Everything You Need To Know About Linea Network and its DeFi Voyage
Tech Deep Dives

Everything You Need To Know About Linea Network and its DeFi Voyage

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3 months ago

A deep dive into Linea Network — one of the fastest growing zkEVM Layer-2 ecosystem — which recently launched a six-week DeFi voyage with MetaMask and Intract.

Everything You Need To Know About Linea Network and its DeFi Voyage

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As of November 2023, the Ethereum layer-two scaling solutions landscape is marked by a blend of optimistic rollups and ZK-rollups. So far, optimistic rollups are leading in terms of adoption, with Arbitrum (ARB) and Optimism (OP) holding down 82% of total value locked (TVL):

Source: https://defillama.com/chains/Rollup

However, ZK-rollups have been catching up quickly, as they roll out EVM-compatible solutions and broaden their DApp ecosystems. While optimistic rollups use fraud proofs, ZK-rollups leverage zero-knowledge proofs to validate all transactions off-chain and submit a cryptographic proof to the Ethereum mainnet. TVL in ZK-rollup chains has tripled over the last 12 months:

Source: https://l2beat.com/scaling/detailedTvl

Linea is a zkEVM layer-two chain launched by Consensys, the web3 software company founded by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin.

Source: https://l2beat.com/scaling/detailedTvl

Since launching on July 11, 2023, TVL on Linea has grown explosively to over $258M. This makes it the third largest ZK-rollup by total value locked, just below zkSync Era and dYdX v3.

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What Is Linea Network?

Linea is a zkEVM blockchain that launched in its alpha mainnet in July 2023. A ZkEVM is a zero-knowledge rollup that can run smart contracts that are both compatible with zero-knowledge proofs and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Launched by Consensys, Linea is integrated with leading web3 wallet MetaMask, and over 100 of decentralized applications. This has showcased Consensys’ capacity to deliver a solution that ramps up transaction throughput, while maintaining user affordability and network security.
The Linea alpha mainnet rollout saw a flurry of activity, with over 2.7 million transactions and an influx of over 100,000 weekly active users in the first month alone, making it the fastest-growing zkEVM. Consensys also established the Linea Ecosystem Investment Alliance with over 30 leading venture capital firms supporting builders in the Linea ecosystem.
Linea accelerates DeFi operations with its high transaction speed and capital efficiency. The network's low fee structure and fast finality make it an attractive alternative for DeFi applications. It also supports high-frequency, low-cost in-game transactions suitable for blockchain gaming.  Furthermore, account abstraction allows Linea’s users to pay transaction fees in stablecoins, simplifying the user journey. This innovation removes technical barriers, thus lowering the entry threshold for mainstream adoption.

By providing these technical facilities, Linea lays down the infrastructure for a versatile and user-friendly environment within the Ethereum ecosystem.

Linea’s Vision

Linea started in 2019 to address Ethereum's scalability bottleneck and has followed a meticulous path to decentralization. Its vision is to transcend the centralized paradigms of network operation and governance, creating a layer-two ecosystem that is organic, community-driven and resilient. The project envisions itself as a collective entity where its identity and progression are not hinged on any singular stakeholder group but is the sum of its users, developers and contributing partners.

Linea differentiates itself by engaging its community through initiatives such as the "Voyage XP" program, which solidifies this vision of shared stewardship. Voyage XP are soulbound tokens that amplify engagement by recognizing contributions. These are a representation of commitment and a badge of honor within the ecosystem.

Through various "Voyages," each targeting different ecosystem facets like testnet trials, gaming and DeFi explorations, Linea undertakes network stress tests and inducts its user base into the fabric of its decentralized narrative. This inclusive, interactive approach strengthens their network and educates and empowers the community to be the front runners of a self-sustaining and decentralized future.

Linea DeFi Voyage With MetaMask

Linea introduced the Linea DeFi Voyage, a comprehensive program designed for both beginners and advanced web3 users to explore decentralized finance through an engaging, informative and experiential journey.

The program's first leg spotlights MetaMask, empowering voyagers to bridge ETH to Linea and explore token swapping on Linea’s ecosystem, with easy-to-follow guides and instructional content. Spanning six weeks, the DeFi Voyage distills complex DeFi activities into manageable tasks accompanied by educational layers and simulations crafted in partnership with MetaMask Learn and Intract.

Participants earn non-transferrable XP tokens that capture their contributions within the Linea network. These tokens, coupled with optional bonus tasks across over 80 dapps, aid in learning and discovery without the pressure of a tiered system.

