EVM Equivalence: Opening a New Paradigm for Ethereum Growth

EVM equivalence: Exactly consistent with the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) specification. 

The design philosophy of EVM equivalence is to create an Optimistic Rollup  with ” minimal differences ” from Ethereum.

EVM equivalence extends the properties of Ethereum to L2s networks. It blurs the line between the beginning of Ethereum L1 and L2 Rollups.

 This is the difference between “scaling on Ethereum” and “scaling Ethereum itself”.

 Optimistic Rollups, a perfect clone of the Ethereum EVM,  share not only the security of Ethereum, but also every aspect of the Ethereum network effect.

 Other L2 design structures do not have the same privileges to capture all of Ethereum’s network effects and are always more specialized than L2 networks with EVM equivalence. 

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EVM compatibility is dead. EVM compatibility either optimizes for generality by sticking to the Ethereum standard (hence choosing the same standard as everyone else), or building something completely different that is highly optimized for a specific use case (like ZK-Rollups). 

To fully extend the full power of Ethereum to L2s networks, we need more than EVM compatibility. 

We need EVM equivalence.

1. Compatibility vs Equivalence 

When the Optimism team introduced EVM equivalence last year, they discussed the technical differences between equivalence and compatibility.

Rollups has been hailed as our scaling savior: “Finally there is an L2 network that can run Uniswap!” 

Some of the earliest Rollups networks were implemented by completely recreating Uniswap, ie using custom code on top of a custom Rollup. 

That’s not good enough.

The network effects of EVM extend far beyond Solidity. A plethora of support tools give Ethereum developers superpowers. Because these tools also run on the EVM standard, they are not suitable for custom Rollups. Not to mention that the protocol developers have to put in a huge effort to create something Solidity compatible! 

With EVM equivalence, the EVM itself can be copied and pasted into L2. Everything under the hood is the same.

2. EMV is a city 

David Mihal gave me this analogy: 

“Open source code is like a city. It is created spontaneously bottom-up by many developers who find problems and build solutions. Over time, cities become optimized, robust and efficient… EVM chains are like The Las Vegas version of Paris; they try to artificially replicate the organic stuff.” 

Open source software is a public product maintained and upgraded by its respective community.

Developers using open source software encounter all kinds of problems; some are trivial, some are critical, and some are in between. Some developers take the time to address these issues and then lobby the community for their input. If the community sees value, the contribution is merged. New standards are created and the usability and robustness of the software are increased. 

Like a burgeoning city, builders come here to produce what the surrounding community needs and values. Shared resources and utilities are produced, and since it’s code, it never decays. It’s a one-way street of value added; as long as everyone is working on the same foundation . 

Each developer builds in their own direction and finds their particular contribution to add to the collective. Over time, a highly robust public product results from the collective contributions of thousands of developers. 

Geth

That’s exactly Geth’s story. Geth has slowly absorbed meaningful contributions from Ethereum developers over the past few years and produced a piece of software with the most robust network inside and outside of Ethereum.

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This is why Geth has become a foundational reference point for a large part of the crypto industry. Forking Geth and creating a non-Ethereum blockchain is still contributing to the foundation on which Ethereum is built. 

If the Geth fork deviates from this reference version, it would be equivalent to a deviation from Web3 with the greatest network effects. The more a one-time copy moves in different directions, the more manpower and resources are required to keep up with the evolution of the core network. 

3. EVM main vehicle group 

In cycling, a “Peloton” is a team of road cyclists. Riders in a cyclist group will save energy by following closely behind other riders. This reduction in drag is significant; riding in the middle of a well-functioning main group, drag can be reduced to 5%-10%. Harnessing this potential energy savings will lead to a very complex tactical collaborative and competitive interaction between drivers and teams. 

If you want to go fast; then you go alone. If you want to go far, go together. 

The larger the team of the main vehicle group, the faster the efficiency and speed. Air resistance is distributed across a wider group; as the main vehicle group increases in size, so does the efficiency of the group. Riding in the middle of a group of main bikes is basically effortless, as you can follow closely behind the entire group. Since the leader of the main group has to bear the full force of the wind resistance and has to expend extra energy to set the speed of the cycling team, the leader of the group often rides out. 

But when the leader gets tired and the pace slows down, many new “contributors” who have been behind the team take their place. 

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Caterpillars in rainforest move in groups faster than individuals

Open source communities will always grow faster than centralized teams. The reason this industry is growing so fast is that it is a collaborative flywheel. We build on each other’s success, and when one of us advances to the front, he brings us to the front together – kind of like these caterpillars.

EVM equivalence is a bottom-up, boomtown-like public good. On the other hand, EVM compatibility is just a one-off copy of it. 

There are countless different ways to deviate from the EVM, but only one way to follow the EVM. 

