ME claims to provide utilities that allow users to create and manage NFTs without writing a single line of code. Additionally, NFTs2Me claims that this facility is open and free for anyone to use.
The tools on the platform include a design panel that allows creators to define the attributes of their NFTs. It features AI-driven art and image generation tools that enable users to create artwork on the platform, define its metadata, and set the minting price. It supports multiple NFT smart contract standards and allows collectors to pay minting fees in any (crypto) denomination.
NFT creators can use the platform’s tools in various ways to manage their generated artwork. NFTs2Me’s user dashboard has analytical tools to help users track the performance of their NFTs. Users can also schedule and execute airdrops, take snapshots, design NFT gating procedures, and prepare whitelists for their NFT minting activities through NFTs2Me profiles.
NFTs2Me is multi-chain and can be used on Ethereum, Polygon, Taraxa chain, and Layer 2 networks such as Arbitrum, Optimism, zkSync Era, and the current Linea network.
ghostNFT is one of the official testnet projects of Linea Network. With the launch of the mainnet alpha, it is expected to be available on the mainnet.
ghostNFT claims to provide additional monetization capabilities for NFTs by using the ERC-721Envious standard (an improved version of the ERC-721 standard). It claims to empower NFT creators and collectors in various ways by integrating NFT and decentralized finance through its NFT 2.0 project. It allows creators to define mortgage plans for their NFTs, collect collateral, and conduct fundraising campaigns for the release of their NFTs. Users can also perform this operation on individual NFTs or entire collections through the “decentralize” function.
ghostNFT is multi-chain and is already available to users on Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain, Avalanche, and several other networks.
thirdweb is a UK-based Web3 software developer that offers free Web3 development tools. Developers can build, launch, and manage Web3 projects without writing any code. With just a few clicks, developers can add features including NFTs, social tokens and currencies, token trading markets, and NFT trading.
On August 25, 2022, thirdweb completed a strategic financing of $24 million with a valuation of $160 million. The investment was led by Haun Ventures, with participation from Coinbase Ventures, Shopify, Protocol Labs, Polygon, Shrug VC, and others. In addition, individual investors include Joseph Lacob, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm, who is also a major shareholder of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. In a previous $5 million seed round, Thirdweb also received investments from Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and Gary Vaynerchuk, a well-known American entrepreneur, bringing the total funding to $29 million and providing strong financial support.
In addition, Linea has also released a tutorial on “how to quickly build with thirdweb”, which provides detailed instructions on how to deploy smart contracts using thirdweb’s Solidity SDK, manage them through a dashboard, and build an application to interact with the SDK.
QuestN is a Web3 task and activity platform incubated by Hogwarts Labs. Users can earn tokens and NFT badges by participating in tasks and activities.
QuestN is committed to providing a variety of permissionless on-chain and off-chain tasks for GameFi, DAOs, and other projects, bringing continuous benefits to users and the Web3 ecosystem and its native value.
As shown in the above figure, QuestN has completed nearly 90 million tasks, issued over 1.6 million NFTs, and has the support of over 26,000 communities.
In addition, on June 1 of this year, QuestN’s parent company Hogwarts Labs completed a Pre-A round of financing, raising $8 million.
As mentioned earlier, it is obvious that Linea’s ecosystem is still in the very early stages of development. Currently, most of the projects with high TVL rankings have attracted a large number of airdrop hunters through airdrop expectations, resulting in increased TVL and trading volume.
However, Linea is backed by the powerful blockchain company Consensys, which provides strong resources and financial support, laying a solid foundation for the development of its ecosystem. Over time, Linea’s ecosystem may gradually improve and grow, and the strong background support can also attract more developers and projects to bring more useful and innovative applications to users.
7. Project Progress and Future Plans
The recent “Linea Voyage” event organized by Linea has been a huge success, with over 30 million transactions and 5.2 million unique wallets participating in just nine weeks. In addition, during the Linea testnet phase, there were a total of 5.5 million unique wallets submitting over 46 million transactions, making Linea one of the largest and fastest-growing projects on the Goerli network.
Now, Linea has entered a new stage. Last week, Linea released the alpha version of its mainnet. In the alpha stage, Linea will start evaluating partners and users, monitoring the system, and providing support for those building new functionalities using Linea. This version will be the first complete system of Linea on the mainnet, serving as a “training round” for users to learn and adapt to Linea in a real-time environment.
At the same time, the Linea team is also actively pursuing gradual decentralization and minimization of trust in the system. This process is divided into five stages, namely stages 0 to 4:
EVM Equivalent: Linea’s zkEVM provides functionality equivalent to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) specified by the Ethereum Foundation to ensure default portability. Developers based on Linea can choose to transfer their dapps to other EVM-supported chains like Ethereum without rewriting smart contracts, reinstalling tools, or paying new fees.
Initiate Security Council: At the same time, Linea will convene the first Linea Security Council meeting to monitor the network, protect users, and mitigate risks associated with the new system.