Voyagers are advised to use a primary wallet and optionally link secondary wallets to simplify proof of humanity checks and assure seamless XP accumulation, with an emphasis on security and ease of use.

Linea’s Key Metrics

TVL on Linea has grown explosively to over $100M in only four months, according to L2Beat:

Source: https://l2beat.com/scaling/projects/linea

According to LineaScan, Linea now has over 1.65 million unique users and 17 million total transactions. Daily active addresses and daily transactions are in a steady uptrend, making it one of the fastest growing zkEVM ecosystem:

Source: https://lineascan.build/charts

How Does Linea Work?

What Are Zero-knowledge Proofs?

Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) are cryptographic protocols that enable one party to prove to another that a given statement is true, without revealing any additional information beyond the validity of the statement itself. This powerful characteristic of ZKPs makes them ideal for privacy-preserving transactions and interactions in various applications, including blockchain and smart contracts.

The allure of ZKPs lies in their ability to resolve a fundamental issue in the digital world: the simultaneous need for both privacy and verifiability. For instance, ZKPs can validate the veracity of a transaction without disclosing its details, confirming someone's identity without revealing personal data, or proving a user's age without revealing the actual date of birth.

In the context of blockchain technology, ZKPs offer an invaluable layer of security and privacy. They allow for the creation of transactions where the sender, receiver and transaction amount can remain hidden, enhancing the privacy features of a public blockchain. This is accomplished without compromising on the blockchain's inherent traits of trustlessness and security.

An essential feature of ZKPs is their non-interactive nature, particularly with zk-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge), which Linea leverages. zk-SNARKs do not require ongoing communication between the prover and verifier, enabling the proofs to be verified with just a single message—an attribute that's both efficient and practical for decentralized applications.

Linea Architecture

Linea's architecture integrates the traditional solidity of Ethereum with the fluid dynamics of an L2. This section introduces Linea's framework and explains the intricate layers and mechanisms of Linea.

Coordinator

The Coordinator in Linea serves as a linchpin for Linea’s operations, acting as a hub of coordination for various processes within the network. It functions as both an informant and a messenger, overseeing the flow of state information to and from Ethereum.

Its primary role is to manage the flow of data. It facilitates internal communication between different components of Linea’s architecture, while also maintaining external connections with other blockchains, the data availability solutions, and the nodes that are responsible for maintaining the network's state. It essentially functions as the consensus client for Linea.

The Coordinator achieves its purpose via a highly modularized architecture, where components operate within their own designated environments. It orchestrates the network by taking inputs, processing them through the respective modules and routing the output back as necessary.

Sequencer

The Sequencer is the core of Linea’s execution engine. It orders, constructs and executes blocks.

It sequences the transactions into a specific order, assembles these transactions into blocks and executes the blocks. It also generates the necessary trace data from these executions, which is vital for zero-knowledge proof.

Linea utilizes linea-geth, an iteration of the Geth protocol optimized for zero-knowledge-proof technology. The initiative to develop Linea-besu is underway, which will leverage Besu client software to enhance the Sequencer's capabilities in compatibility and maintenance efficiency.

The Sequencer extracts transactions from Linea's mempool, similar to how transactions are processed on the Ethereum mainnet, yet with additional processes. Through interaction with the Coordinator, the Sequencer ensures that the blocks are efficiently packaged, suitable for proof generation, and compact enough for the Ethereum mainnet, where space is at a premium. This optimization is accomplished through the specialized functions of internal subsystems like the Trace Generator and the Batch Conflator.

EVM State Manager

The EVM State Manager is a key element of the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) employed within Linea's network, tasked with the crucial responsibility of recording and updating the global state, as well as the state of individual accounts across the network.

After a block has been processed by the Sequencer, the EVM State Manager takes the resultant execution trace data and updates the network's global state accordingly. This updated state information is essential in the proof generation process, as it is ultimately used by the prover for validation and submission to the Ethereum blockchain.

Trace Expansion and Proving

This module is the last step in preparing a zero-knowledge proof. It compiles together execution traces to generate a zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge (zk-SNARK).

Corset, the module’s first stage, organizes the trace data from the Coordinator. Vortex, the innovative lattice-based prover technology then generates a recursive proof which is finally compressed, using gnark, to create the final zk-SNARK proof for cheap submission to the Ethereum blockchain.

Network Data

Network data ensures the public nature of Linea’s blockchain by providing necessary transparency and access to information regarding network activities. It manages queries from users and dapps according to the Ethereum JSON-RPC API standards, including account information requests from MetaMask users on Linea. With the support of Infura and Consensys, Linea runs multiple nodes designed for various functions: client-facing RPC-API nodes handle state information and incoming transactions, while archive nodes deal with historical data demands, scaling responsively to maintain network performance.