4. Duplicate the application layer 

Creating an L2 ecosystem with EMV equivalence is critical to maintaining the network effects of composability and interoperability! 

The Rollup network with EVM equivalence allows instant cross-chain copy-paste of codebases. Development and innovation within a single EVM-equivalent Rollup network can be seamlessly transferred to any other EVM-compatible Optimistic Rollups as well as to Ethereum itself. Since everything is developed based on the EVM standard, the network utility of Ethereum L1 can be extended to the L2s network, and innovations on L2 will be reflected back to the entire ecosystem. 

When a line of code is deployed to an Optimistic Rollup, that line of code makes more sense. If you are an open source developer and you want your code to be widely used, you will naturally want to use an Optimistic Rollup with EVM compatibility, as your code will be immediately compatible with all other EVM equivalents Optimistic Rollups. 

If you only write code once, but that code runs seamlessly on 1000s of compatible chains, the value of the code you generate is huge.

EVM equivalence takes EVM network effects to a whole new level. 

Optimistic Rollups that do not have EVM equivalence will not benefit from this shared network utility. Optimistic Rollups without EVM compatibility lacks the “least difference” design philosophy, breaking the relationship between the Ethereum network and Optimistic Rollups with EVM equivalence and these L2s networks without EVM equivalence. 

The huge wave of Ethereum network effects will get bigger with each addition of Optimistic Rollup with EVM equivalence. If you’re not surfing this wave, you’re going to have to swim as hard as you can to catch up. 

5. Replication Protocol Layer 

These EVM network effects don’t just apply to the Ethereum application layer. It also applies to the protocol layer itself; that’s where it gets really interesting. 

Since Optimistic Rollups with EVM equivalence have “minimal differences” with Ethereum, they provide Ethereum with a platform to test new EIPs in real production environments. 

Currently, EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) are tested using the Ethereum testnet. EIPs are tested multiple times on the testnet to ensure that there will be no glitches when they are finally integrated into Ethereum L1. 

Doing this is always risky as there is no “minimum difference” between testnet and Ethereum. Implementing an EIP in a Goerli or Koven testnet is different from implementing an EIP in Ethereum; the difference lies in the scale, importance, and nature of economic activity on top of Ethereum that testnets cannot match. When implementing an EIP onto Ethereum L1, there will always be some “unknowns”. 

EVM equivalence provides a solution. 

When an EIP is successfully implemented on an Optimistic Rollup with EVM equivalence, this basically gives the Ethereum L1 chain a strong guarantee that the same EIP can also be successfully integrated on Ethereum L1 , without error. Optimistic Rollup with EVM equivalence provides a real production environment where there is real economic activity and real capital risk to test EIPs. EIPs can be tested at the Optimistic Rollup layer without the risk of damaging or affecting the entire system. 

When L2s networks generally adopt the same EIP, this sends a signal to Ethereum L1 that the EIP is loved by the community and can be safely integrated into Ethereum L1. 

Optimistic Rollups with EVM equivalence enables Ethereum to sense the willingness of participants on its L2s network, making each L2 network an antenna for the needs of Ethereum users. The domination & control governance of traditional finance (TradFi) and Web2 is transformed into the perception & response paradigm of Web3. 

Since each Optimistic Rollup has its own sovereign economy, it will implement various EIPs independently and asynchronously according to the needs and desires of users, independent of the rest of the Ethereum ecosystem. 

Over time, as more and more independent Optimistic Rollups see the value of the same EIP, those best EIPs will dominate the L2 Optimistic Rollups landscape. When an EIP starts to dominate the entire field of Optimistic Rollups, that EIP will signal to Ethereum L1 that it is a good EIP and that it is safe to implement it at the L1 protocol layer. As shown below: 

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6. EVM equivalence, summary 

Significance of EVM equivalence: Ethereum is free from its L1 shackles. Ethereum can be extended to the L2s network. The line between Ethereum L1 and L2s networks with EVM equivalence has become very blurred. 

7. “Blank Fear” 

“There is no vacuum in nature.” – Aristotle 

Nature is really good at filling in the blanks. The more adaptive an organism is to evolution, the more space it occupies. Animals eat and reproduce to the maximum extent the environment allows. All plants are the embodiment of fractals, because fractals are algorithms that maximize surface area. The increased plant surface area increases its ability to absorb sunlight from leaves and nutrients from roots.

(Editor’s note: Fractals have morphological features that fill space in non-integer dimensions.) 

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The Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, with less than 2 percent of the light reaching the ground because trees capture sunlight so efficiently. 

last mile problem 

The last mile is the last leg of a journey that involves the movement of people and goods from a transportation center to their final destination. “The last mile” describes the arduous last leg of the journey to transport people and packages from a hub to their final destination. Some of the challenges of “last mile delivery” include reducing costs, ensuring transparency, increasing efficiency and improving infrastructure. 

