I. Introduction to the Project
Linea is a Layer 2 solution developed by ConsenSys, aimed at enhancing the scalability and efficiency of Ethereum. As a zkEVM, Linea leverages zero-knowledge proofs equivalent to EVM, enabling developers to easily build scalable dapps or migrate existing ones.
Linea is a product under ConsenSys, founded in 2014, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. With strong ties to governmental organizations (e.g., Inter-American Development Bank, European Commission, South African Reserve Bank) and business giants (e.g., Microsoft, JPMorgan), it’s a leader in various crypto industry committees, such as the Ethereum alliance.
ConsenSys originally focused on venture capital but began a restructuring process in 2020, dividing the company into two entities: ConsenSys Mesh and ConsenSys Software. ConsenSys Mesh serves as the investment arm, while Software concentrates on blockchain product development. Their products include the native crypto wallet Metamask, with over 30 million monthly active users, making it the largest gateway to crypto traffic in the blockchain, and Infura, a blockchain development tool for developers with more than 400,000 users. This positions them as one of the most influential and capable companies within the Ethereum ecosystem.
Currently, Metamask has been separated from ConsenSys and operates as an independent entity. Members of the Linea team remain part of ConsenSys, with 837 registered employees on LinkedIn. Linea can achieve seamless integration with products under the ConsenSys umbrella, such as within the Metamask wallet plugin, where Linea is present by default, eliminating user barriers to manually adding a network.
Linea has not undergone independent financing. Its parent company, ConsenSys, has raised over $700 million through four rounds from 2019 to 2022. Investors include top crypto investment firms like Dragonfly, Coinbase Ventures, as well as traditional financial giants like Microsoft, SoftBank, and Temasek.
Linea leverages ConsenSys’s rich industry resources and Metamask’s substantial traffic base, boosting its industry profile.
II. Technical Implementation
1. SNARK Proof Technology Based on Vortex
Linea uses SNARK proof technology based on Vortex. Vortex is a polynomial commitment scheme designed to enable recursive technology, mainly used in proof generation systems. It can batch generate proofs for bulk verification, enhancing proof efficiency and ensuring transaction privacy and security.
The above describes the internal proof system process for Linea. To authenticate a transaction, Linea starts with arithmetization, converting computer programs into mathematical expressions that zero-knowledge proofs can understand. This process transforms the transaction into a trace and a set of constraints that verify computational accuracy.
Linea then employs its internal proof systems, Vortex and Arcane, which recursively reduce the proof’s size. Through optimized computations and specific algorithms, they continuously enhance the proof’s efficiency and compactness.
Ultimately, through the recursive optimization of the internal proof systems, the proof is further compressed into the external proof system gnark, finally achieving verifiability within Ethereum.
With the surge in zero-knowledge proof projects, the main distinction among projects based on SNARKs technology lies in the different proving systems. Depending on the maturity of the proof systems and developers’ adoption, Pantheon has summarized the following most representative frameworks:
The underlying proof systems are generally improvements based on Groth16 and Plonk. Pantheon conducted four benchmark tests on Linux Server (20 cores) and Mackbook M1 Pro (10 cores) devices, examining constraint quantity, proof generation time, memory load, and CPU utilization. The research found:
1) Constraint Quantity: The Plonk framework outperforms the Groth16 framework, with gnark having the most constraints, and Boojum the least.
2) Proof Generation Time: Groth16 generates proofs faster than Plonk, with gnark being the fastest.
3) Memory Load: There is little difference.
4) CPU Utilization: gnark and Rapidsnark showed the highest CPU utilization on Linux Server devices, exhibiting excellent parallelization capabilities.
Linea’s usage of gnark shows overall outstanding performance, excelling in proof generation speed and parallelization ability.
For the complete research results, please refer to “The Pantheon of Zero Knowledge Proof Development Frameworks”
zkEVM is a virtual machine that is compatible with EVM and friendly towards zero-knowledge proofs. Since EVM was not originally designed with zero-knowledge in mind, Ethereum’s overall state transition must be rebuilt using zero-knowledge proof technology. If it conforms more to Ethereum’s specifications and standards, developers can more easily build applications on it and integrate them into the Ethereum ecosystem. Hence, better compatibility with Ethereum is a goal for most zkEVM-related projects.
The industry generally refers to Vitalik’s classification, placing Linea in Type 2 stage, i.e., fully equivalent to EVM, but not completely equivalent to Ethereum. The goal is to be fully compatible with existing applications while optimizing transaction verification time.
It’s essential to note that these types do not have superiority or inferiority but make trade-offs in development technology choices and proof generation speed. Lower coding difficulty types are more compatible with existing infrastructure but slower; higher coding difficulty types are less compatible but faster. Types 1 and 2 are easier to implement, but they can also be transformed.
The solutions further to the right have better EVM compatibility, allowing developers to use familiar contract development languages and tools, but implementing EVM Opcode into circuitry is more challenging.
Linea’s zkEVM solution is relatively easier to implement. Its project goal is to maximize proof efficiency on an EVM-compatible basis, facilitating better engagement with Ethereum developers and the ecosystem, and rapidly expanding ecological traffic.
III. Operating Data
In July 2021, the ConsenSys team proposed a SNARK-based zkEVM, and the public testnet for Linea’s zkEVM was launched in 2023. It was officially renamed Linea, and the Alpha version of the mainnet went live on July 19.
Currently, Linea’s cross-chain bridge has locked 17,631 ETH (worth approximately $33 million), with 117,000 on-chain transactions and 91,000 unique users.
