*In Oct 2020, the protocol undertook a rebrand from Coda to Mina.
niuniu | Bit Cat is one of the leaders in Mina’s Chinese community. He was involved in Mina’s Testnet Beta since one of the earliest phases and he is always around in the Chinese community to help new users to get onboarded and set up a node! Apply for the Genesis Token Program to join Genesis Founding Members like niuniu | Bit Cat — there are 860 grants and only 4 testnet releases left to become eligible!
He is a constant source of support with other community members and he even wrote a guide on how to monitor the status of the testnet nodes by using an open-source monitoring software tool, available in Chinese and English. He was also the winner in the Winter Special Testnet in 2019! We’re very happy to have niuniu | Bit Cat in the Mina community!
How did you get involved in blockchain?
I heard about Bitcoin in 2009 and became interested in blockchain and cryptocurrency in general. I started mining on Ethereum on my own personal laptop in 2017. I participate in Mina and other protocols on the side, in addition to my regular job—because I’m so interested in it and find it so fun, I don’t find it’s hard to find time for it.
Why did you join the Mina Testnet?
I like to stay updated on the latest crypto developments and projects, so I learned about Mina in the second half of 2019 when it had initially launched the public testnet beta. I was drawn to Mina due to its unique direction. It was the first time I had heard of a project implementing zero knowledge proofs in an innovative way that could benefit mainstream adoption. Running a Mina node doesn’t have a high barrier to entry—you don’t need too technical of a background to start and many people can just start in 10 minutes from the docs provided, which is helpful. When I researched Mina further, I saw a really strong team made up of great engineering talent. These are the reasons that compelled me to join testnet and why I’m really looking forward to participating in Mina’s mainnet.
Tell us about your experience with Mina and the community.
I find that the team behind Mina does a good job of communicating the guidelines, rules and has strong documentation. The instructions are clear and Mina prioritizes testing things out with the community, which is valuable. The community on Discord has also been very supportive and people can usually get fast responses for any questions or problems.
What are your favorite things about Mina?
My favorite thing about Mina is the technology, which really sets it apart from other protocols. I’ve been inviting members from the Chinese community to join and they have found it easy to start. The concept of the succinct blockchain means that it’s easy to do, but harder to truly understand. Now that people are in, the important and challenging thing is to help them understand the concepts and technical details that make it possible.
The other thing I want to note is that compared to other protocols, not only does Mina have a lower barrier to entry, it also has a robust community with good indicators of testnet development. The leaderboard is good for seeing what’s going on and feels participatory and I can get a sense of the progress that’s being made.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m truly interested in all things blockchain-related and spend most of my free time learning more about it! I like to read white papers and my background in network security feeds into my interest. Other than that, I like to go running and play badminton in my free time.
Are you participating in any other projects?
I’m currently participating in Tezos, Cosmos and Polkadot. I think it’s important for more people to be involved in different projects—it’s better for network security.
What are some resources you rely on to stay on top of blockchain/crypto news and info?
I mostly rely on resources like 区块律动 (The Blockbeats), 链闻 (Chainnews), 星球日报 (ODaily)and 金色财经 to keep up to date on blockchain/crypto news. I also find Twitter and public WeChat groups on crypto like Wetez really helpful.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and being such a core member of our community, niuniu | Bit Cat! We’re looking forward to continuing to grow Mina with you. There are still 860 Genesis Token Grants and 4 testnet releases left to become eligible for them — apply now!
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.