Linea Ecosystem

Linea's latest initiative, the Dencun Voyage, reflects its steadfast commitment to community empowerment and the broader Ethereum vision. Celebrating the Ethereum Dencun Upgrade, Linea aims to cultivate 'Ecosystem Leaders' who will spark conversations on how this pivotal upgrade enhances scalability for Linea and the entire Ethereum network.

Linea provides comprehensive support for local meetups, enriching leadership skills through workshops dedicated to public speaking, community building and event management. Access to Linea's core team, exclusive Discord channels and direct influence on product roadmap discussions further augments these leaders' potential.

In a short span, Linea has onboarded numerous projects, securing substantial value and fostering a dynamic community. Its commitment extends to developers through the Ecosystem Investment Alliance (EIA) fund, encouraging innovation on Linea's L2 network. The roadmap, shared during Permissionless II, lays out plans for network decentralization, extending Linea's resolve to remain at the vanguard of DeFi innovations.

Tomo

Tomo is an important partner within the Linea ecosystem, distinguishing itself as a convergence point of social media and decentralized finance (SocialFi). It's a platform geared towards enabling meaningful and profitable interactions between creators and their followers.
Tomo offers a user-friendly sign-up process via standard social media and email accounts. Users get a personal ERC-4337 smart contract wallet upon registration, automating transactions and bridging funds to the Linea network. It leverages Linea's lower fees and is about to roll out message privacy features in Tomo's chat to offer a secure communication channel for users.

Tomo's novel mechanism fosters direct, continuous interaction between creators and followers. Users have a say through Votes, which evolve into Keys on creator signup, incentivizing and creating a tangible trust economy. Departing from traditional models, Tomo encourages a profit-sharing economy where both creators and supporters gain from shared successes. A clear, balanced revenue model ensures benefits for creators while supporting the ecosystem’s growth.

Linea Safe

Linea Safe offers robust multi-signature wallet capabilities within the Linea ecosystem. Forked from the reputable Safe project and supported on the Linea Goerli and mainnet, Linea Safe retains the well-regarded smart contracts and infrastructure of the Safe project. The wallet's distinctive edge lies in its Linea-specific branding enhancements, bringing a unique identity to the security experience on Linea's networks courtesy of Protofire's contributions.

Protofire shines as a beacon within the blockchain community, lending its expertise to elevate the web3 landscape, including pivotal support for Linea Safe. Their continuous commitment to the evolution of Linea Safe promises a secure, cutting-edge future.

Linea’s introduction of Chainlink Data Feeds to its platform is a major step forward in enriching its application ecosystem. Chainlink is considered synonymous with reliability in oracle services, connecting smart contracts with vital off-chain information ranging from market data to real-world events. Chainlink’s access to numerous premium data aggregators translates into comprehensive market information.

Upon integration, Consensys highlighted Chainlink’s prominence in web3, emphasizing the imperative role of secure and precise off-chain data in unlocking a diverse and feature-rich application ecosystem. Developers are now invited to tap into this state-of-the-art data infrastructure to craft high-quality DeFi applications, expansive gaming experiences, and innovative asset tokenization models all within Linea's L2 network.

Roadmap and Future Outlook for Linea

As Linea steers towards full decentralization, Linea designed a five-phase roadmap for its path towards full decentralization:

Phase 0

It was initiated with the Mainnet Alpha, forming the Linea Security Council to marshal network safety and releasing node software to the public, ensuring transparency and user empowerment from the outset.

Phase 1

It pursues transparency through an open-source stack and comprehensive Ethereum Virtual Machine support, enabling developers to create without constraints and fostering an environment of trust and innovation.

Phase 2

It aims to further decentralize decision-making by diversifying the Security Council and anchoring user sovereignty through censorship-resistant withdrawals, reinforcing the network's resilience.

Phase 3

It sets its sights on decentralizing the roles of Provers and Sequencers, broadening the community's involvement in essential network functions, thus contributing to a robust and self-sustaining ecosystem.

Phase 4

It envisions a future-proof network with a Multi-Prover system and limited governance powers, establishing a backbone of reliability and trust while fostering a free, autonomous Linea community.

The Linea Voyage XP program complements this process and rewards community members' contributions with non-transferable XP, marking their stake in Linea's journey and progress. Linea has teamed up with Intract and MetaMask Learn to cultivate a comprehensive DeFi experience, blending education with practical immersion, and planting the seeds for Linea’s growth in DeFi.
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