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Crypto Deep Dive: Understanding Mina Protocol The Succinct & Secure Blockchain Project

What Is MINA Protocol & How Does It Work?

source: Mina Twitter

I Feel:

“The blockchain ecosystem has been growing and scaling fast, the reason being the trusted developer community and strong headed entrepreneurs who want to ensure that the magic of this ecosystem never fades. They are the torch bearer of the hope common man has got due to the rise of alternative financial system which is completely democratic and which never discriminates the rich from the poor”

Today we want to cover one such lightweight blockchain project named “MINA” protocol , which is also known as the world’s lightest blockchain, powered by their participants.

In my initiative to cover some of the exciting blockchain gems , i have covered

  • About Solana:

About ColdStack:

About Elrond:

So i would request that you do visit them to further augment your knowledge about blockchain projects , which you must know about

So let’s dig deeper into Mina project today and know more about

  • What is Mina Protocol?
  • Why Mina protocol exists?
  • How Does Mina protocol functions ?
  • About Mina protocol participants ?
  • Mina Use Cases
  • MINA token & Its Tokenomics

What Is the Mina Protocol & Why does it exist?

Mina is the first cryptocurrency protocol with a succinct blockchain. It is designed to be the world’s lightest blockchain in terms of size and no matter how much the usage on its platform grows, its size will never increase beyond 22kb.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum where their underlying blockchain size will increase with increase in the storage requirement, Mina size remains intact, which is equivalent to the size of 2 tweets. Furthermore, it remains balanced in terms of security and decentralisation. The project was rebranded from Coda Protocol to Mina in October 2020.

How the size of Mina Blockchain Remains Constant to 22KB?

Well the magic lies in the implementation of succinct cryptographic proof named “zk-SNARKs”. Here whenever a new block is generated , it also generates a SNARK proof verifying that the block was valid. If the block is valid, the node only needs to store the zk-SNARK’s proof instead of storing the entire chain.

Due to this mechanism Mina protocol scales its blockchain in decentralised manner without adding any block size

The Mina network is of meagre 22 KB, which is minuscule when compared to Bitcoin’s 300 GB blockchain

How Does the Mina Protocol Work ?

Mina is layer 1 protocol and it is envisioned to be a truly decentralised, scalable and secure blockchain, but how does it achieve the same . The core functionality of Mina lies in meeting the above promises it makes.

So let’s unlayer the same ,

In the legacy blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, whenever a new miner or participant joins to verify the network blocks , they are required to verify each & every transaction since the beginning of the network amounting to hundreds of GB of data to be processed, now this kind of data processing capabilities are not possible for common people.

Most people can’t afford the computing power it takes to verify these heavy chains on their own and thus are forced to trust increasingly powerful group of intermediaries, which breaches the ethos of decentralisation and makes network more susceptible to censorship .

This is where Mina protocol is more effective and offers a magical solution by replacing the blockchain with an easily verifiable, consistent-sized cryptographic proof which reduces the amount of data each user needs to download. Instead of verifying the entire chain from the beginning of time, participants fully verify the network and transactions using recursive zero knowledge proofs called zk-SNARKs.

Nodes can then store the small proof, as opposed to the entire chain. And because it’s a consistent size, Mina stays accessible — even as it scales to many users and accumulates years of transaction data.

Let’s understand zk-SNARKs

How does zk-SNARKs Work?

Mina blockchain captures the state of the entire blockchain as a lightweight snapshot and broadcasts that around instead of the entire chain itself. So now whenever the new block is created in the network, it takes a snapshot of itself along with the snapshot of the previous state of the blockchain as the background. This snapshot will in turn be used as the backdrop for the next block, and so on and so forth. This snapshot remains always of the same size even though it can continue holding proof of an infinite amount of information.

OuroBoros Consensus:

It has Ouroboros proof-of-stake consensus protocol which is also one of the key backbone of its magical functionality . Ouroboros proof-of-stake protocol maximizes inclusivity in consensus, where all the active participants in P.O.S works as a full node and allows anyone to take part in consensus, secure the blockchain and hold Mina accountable.

So this way, Mina the layer one protocol, with the power of zk-SNARKs and Inclusive OuroBoros Consensus, delivers its promise of being a truly decentralised , scalable, secure and succinct blockchain protocol.

Mina Participants & Their Role:

As discussed above in our OuroBoros Proof-of-consensus section, the Mina protocol relies on a very unique approach of involving multiple types of participant in its network to perform a unique type of functionality as an actor in the system .

The three major roles perform by the participants in Mina protocol are:

  • Verifiers
  • Block Producers
  • Snarkers

Verifiers:

Mina expects the vast majority of participants in the network to be capable of verifying. Verifiers interact with recursive zk-SNARKS that deal with certifying the consensus information and a Merkle root to the latest ledger state. At this juncture, verifiers can request Merkle paths to relevant parts of the state.

