What does 'EVM-equivalent' mean?

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Linea is an EVM-equivalent rollup. This means it has the same structure and fundamental features as Ethereum, allowing both networks to interact seamlessly. 

Let's unpack that statement:

  • The EVM — Ethereum Virtual Machine — is the global, decentralized computer that processes activity on Ethereum. It's often described as a 'state machine,' which describes its central function of updating the state of users' accounts and balances. Ethereum can only ever have one true state at any time, and state can only be updated according to the rules of the EVM. This topic gets complex quickly, so we'll stop there — but you can read more here
  • To be EVM-equivalent, a layer 2 network like Linea must mirror the behavior and conditions set out in Ethereum's yellow paper
  • EVM equivalence means that anything that works on Ethereum mainnet will work on Linea too. Smart contracts don't need to be rewritten, for example, and developers can use familiar tools and infrastructure. 

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