24th August, 2023 – In another "Ask Me Anything" session with Bitrue, we talked to Shuyao Kong, Head of Global Business Development for Linea, about how they are revolutionizing Ethereum Scaling through ConsenSys. Linea is a developer-ready Ethereum-equivalent zkEVM network that utilizes zero knowledge technology and rollups. Linea boasts improved transaction fees and significantly lower fees compared to the main network. It uses zero knowledge to verify the authenticity of transactions. It also features technology like quantum-resistant lattice-based cryptography and its Canonical Messaging Sevice.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the main Q&A’s of the AMA session below:
Q1. Can you please take a moment to introduce yourself?
You can just call me Dabbing. It's better. Thank you guys for inviting Linea. It's great to see so many people dial in. I lead Global Business Development at Consensus. And at Consensus, we have a few products in the web three ecosystem. We have MetaMask the wallet, we are inferior to the RPC provider, and then Linea, we are the same company, so a lot of people confuse us as a different company. But it's all the same company, same people working on all three products.
Q2. Can you please give us a brief introduction on what is Linea and how does Linea address the scalability challenges faced by Ethereum's mainnet?
Of course. So a lot of people didn't know about Linea because we have been keeping it pretty quiet. We started Linea actually around three years ago. It was an internal research and development project by Consensus researchers. As an Ethereum aligned company, our goal is to solve all sorts of major problems of Ethereum, and scalability was one of them.
We were actually the second team that focuses on using zero knowledge roll up to solve Ethereum scaling issues. The first one was the Polygon mass. And if you read Vitalik's early paper, it actually referenced a lot of our technology. So it's not something completely new. It has existed for many years. Originally we were planning to launch it as a public good project, but now we realize there's so much synergy, there's so many business opportunities, so we decided to productize it. At the end of last year, we launched Mainnet around EFCC July in Paris this year, and we're going to do more going forward.
So what is Linea? Linea is a ZK EVM, layer II. Right now we are a type three GKE EVM, and we will be type two by the end of the year. It's because it's EVM compatible, so users and developers have very minimum switching costs, so anything that you're familiar with on Ethereum Mainnet, Optimism, Arbitrum, Polygon, you can use the same on Linea. And because we use our own zero knowledge proof technology, it adds an additional layer of security. There's instant finality compared to optimistic roll up that requires a few days of settlement.
Also, Linea is one of the default networks on MetaMask, so it's extremely easy for people to go and interact, go on MetaMask and just interact with any DAP. You don't have to find chain ID and go to Linea, it's just there on MetaMask. So that's a brief intro of what Linea is.
Q3. How do the developers and the community get involved with Linea’s growth and development? What is the conclusion to Linea’s voyage?
So you know, as most voyagers, you don't conclude, the journey goes on. If Web3 is going to take over the world, we are really only at the beginning. So we really believe that we just started it. So how do communities get involved? First and foremost, Linea is an open and permissionless ecosystem, anybody can build. We're not here to safeguard, but that doesn't mean we don't provide support to people who want to build on Linea, quite on the contrary, we want to foster a sense of community camaraderieship and we want the people to build on Linea and have fun building on top of Linea. That's super important to us. So if any of the audience here you're building on Linea, you're considering using Linea, just twitter DM me, reach out to me, we're going to schedule a cover with either me or my team. We can help you understand what you can build, what are the tools available, We have most of the tools, whether you're building DeFi NFT creators, games, we got you, just talk to us.
But in terms of the specific support, there are a few things, the first one is co marketing. As many people know, Consensus has a pretty decent range of social media presence. So we can do simple things like retweets, we can co-market blog. Something really cool we did during ECC was, we had a booth inside ECC and rather than just having Consensus people there talking about Linea, we actually rented our booths to our partners so they can actually take a prime real estate in a conference and talk about their products. Linea will not be who we are without our partners. Like people who build on Linea are way more important than us and we will give them all the resources we have. So the co marketing is a big piece of it.
Second one is investment. We've built a pretty awesome Linea ecosystem alliance with our investors and some of our investor friends who are pretty aligned with our ESOS. We will help projects connect them with investors, with liquidity providers and just be a good matchmaker for projects that need investment or liquidity or other forms of needs. So that's the second category of our support.
And then the last one is we provide a bit of tech support if the team needs it, but on the condition that we don't maintain the technical integration. But consensus is a big company, we have a small team of technical developers who can help projects if they're running out of hands. So those are the support we're providing to communities. And I think overall, we just started. So whether it's for developers or people participating in Voyage or we're going to actually launch more quests going forward, we wanted to see people use Linea. Right. We don't want Linea to be a dead chain. People need to interact with it.
Q4. Since the alpha mainnet is now live, how does Linea see in the future of decentralized applications within the Ethereum ecosystem?
I think the most important thing to us is, there's going to be a lot of different players that's going to play major roles in building out the DAP ecosystem in Ethereum, Linea is one of them. And we never perceive this whole thing as a zero sum game. We actually work with other projects and try to build things together, share experiences and all of that. So I want to make it clear so people don't think, oh, you guys are competing with others. It's really not how we're thinking about it.
But to answer your question specifically, how do we foresee our specific impact? I think to us, the most important thing is we really hold the Ethereum ethos to our heart. We will never build a centralized technology, we'll always consider decentralizing our tech stack. That's the most important thing.
