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Ethereum: everything you need to know about Linea, the L2 from ConsenSys

Ethereum: everything you need to know about Linea, the L2 from ConsenSys

US ecosystem giant Ethereum will launch its second-layer protocol on 18 July. This should enable transactions to be carried out up to 15 times more cheaply.

And one more! The layers 2 (L2) sector, secondary layers placed on top of Ethereum to improve its development capacity, will have a new player from 18 July. Its name? Linea.

This solution is being developed by ConsenSys, the US start-up run by Joe Lubin, one of the co-creators of Ethereum. The company announced on Tuesday that its network was ready for public launch.

This L2 is part of the zkEVM family, meaning that all applications developed on it use the same virtual machine as Ethereum (Ethereum Virtual Machine). This is a considerable advantage for Web3 developers.

ZkEVMs, which are based on ZK Rollup technology, are distinguished from Optimistic Rollups (Arbitrum, Optimism, etc.) by the speed with which transactions are registered on the main Ethereum blockchain.

Linea thus joins the category of other heavyweights such as zkSync Era, Polygon zkEVM (and to a lesser degree StarkNet, which presented its new version last week in The Big Whale, but which does not use EVM). It now remains to differentiate one project from another...

What are the differences with other L2s?

Linea isn't actually very different from other L2s. This choice has been taken on board by the project team, who are banking on the ecosystem and the possibility of switching from one L2 to another. "If we had chosen a standard other than EVM, the risk would have been to lock ourselves into our own solution," says Nicolas Liochon, in charge of Linea and head of research and development at ConsenSys.

"For what we are building to bring value to the ecosystem, developers need to be able to switch L2s without too much friction," he adds. According to Nicolas Liochon, the aim is that, starting from a relatively common base, each L2 should find its own way of becoming the most efficient. "I think we'll probably be 30% faster than the other layer 2s," blows Nicolas Liochon.

No Linea token planned for the moment

ConsenSys is banking mainly on its historical roots at the heart of Ethereum - the start-up was founded in 2014, a year before Ethereum was launched - and the development of its own "Besu" client (the software that sends requests to a server), the performance of which is claimed to be very high.

"Besu is open source, so if everyone thinks it's the best, they can use it," adds Nicolas Liochon. "But the fact that we developed it ourselves gives us a significant head start," he declares.

To date, Besu is designed to process 30 million gas (transaction fees) per block (every 12 seconds). "We could go further, but we would risk blowing up Layer 1. We are waiting for the next Ethereum update, EIP 4844, before considering such a hypothesis," he assures.

For the time being, ConsenSys does not seem willing to issue a governance token, even though many L2s already have one. Its designers believe that there would be little point in having a token on a centralised solution: at the moment there is only one operator and it is managed by ConsenSys.

"When we are decentralised with several sequencers, and the smart contract will be much less easy to update, then we may eventually be able to think about it," murmurs Nicolas Liochon.

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