DevConnect 2022: A Collaborative Week of Events

In April 2022, members of the Mina ecosystem traveled to Amsterdam to participate in DevConnect, a week-long collaborative gathering of various Ethereum and Web3 events hosted throughout the city. Find out how the Mina ecosystem was involved and how the events went below.

In April 2022, members of the Mina ecosystem traveled to Amsterdam to participate in DevConnect, a week-long collaborative gathering of various Ethereum and Web3 events hosted throughout the city. Find out how the Mina ecosystem was involved and how the events went below. 

zkHappyHour with Mina Protocol
After a long hiatus from in-person events, the Mina ecosystem brought together about 350 people at the zKHappyHour on April 20. The zkHappyHour was a gathering for developers, Mina community members, and those who are interested in zero knowledge (ZK) and the Mina Protocol.

Members of the Mina Foundation met long-time community contributors in person for the first time, and are excited to continue building existing and new relationships made here. 

ZKSummit 7 with Zero Knowledge Podcast

The zkSummit, now in its seventh iteration, brought together leading thinkers and contributors in the ZK space to share and learn about the latest in ZK research, privacy, SNARKS, and more. The one-day event included a productive mixture of workshops, presentations, and breakout hands-on sessions. All of the attendees had strong experience and interest in zero knowledge, and the Mina Foundation team was thrilled to have met so many participants who expressed interest in leveraging Mina Protocol for their applications and projects.

Mina Protocol was also strongly represented in 3 different sessions, hosted by Mina ecosystem members. 

Mina Foundation CEO, Evan Shapiro, shared some words at the opening of the event about Mina and zero knowledge. Later on, Joseph Spadavecchia and David Wong from O(1) Labs, Mina ecosystem partner, broke down Mina Protocol’s latest proving system in their talk, “Spice up your ZK with some Kimchi”. Another O(1) Labs cryptography engineer, Anaïs Querol, also led a small-group workshop that focused on the functioning of the Cairo bytecode and exemplified how to write constraints in Kimchi for this type of program.


ETHAmsterdam Hackathon

The Mina ecosystem was thrilled to share the zkApp CLI and some zkApp examples during the Ethereum-focused gathering. The three-day event included presentations, workshops, and hacking challenges where many developers were able to be introduced to Mina Protocol.

Several members of the Mina ecosystem – Mina Foundation CEO Evan Shapiro, O(1) Labs Head of Product Engineering Brandon Kase, and O(1) Labs Technical Product Manager Jason Borseth —  also presented a Mina zkApps workshop to 100 developers, the most attended session amongst all of the workshops. During the workshop, participants discovered Mina Protocol’s Typescript-based programming platform to build general-purpose and privacy-preserving zero knowledge smart contracts.

After 3 days, the ETHAmsterdam Hackathon received 165 total project submissions, the highest ever received for any ETH Hackathon to date. After a long hiatus from attending in-person conferences, we are excited to share that Mina Protocol was well-received by attendees, and 9 of the 165 submissions were those building on Mina.

Several members of the Mina ecosystem judged all of the Mina Protocol project submissions based on three criteria:

  1. Product idea – was the idea interesting or useful?
  2. Challenge – was the project created a sufficient challenge to build?
  3. Quality of execution – did the project work and was the code elegant?

Each of the top three selected projects will receive a prize from Mina Foundation, to award the teams and further support the projects’ development.

In first place was ‘Mina Voter’, which sought to create a private, fair and secure zero knowledge voting zkApp. The project will be awarded an $8K prize from Mina Foundation

In second place was ‘Mina Snap’ which will receive $5K. The project enables Metamask (Flask) users to interact with Mina Protocol so they can sign messages, send transactions, and verify signatures.

There was a tie for third place betweenFlexergy’ andMinaFT’, who will be splitting a prize of $3K. Flexergy created a decentralized marketplace for trading electricity services towards a more smart and flexible power grid, using Mina Protocol’s zero knowledge proofs. MinaFT built the first ERC721-like smart contract on Mina Protocol with basic NFT minting capabilities.

Other submissions included:

  • Mana — A zkENS anonymous name system that allows users to anonymously register a name, and set which web resource it points to with a proof. With zero knowledge, Mana allows you to anonymously name web resources and provide a concise proof to users.
  • Krystal — A Zero-knowledge whitelist application (a.k.a. proof of group chat)
  • DALi — Creates a Data Access Layer for expanding the off chain storage for Mina using IPFS with FileCoin.
  • ZKRep — A way to track a user’s reputation with an organization without disclosing it to others.
  • Basketha crypto ETF token that lets you diversify your crypto investment.
  • Democrazy (This project was not formally submitted to the Mina Protocol hackathon category, but they did present a use case for Mina zkApps to require proof of age verification in order to vote.)

Overall, the quality of the hackathon submissions was impressive, especially considering the current limitations that participants had to navigate, such as off-chain storage not being implemented yet. This was a great step in the journey towards furthering zkApps on Mina Protocol, with one of the project submissions already set to be deployed as a working product on testnet. The ‘Mina Voter’ team is planning to submit a PR for their Merkle tree to SnarkyJS and license their code via an Apache 2.0 license for open-source usage if a PR is not submitted.

Moreover, the Mina Foundation and O(1) Labs teams will be separately reaching out to all hackathon participants to further support the projects started at the event. The next steps will be to gather feedback from the ETHAmsterdam builders and implement them before the next hackathon and upcoming testnet to improve on the user experience.

If you’re interested in joining future events or participating in the upcoming zkApps Builders Programs, testnet or hackathon, make sure to sign up for notifications here.

About Mina Protocol

Mina is the world’s lightest blockchain, powered by participants. Rather than apply brute computing force, Mina uses advanced cryptography and recursive zk-SNARKs to design an entire blockchain that is about 22kb, the size of a couple of tweets. It is the first layer-1 to enable efficient implementation and easy programmability of zero knowledge smart contracts (zkApps). With its unique privacy features and ability to connect to any website, Mina is building a private gateway between the real world and crypto—and the secure, democratic future we all deserve. Mina is stewarded by the Mina Foundation, a public benefit corporation headquartered in the United States.

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