I think the second one is, we will support developers no matter how big or small they are. We treat everybody the same, because we think the success of Ethereum comes from the success of community, and Consensus and Linea are here, the impact is to grow that community. And if it requires one developer after another, we'll do it one by one. But I think the ethos there and the focus on developers is how Linea impact will play out.
And then from an adoption perspective, Linea is by default integrated with MetaMask. So a lot of our impact will come from providing a pretty secure, safe layer II for normies. So when they onboard crypto, they don't pay like $50 to transact. It's like $5, because at the end of the day we are playing an adoption game, right? We don't want MetaMask users to pay that expensive fees. So to answer your question, the ethos is really the adoption and it is getting developers one by.
Q5. See, staying the topic of Mainnet, can you please highlight the main upgrades introduced in the linear Mainet alpha release? It's a linear alpha v zero point 0. And what is their impact on the network performance?
Yeah, sure. There are four major upgrades. The first one is batch conflation, so we've increased the number of block conflated, which means basically we amortize the fixed cost and it's lower transaction cost for users, because again, we hate expensive transactions. Second one is a plonk verifier. We are switching to Growth 16, which means we're adopting a universal circuit, so there's no need for a new trusted setup every time we update the circuit logic. So trusted setup is actually pretty important for ZK EVMs. So this one for us is a pretty major upgrade.
The third one is that, we've launched the postman SDK for message execution. There's going to be an off-chain message delivery service for automated bridging of east, from layer I to layer II, and this really helps bootstrap the network because otherwise users have to manually claim when they have to use ETH on layer II to claim. So the automatic claiming is much preferred. And the last one was that, we launched a canonical token bridge. So super important. If you don't have ERC 20 token bridge, you don't have DeFi. So now finally we can have DeFi.
Q6.What do you think Linea needs to improve going forward on the alpha and what are the challenges that Linea is currently facing and what are your solutions to that?
Of course. There are three major challenges and opportunities, and they are all about just making our ecosystem smooth and cheap and fast. The first one is, we want to reduce transaction costs and that will come in three perspectives. First one is the adoption of EIP 4844. Second one is data compression and the last one is proof aggregation. So the three combined will help us reduce transaction costs significantly in Q4.
The second category is we want to achieve lower latency and with the goal of having like three or 4 seconds time and higher throughput. And the last one is 100% proof coverage. Right now we're not 100% EVM upcode coverage. And by Q4 we want to achieve all EVM UpCodes and pre compiles.
Besu is also a consensus product. We want to adopt Besu and then including our archive nodes and our PC nodes on Besu. So people say why should they trust Consensus to operate Linea? And the reason is we've been operating in the infrastructure space for the last seven years. Are you going to trust a company seven months to operate an infrastructure or a company seven years? I think the answer is pretty easy.
Q7. There are a lot of layer IIs in the Ethereum ecosystem, how does Linea try to compete with the existing ecosystem?
We really don't think about competition, because a lot of the other layer IIs are also my customers, we work with them, we exchange ideas, to me, if crypto is going to take over the world, we need more layer IIs. We are just one of them. We should make everybody successful. But I think your question was more about our competitive advantage. So to me, our biggest competitive advantage is really with MetaMask. We want Linea to be successful as a protocol that MetaMask users can onboard easily, fast and cheap transactions. So I don't think other layer IIs have MetaMask as a user adoption method.
The second one is that Consensus has been Ethereum aligned for the longest time. I think we have the unique capability and trust from the community. You are going to put your money onto the chain. You have to make sure that this chain doesn't rug you because some chains rug you. And I think our differentiation is people love Consensus, people love MetaMask and people trust us. And we will not take that trust lightly.
Q8. How do you think Linea and MetaMask integration would become like in the future?
There are a few really exciting things happening. From a technical perspective, we will want to decentralize our approver and sequencer. But I mean, it's too technical, honestly, for anybody to think too hard. But I am super excited about the adoption piece. We are doing two major campaigns in the next two months and people who are listening, please participate.
The first one is we're launching a Linea game festival in September in Asia during Korea Blockchain Week and Token 2049. So if you are in those conferences, reach out to me. We should hang out. And the goal of working on entertainment is, crypto adoption cannot leave without entertainment. Like entertainment is NFTs, it's digital content, it's games, all of this. And we believe that Linea is a great place and also combined with MetaMask for people to just have fun on Blockchain. So I'm super excited about the entertainment festival. The second major initiative we are doing is a DeFi quest. We are collaborating with OKX Wallet. So there's going to be a few DeFi projects, people can earn rewards. I highly encourage people to go and try them out. So these are the adoption pieces.
Something else which is super alpha and I am so excited is, we are building a very unique Attestation registry on Linea, which means right now, identity is absent on most protocols, and we're building something that aggregates all different identity and registration protocols to make sure that we can differentiate human, bots, half human, half bots, and for people to treat them differently. We're not just launching an ecosystem, we're building neo primitive on it so developers can actually benefit from the ecosystem. So this identity registry, I'm super excited. We don't talk too much about it. So people who are listening today, this is your alpha leak.
Q9. Can we know more about what is going to be expected by 2023 or 2024, the future on Linea?
Well, the game festival and the DeFi quest are something happening next month, September and October. Then the decentralized proverb sequencer will be at the end of this year, early next year, and then EIP 4844, we are expecting it in December as well. We are also looking into app chains early next year. So a lot of stuff is happening. People should follow our Twitter account to see everything.
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