In addition, client software for running local nodes on the Linea network will be made public, allowing any participant to independently verify the state of Linea and minimize trust in Linea operators.
Open Source Stack: The Linea team plans to license the Linea software stack under AGPL-3.0, a free software license that ensures users can freely view, fork, and modify the code.
100% EVM Coverage: Linea will generate computation proofs for all EVM opcodes and precompiles, unlocking trustless execution for all use cases. Additionally, arithmetic specifications will be published, audited, and accepted with bug bounties to enhance the security and reliability of the system.
Diversified Council: The Council established during the Alpha launch of the Linea mainnet plays a critical role in the supervision and control of the network. To prevent centralization of power and potential biases, the Linea team plans to expand participation in the Council while maintaining the 6 out of 8 multisignature threshold or stricter immediate upgrade thresholds. This modification ensures a balanced representation and facilitates more robust collective decision-making, adding an additional layer of checks and balances to the system.
Resistance to Censorship: The architecture will be improved to prevent Rollup operators from blocking user withdrawals. In this phase, Linea will ensure that users can initiate withdrawals independently, ensuring continuous access to and control of their assets on Linea.
Decentralized Operators: The Linea team plans to significantly enhance the trust of network participants and the overall integrity of the system by decentralizing the roles of Provers and Sequencers. Currently, Provers and Sequencers are responsible for generating zero-knowledge proofs and managing Layer 2 transactions, serving as key roles in the Linea ecosystem. The team acknowledges that this may introduce some technical complexities, such as potential delays, increased transaction costs, and potential maximum extractable value (MEV) issues. However, the team expresses commitment to addressing these challenges and building a trusted and efficient platform for the community.
Decentralized Governance: The official team states that the democratization of Linea governance is crucial for ongoing development. This approach fosters a fair, transparent system where all stakeholders can participate, and Linea’s future is guided by its user community. This shared governance not only mitigates the risks of unilateral decision-making and single points of failure but also enhances network resilience. In turn, it fosters collective ownership and trust among network participants, strengthening the ecosystem’s sustainable growth.
The final stage of the roadmap aims to further ensure the robustness of the ecosystem and mitigate trust-related risks through the implementation of multiple provers and restrictions on governance power.
Multi-Prover Rollup: The EVM will continue to evolve as described in the Ethereum roadmap and will be driven by the larger Ethereum community and Ethereum Foundation. Therefore, to make changes to the Linea network at a reasonable pace and mitigate implementation risks, the official plan is to integrate various implementations of zkEVM provers, known as Multi-Prover rollup.
By verifying every transaction on Linea with multiple heterogeneous implementations of zkEVM, it ensures uninterrupted operation of the system even if one prover encounters errors or becomes unavailable (considering the complexity, this is not impossible). This approach not only enhances confidence in the platform’s reliability during the continuous development of the EVM specification but also encourages exploration of innovative advancements while maintaining excellent system uptime.
Governance Restrictions: Finally, Linea plans to limit governance rights and restrict governance to the necessary scope. Upgrades to the aggregation logic will be immutable, only allowing upgrades to validators in the event of changes to the EVM specification. Users will receive reasonable notice of exiting aggregation. These measures are intended to maintain the stability and security of the system and promote participation and trust within the community.
Linea’s emergence has not yet brought significant changes to the web3 industry and has relatively weak impact on the Layer2 track. However, in the zkEVM track, Linea can be considered a breakthrough. As the first zkEVM project to go live on the mainnet, Linea itself is an important advancement for the zkEVM track. This means that zkEVM has reached a level of full equivalence with EVM, enabling seamless migration from the mainnet to zk-Rollup.
In addition, compared to other zkEVM projects, Linea has strong background support, with users, resources, and funding support that are ahead of other projects, making it a strong competitor. This increases the sense of urgency for other zkEVM projects and further accelerates the development process of the entire zkEVM track.
However, based on the data analysis in the previous section, we can see that Linea still has a considerable gap compared to zkSync, the leader in the zk-rollup track. At the same time, in terms of ecosystem development, Linea is still relatively behind compared to several other zkEVM projects that have already gone live on the mainnet. Therefore, Linea still needs continuous improvement and refinement in order to surpass other zkEVM projects and become the leader in the zkEVM track. This requires continuous efforts from the Linea team and active attraction of more developers and users to participate, promoting the prosperity and development of the entire ecosystem.
 A Quick Look at Linea: Blockchain Technological Innovation Led by Web3 Giant ConsenSys
 Biteye Interview with ConsenSys: Linea’s Strategy and Roadmap
 ConsenSys’ zkEVM Linea Goes Live on the Mainnet, Overview of Its Ecosystem Development Status
 A Guide to the Linea Ecosystem
 A Review of Polygon: Ethereum’s Swiss Army Knife for Scaling, Future Growth Points, and Valuation Analysis