Compared to other Layer 2 projects, Linea has had a relatively short online period, and its data is not yet comparable. Optimistic Rollup is growing rapidly, while ZK Rollup’s development is slower due to compatibility with Ethereum, proof generation efficiency, and transaction costs. zkSync Era is the best-performing ZK-based Layer 2, with Linea’s TVL at just 7% of zkSync Era’s, and only 7% of Abitrum’s.
Some users have reported delays in the redemption process from Layer 2 to Layer 1 (Ethereum) via Linea’s official cross-chain bridge, with delays ranging from 8 to 32 hours to as much as 4 days.
The official explanation states that, in order to carefully monitor transactions and protect user asset security, the team initially added a withdrawal delay of at least 8 hours for Linea Mainnet Alpha. As the system matures, this delay will be gradually reduced and eventually eliminated. Currently, due to the rapid increase in bridged assets, the withdrawal time on Ethereum has temporarily increased. The team is working diligently to expedite transactions for assets bridged from L2 to L1, and they anticipate returning to the target range of 8–32 hours in the next few days. All pending transactions will be processed.
1. Linea Voyage
Linea launched a testnet Voyage event on May 2, lasting 9 weeks, attracting over 300,000 addresses. Activity on-chain notably increased due to airdrop expectations.
On the day of its mainnet launch, Linea announced NFT rewards for users who participated in the Odyssey event, airdropping a total of 352,000 NFTs. The NFTs are divided into five tiers, with the first four tiers being directly airdropped into users’ wallets, and the fifth tier requiring manual minting, which is now open for a limited time of one month. Based on Odyssey points, users can receive NFTs of different levels.
3. Social Media
Linea’s mainnet currently integrates 56 ecosystems, with 106 pending. Based on defillama data, the current TVL is $15.04 million. This section will provide a brief introduction to native protocols of a certain scale:
LineaBank is a native lending protocol established on Linea, focusing on providing privacy protection and scalability. The protocol grants users full control over their assets and eliminates intermediaries through a decentralized market, offering competitive interest rates. According to data from DefiLlama, LineaBank is currently the project with the highest TVL (Total Value Locked) on Linea, with a fund size reaching $8.44 million
The total supply of LAB tokens is 100 million, and the token allocation is as follows. LAB will provide airdrops for the community, and tokens allocated to initial liquidity participants and the IDO portion will all be unlocked after the TGE. Tokens allocated to other stakeholders have different lock-up periods.
LineaBank’s protocol has a reserve rate of 80%, meaning that 20% of the protocol’s income will be distributed to liquidity providers, and 64% (80% of the 80% allocated to the protocol) will be distributed weekly to LAB stakers. However, LAB stakers can only claim LAB tokens when claiming their share of the protocol’s income, as the protocol will automatically repurchase LAB tokens with assets such as ETH or USDC and distribute them to users.
LineaBank will conduct an IDO from August 7th to August 14th, allocating a total of 5 million tokens with a fundraising target of 400 ETH. Calculated at the current price of $1864/ETH, that’s $0.15/LAB.
LineaBank hosted a ‘pre-mining’ event after the launch of the Linea mainnet, with the event running from July 19th to August 11th. Participants in the event can receive 3,000,000 $LAB (3% of the total, equivalent to $450,000). These tokens can be claimed after the IDO.
HorizonDEX is a decentralized exchange with concentrated liquidity, allowing users to allocate liquidity within a customized price range, thereby enabling traders to maximize efficiency and minimize slippage. As a native project on the Linea blockchain, HorizonDEX currently has a TVL of $2.26 million.
HorizonDEX launched a ‘Loyalty Program’ on July 19th, aimed at incentivizing trading and offering yHZN point rewards for traders and liquidity providers. The event will last for 14 days, ending on August 2nd. Participants in the Loyalty Program will share a total of 900,000 HZN tokens based on their points.
According to data from the HorizonDEX official website, the current DEX trading volume is $20.79 million, with 24-hour cumulative trading fees of $6,650, and approximately 15,000 transactions. Since its launch, growth has been steady without any rapid increase periods.
The total supply of HZN tokens is 100 million, with 15% for IDO, 8% for team allocation, 15% for project development, 12% for marketing, and 35% for liquidity mining, with specific allocations as shown. Except for IDO tokens that are all unlocked immediately after TGE, the remaining tokens mostly have lock-up periods of either 6 months or 24 months, with a total of 42.25 million tokens unlocked at genesis.
HorizonDEX conducted private and public fundraising from July 26th to July 31st, becoming the first project on Linea to undergo an IDO. The private round has ended, with a target of 135 ETH and a final amount raised of 143.5ETH, at a price of 0.000052942 ETH/HZN, or $0.099/HZN at the current price of $1864/ETH.
The public round aims to raise 870 ETH, with the current total at 240.9 ETH, at a price of 0.000059036 ETH/HZN, approximately $0.11/HZN.
EchoDEX is a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on the Linea Consensys network, also a native project on the Linea blockchain, and the first DEX to launch on Linea.
The total quantity of ECP tokens is 100 million, allocated as follows, with varying degrees of lock-in periods. The token currently only has staking functionality, and a loyalty program will be launched soon.
The native protocols prioritized for launch within the Linea ecosystem are DEX and lending, though the economic models are largely similar in design. Early on, they all need to attract liquidity through token incentives. As it stands, LineaBank’s incentive method may be more appealing to users, but it’s also “speculative” liquidity. Whether it can retain users through its first-mover advantage remains unknown, as it will face incentive competition from established DeFi brands like Aave, Sushi, etc.