By checking the Merkle path, verifiers ensure that the parts of the state they care about (for example, their account balances) are indeed contained within the same ledger that’s certified by the zk-SNARK

Each Mina protocol user is considered a verifier, provided that their devices can handle a 22 KB chain and withstand a few milliseconds of processing time.

Block Producers:

Like miners or stakers acting in other blockchain networks , Mina participants acting as block producers get rewarded by protocol distributions in the form of block rewards or transactions, as well as network fees paid by users.

The block producers are not incentivised by the threat of slashing in order to participate, as Mina uses Ouroboros consensus mechanism, so apart from directly staking, individuals can also delegate their stake to another block producer.

Mina protocol to ensure that its blockchain remains succinct expect block producers to have an extra responsibility: for each transaction they add to a block, they must SNARK an equivalent number of previously added transactions. If they don’t do so, their block won’t comply with the consensus rules and will be rejected by other nodes.

If a block producer wants to add 10 transactions to the back of the queue (so they can claim the transaction fees), they must SNARK 10 transactions from the front of the queue. They may produce those SNARKs themselves or they have the option to use those generated by a special group of participants called snarkers.

Snarkers:

Snarkers are the network participants who are responsible to produce zk-SNARKs that verify transactions in the network. Snarkers can list their bid (fee) for producing SNARKs, block producer pays out those fee , from total transaction fees for using those SNARK’s

Given that many different Snarkers can post fees for a single transaction, and block producers are incentivised to minimize the fees they pay out for SNARK work, this naturally forms a marketplace where participants compete to produce the most cost-efficient zk-SNARK proofs.

For detailed working and in depth technical understanding please visit

Now that we are familiar a bit about the working of Mina protocol, its time to discuss their potential use cases

Mina Protocol Use Cases:

As Mina has a vision of becoming a secured bridge between a real world and and crypto to ensure participant can act democratically on their blockchain network

End-To-End Data Privacy, from Online to On-chain:

Mina protocol users can access critical on-chain services without sharing their personal data. One can leverage Mina to develop decentralised apps that use zk-SNARKs to ensure privacy, without exposing users’ data to a public blockchain.

Minimize transaction Fees:

One can build trustless e-commerce and global peer-to-peer transactions without using centralised intermediaries, or paying costly transaction fees.

Access Your Money Globally :

Users can make use of the Mina’s 22kb Mina chain, to access peer-to-peer stablecoins and tokens via smartphone and bring hard-earned money anywhere they go.

Build Enterprise solution with required Interoperability :

One can use Mina protocol to combine the cost-efficiency and privacy of a private chain with the interoperability of a public chain to build secured enterprise solutions.

One Private Internet Login Is all you need:

Users can easily access any internet web portal or services privately without creating an account and handing over their personal data.

users can login securely with Mina. No centralised service provider can block them. And developers across chains can integrate this private, secure option into their services.

Example Project :

Teller Finance, an algorithmic credit risk platform, is building a DeFi lending market using Mina Protocol technology, to pioneer a new generation of DeFi dapps that will allow users to access critical on-chain services without sharing their personal data.

Mina RoadMap You Must Be Aware Of:

Source: Mina

Mina Token, Market & Tokenomics:

Mina protocol has the native token named “MINA

As per coinmarketcap:

At the time of writing current mina price today is $3.26 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $32,797,690 USD. Mina is down 9.45% in the last 24 hours.

MarketCap

As on date, Market cap of $493,060,319 USD.

Market Supply:

It has a circulating supply of 151,097,796 MINA coins and the max. supply is not available.

Where can you trade Mina?

These are the exchanges where you can get MINA token

MINA Coin Rank : (w.r.t MarketCap):

Mina currently ranks #223 as per coinmarketcap ranking

Summary :

Novel blockchain platform launched its MINA token on May 31st 2021 on CoinList and was listed shortly after on Kraken on June 1st. This attracted a lot of investor interest and captured nearly $600 million in valuation shortly after its launch.

With its unique privacy and security features along with its lightweight chain of 22kb, makes it an interesting blockchain play for the future. Its use cases of providing permissionless interoperability , single internet private login, and its attractive incentivising model for stakers using its zSNARKs proof , is bound to boost its network for sure.

It would be interesting to see how its SNAPP’s logic use case is adopted and how MINA fares when its full blown product is launched by the end of 2022, where they are promising to launch on-chain protocol for treasury and budget management.

Disclaimer!

Opinions expressed here at CryptoWise are not investment advice and are only for educational purposes. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any losses you may incur are your responsibility

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