MCS | The Lightest Blockchain Mina Protocol in the World

MCS | The Lightest Blockchain Mina Protocol in the World

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source: Mina Protocol

What is Mina Protocol?

source: Mina Protocol

Mina Protocol is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain that stores transactions in Succinct form. Surprisingly the Mina blockchain to have a fixed size of 22KB compared to the other blockchains which requires more space as the blockchain becomes longer. This allows the Mina Protocol to quickly synchronize and verify the network.

The reason behind such a light blockchain is because of the zk-SNARK (Zero Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge) protocol.

First, zk-SNARK is a simple proof mechanism that validates the block without disclosing the information or value. The abbreviation “N” of SNARK represents Non-Interactive which means that there is little or no interaction between the producer and the validator. In this process, the producer has to prove that the validator knows a unique value without having to reveal it. The zk-SNARK protocol opens up new paths to scalability in encryption and privacy management solutions.

When a new block is created on Mina Protocol, SNARK certificates are generated together. However, zk-SNARK acts as a genuine certificate to prove that the calculation (TX verification of the block) was performed correctly without checking the calculation itself. This empowers for a more efficient block to be produced and reduce the size of each block through SNARK.

An issue the protocol faced was that if the entire blockchain is created with SNARK, it is not only slower than other blockchains but will not be able to maintain the size of 22KB. To resolve this problem, the team came up with a solution by creating a recursive SNARK which enables all the transactions in the blockchain from genesis in one SNARK. This is essentially producing proofs that prove transactions about prior proofs.

In this way, nodes in the network do not have to store the entire history of the blockchain, but only store evidence that the block is valid, while maintaining network security and distribution.

source: Mina Protocol

Mina Ecosystem

Mina is now moving from laying the foundation to the deployment stage.

The ecosystem has raised $92 million in token sales and plans to use the funds to attract more software developers and accelerate Mina’s adoption as the leading zk-SNARK blockchain platform within Web3.

Three Arrows Capital and FTX Ventures co-led the raise, with Alan Howard, Brevan Howard, Amber Group, Blockchain.com, Circle Ventures, Pantera Capital and five existing participants following.

ZKP (Zero Knowledge Proof) has recently become popular with zk-rollups as an extension to Ethereum's high gas fees, and the Mina protocol has upgraded its platform by providing ZKP-based technology to the hands of users of the general public through Mina's ZKP smart contract, zkApps.

Mina's easy programming functionality in zkApps allows Web3 applications that protect user data to be securely validated on smartphones and browsers, as well as securely connected to other chains.

This is possible as the recursive ZKP is implemented in Mina's core design and the entire blockchain history can be encapsulated in a single ZKP.

Mina's expandability.

According to the team, the Mina protocol can connect to Ethereum as well as EVM blockchains, and other Ethereum Layer 2 solutions are available. Using Ethereum layer2 chains makes validation costs much lower than Ethereum's gas fees.

Furthermore, the team mentioned that there are some non-EVM chains that can be bridged, and currently looking at how to validate on Solana.

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