Mina Protocol (MINA): The World's Lightest Blockchain (MINA)
By Artem Yarosh 263 17 Mar 2023
The Mina Protocol - the privacy and security solution
The Mina Protocol is the world's lightest blockchain that utilizes zero-knowledge proof technology (ZK). It maintains a constant size of just 22 KB, allowing users to easily access the blockchain from their smartphones or any other network. This size also provides fast and efficient processing of transactions on the blockchain.
The Mina Protocol has raised over $136 million in funding across 6 investment rounds. Notable investors include Three Arrows Capital, Amber Group, and Circle Ventures. In its latest funding round in May 2022, the project managed to raise $92 million.
ICO on Coinlist
The initial coin offering (ICO) for Mina Protocol took place on May 13th, 2021, at a price of $0.25 per coin, resulting in the sale of coins worth $18.75 million. At the time of writing, the price of Mina's coin has reached $0.97 (with a historical high of $7.90 per token), and the project currently ranks 62nd among cryptocurrencies with a market capitalization of $826 million.
Mina Protocol features
Mere 22 kilobytes in size
Blockchains such as Bitcoin and Etherium accumulate data over time and reach a size of hundreds of gigabytes. Subsequently, they keep growing even further.
Mina has developed its own technology for a lightweight blockchain based on the concept of "proofs of constant size". With it, the blockchain remains compact, which is crucial to achieving the company's primary goal of establishing a worldwide payment system.
Regardless of its level of use, the Mina blockchain remains 22 kilobytes in size. In this way, all transactions can be verified quickly and efficiently, and the network can be synchronized at any time.
Mina's smart contracts
Mina Protocol employs zero-knowledge proof smart contracts called ZK-Apps, which provide powerful and unique features such as unlimited off-chain computation, privacy of sensitive data, and the ability to write smart contracts in TypeScript, among others. Mina's smart contracts allow developers to create decentralized applications (DApps) with a focus on privacy.
ZK-SNARKs by Mina
Outdated blockchains like Bitcoin or Dogecoin face the problem of considerable latency while verifying the entire chain due to its constantly increasing size. However, with Mina, participants can fully verify the network and transactions from their regular devices using recursive zero-knowledge proofs or ZK-SNARKs.
"ZK-SNARKs open up new possibilities for blockchain use cases, such as confidential data, credit ratings, home addresses, medical information, and more."
Some ZK-SNARKs, such as Pickles used in Mina, support the concept of recursion, where a proof may refer to itself an unlimited amount of times without increasing the size of the chain. This recursion or "image within an image" allows the Mina blockchain to remain small and lightweight.
You will find more information about zero-knowledge proofs in our article.
Mina Protocol consensus: how does it work?
The Mina network is protected by a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus known as Ouroboros Samisika.
Ouroboros Samisika, based on Cardano's Ouroboros, is a PoS consensus mechanism that requires significantly less computational power than Bitcoin's PoW protocol.
This consensus model eliminates the need for expensive and energy-intensive mining equipment to participate in the consensus. By simply holding MINA in our wallet, we can either stake it ourselves if we have a block-producing node running, or delegate it to another node.