Nature is really good at solving last mile problems. This is a natural consequence of “survival of the fittest”; organisms that can replicate and reproduce best will fill in the gaps in their environment. 

Even within an organism, fractals are fundamental patterns that increase the size and efficiency of an organism. The lungs are responsible for capturing oxygen and distributing it into the blood; the circulatory system is responsible for delivering oxygen and other nutrients to the very end of the organism. 

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Fractals are structures in which each substructure has the same properties as the overall structure. Fractals can be thought of as never-ending patterns, and reproducibility and reproducibility make up fractals. 

Only replicable and reproducible structures can effectively fill gaps in nature. The crypto space is a huge space; there is still a lot to build. But if we want to fill all these gaps with new structures, we need systems that can replicate and reproduce. 

EVM equivalence creates the foundation needed to produce these properties. 

With the EVM-equivalent Rollup ecosystem, Ethereum can replicate and multiply at breakneck speed, focusing on user needs and updating the code to reflect those needs. 

Each L2 network can go in its own unique direction, specializing in whatever area it wants to specialize. A successful L2s network with many users and a lot of value signals to other L2s that they have found something of value. We all know that the Crypto industry is really good, and once something proves to be useful, it gets copied. 

For example, PoW type fair launch from 2013 to 2015, plagiarism of yield farming during DeFi Summer 2020, fork of L1 Geth in 2021, etc. 

Once a new source of value is discovered by an L2, this source of value can be replicated and shared across the ecosystem and eventually introduced to the center of the ecosystem. 

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David Edinburgh’s Voice: This app developer discovered food! See, EVM equivalence brings it into L1 for sharing. The young developer is sure to get unlimited funding and Twitter followers. 

8. EIPs are new genes

Richard Dawkins’ book The Selfish Gene discusses how each gene of an organism becomes the smallest unit of life, and its inherent egoism in its own protection and replication provides all The basic pattern on which life depends. 

Good genes will survive. Bad genes will die. 

As the organism evolves and adapts, the genes that make the organism healthy are reproduced throughout the species through replication and reproduction over time. Beneficial random mutations in an individual organism help it survive and thrive better than other organisms, so this gene goes from being present in only one instance to being present in all possible instances because it is a good gene. 

In the world of modular Ethereum, EIPs are the new genes. 

Good EIPs will spread effectively. Bad EIPs will go away. 

Ethereum is a responsive adaptive system, Optimistic Rollups with EVM equivalence allow a new gene (EIP) to be implemented first, then after this new EIP proves its viability, the EIP is propagated out to the rest of the Optimistic Rollups middle. If that EIP is good enough, it will go all the way back to the beating heart of Ethereum: L1. 

Ethereum becomes an organism capable of responding and adapting to its environment, even as its environment changes over time. Biological organisms have fixed genes from their origin, and Ethereum has the ability to create and integrate new genes as needed to keep up with the changing needs of the world. 

Discovering value in the EVM equivalence paradigm can turn that value into a public good that can be shared across the entire Ethereum ecosystem, not just for a specific L2 network. 

9. Retrospective public goods: building infrastructure for the entire ecosystem 

Retroactive Public Goods Funding (RPGF) will take Ethereum from a system that responds to its users to one that can act proactively. 

Optimism is pioneering a new model for funding public goods, injecting Silicon Valley-style financial incentives into projects that build public goods. 

It has potential as a tech startup, but as a product it is a public good. 

Revenue from L2 block space fees will go directly to innovators and founders who build useful content for Optimism L2. RPGF invests money into the future, empowering builders of public goods, and guaranteeing that if they build useful public goods, there will be money waiting for them. 

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 Influence = value.

 The combination of RPGF and EVM equivalence means that when Optimism L2 builds something useful, it can immediately be used by all other parts of the ecosystem with EVM equivalence. 

Block space sales on the Optimism network will not only transform into the infrastructure of Optimism L2, but into the infrastructure of all L2s, and eventually into the infrastructure of Ethereum itself. The blockchain ecosystem is notorious for underinvesting in infrastructure and public goods. 

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Source: Vitalik 

The combination of RPGF and EVM equivalence gives us the first promising avenue to address the tragedy of the commons, not only for Optimism, not only for L2s, not only for Ethereum, but for the entire planet: 

Step 1: Fund public goods on Optimism;

Step 2: Extend these public goods (for free!) to all other L2s networks.

Step 3: Integrate these public products into Ethereum;

Step 4: Extend the scope of these public goods from Ethereum to the world.

Step 5: Address global coordination failures and unlock the future of Star Trek. 

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Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/evm-equivalence-opening-a-new-paradigm-for-ethereum-growth/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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