The Bankless Guide to Linea

Updated: Sept. 2023
Sep 29, 20233 min read

Linea is a newer Layer 2 (L2) scaling solution built atop the Ethereum blockchain, designed to enhance transaction efficiency and reduce costs. 

Developed by Consensys, the creators of the widely-used MetaMask wallet, Linea offers seamless integration with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), allowing for the deployment of existing applications and the creation of new ones that would be prohibitively expensive on the Ethereum mainnet

How Linea works

Linea’s architecture has three main pieces: a sequencer for transaction management, a prover that uses zero-knowledge (zk) cryptography to validate transactions, and a bridge relayer to ensure seamless communication between Linea and Ethereum. 

This architecture, combined with its general zkEVM L2 style, is designed to allow Linea to process transactions swiftly and cost-effectively, then aggregate these transactions and securely report them to Ethereum. 

However, it's important to note that Linea is still under development. The young L2 currently operates with a centralized sequencer, which can introduce risks like MEV extraction if the operator abuses their position. Funds might be frozen if the sequencer omits an exit transaction. Additionally, the upgradability of Linea's smart contracts, including the zkEVM contract, poses potential risks if malicious upgrades are introduced despite existing upgrade delays.

All that said, the plan is to evolve and decentralize Linea over time, so the network’s developers are working to address these issues. 

via L2BEAT

The pulse of Linea

Consensys activated Linea’s public alpha launch on July 18, 2023. Since then, the network has racked up over $62 million USD worth of total value locked (TVL), presently making it the 10th-largest L2 in the Ethereum scaling scene. 

Zooming in a bit, presently, the largest DeFi apps on Linea include the decentralized exchanges KyberSwap ($3.6M TVL), Velocore V2 ($2.7M TVL), and SyncSwap ($2.7M TVL). 

What you need to use Linea

  1. 👛 A wallet — MetaMask is one obvious option here since it natively supports Linea, but you can also add the L2 to other Ethereum wallets using Chainlist
  2. 🪙 Starter ETH — like you need ETH for gas on Ethereum, you need ETH to pay for transactions on Linea; if you have ETH on Ethereum, you can then bridge some over to use on Linea

How to bridge to Linea

If you’d like to bridge ETH to Linea, a basic starting point is the native Linea Bridge. Simply input the amount of ETH you want to deposit, confirm the transaction with your wallet, and then wait for your funds to arrive on the Linea network. 

Since the network is a zkEVM, it will take up to 32 hours for withdrawals to process via this native Linea Bridge. If you’d like quicker withdrawals, you can consider using 3rd-party “fast” bridges like Layerswap

What to do on Linea

via linea.build/apps

Currently, the main way to find projects to try on Linea is to explore the Linea Ecosystem directory. This database sorts actively deployed Linea apps by category, making it easy to sort through and find exactly the sorts of projects you’re interested in. A few options you might consider to begin with include:

  1. 🔄 Kyberswap — A decentralized exchange that allows for the trading of various cryptocurrencies
  2. 📝 Mirror — A decentralized publishing platform where writers can mint their articles as NFTs
  3. 🌊 Omnisea — A platform that provides tools for NFT projects, including analytics and marketplace features

Additional Linea resources

If you're interested in learning more about Linea and enhancing your comprehension of this L2, there are plenty of great resources available. Be sure to also check out: 

  1. 📜 Linea docs
  2. 🧮 Linea block explorer
  3. ⛑️ Linea help center

Zooming out

Looking ahead, Linea seems well-positioned to make significant strides in the Ethereum ecosystem going forward. Its native integrations with Consensys products, such as MetaMask and Truffle, not only bolster its technical foundation but also provide a substantial distribution advantage. As the crypto landscape evolves, such strategic alignments could be pivotal in propelling Linea to the forefront of L2 solutions.

Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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