Announcement

Reintroducing Mina: Building an Internet of (True) Things with its ‘Proof of Everything’

Discover Mina's groundbreaking blockchain—with a single, composable ‘Proof of Everything’ for access to truth today and infinite scalability for tomorrow.

By: Evan Shapiro and Kurt Hemecker

Mina was designed differently.

With its first mainnet release in 2021, Mina delivered a breakthrough—a blockchain with a proof of its entire state in just a few kilobytes. This allowed anyone to download and verify the network’s state in milliseconds, a stark contrast to the alternative increasingly heavy, and increasingly inaccessible blockchains of today, which if not radically altered, are destined to succumb to the issue of state bloat 

Now, Mina’s Berkeley upgrade is bringing this same revolutionary ZK tech to applications. This means that the level of decentralization enabled by Mina, will expand from simple payments now to real-world programs and applications.

While developing this technology, we realized that by making zero knowledge proofs (ZKPs) programmable, Mina isn’t just enhancing decentralization, it’s creating something entirely new.

A new design paradigm: Unlocked by a single, reusable, composable proof

Mina was built from the ground up with recursive ZKPs. While the industry often touts these proofs for enhancing privacy, scalability, and decentralization, we see them as enabling much more. 

On a programmable blockchain, they unlock an open database of verified statements, infrastructure, and applications, fostering a new level of interaction. This kind of open database is innately composable so that different applications within the Mina ecosystem can seamlessly interact and build upon each other. Imagine a network where each piece of data and every action is verified and can be used by other applications without needing to start from scratch. 

For example, you can prove eligibility to use a permissioned DEX by combining proofs from an identity application and a KYC application that you’ve already used before. Proofs aren’t just static, they combine to build a global database of true statements—a “proof of everything.”

You’ll realize that this opens up an entirely new design space for unprecedented applications. Blockchains, at their core, are machines designed to eliminate trust. Until now, doing so has been possible, but it is expensive and sacrifices user privacy. However, recursive ZKPs offer a far more attractive option: systems based on truth, not trust. Mina’s composable ZKPs allow developers to leverage and build upon the true statements of others without the usual high fees, enabling scalable blockchain applications that leverage collaborative computation. This is uncharted territory.

In this matrix you will see: There are permissioned and replicated systems like SQL and web pages. There are permissioned and distributed systems like web servers and BigTable. There are permissionless and replicated systems like Ethereum and other traditional chains. But replicated (aka decentralized) is not enough on its own to power large-scale applications and no other platforms (besides Mina) exist that are both permissionless AND distributed. Unlike traditional replicated systems like SQL databases or Ethereum, which replicate data across all servers and face scalability challenges, Mina distributes data and computations across the network. Participants don't have to share all of their data or computations with the entire network— they only share a proof that it was correct. This distributed approach eliminates redundancy, reduces bloat, and enables unprecedented scalability and efficiency, unlocking new types of use cases and filling a previously unoccupied space in the wider tech systems landscape.

Consider this matrix— Mina is the only permissionless and distributed system. Unlike traditional replicated systems like SQL databases or Ethereum, which replicate data across all servers and face scalability challenges, Mina distributes data and computations across the network. Participants don’t have to share all of their data or computations with the entire network— they only share a proof that it was correct. This distributed approach eliminates redundancy, reduces bloat, and enables unprecedented scalability and efficiency, unlocking new types of use cases and filling a previously unoccupied space in the wider tech systems landscape.

Put simply, Mina brings integrity to the internet. People can trust each other because they can verify each other’s work on any device. This trust, combined with Mina’s decentralized and permissionless nature, allows anyone to access the system and contribute data, provided it can be proven true. Verified data can then be reused or updated, thus disrupting businesses blocked by data silos and enabling a more open and collaborative digital world.

On the infrastructure side, Mina’s recursive ZKPs enable a network of appchains and Layer 2s, that can verify each other. Each inherits the “proof of everything” property, allowing unprecedented scalability while maintaining decentralization. This breakthrough already sparked innovation, with two active projects leading the charge: Protokit, an L2 solution aimed at providing a ZK smart contract developer experience akin to Solidity, and Zeko, which is isomorphic to Mina, enabling builders to create highly efficient ZK rollups.

On the user side, Mina allows interactions with the chain that verify the truth of their data while keeping sensitive information private. Users can prove something once on their local device, Mina will verify it once, and businesses can then verify these proofs among themselves. For businesses, these verifiable proofs can be composed together to build applications that integrate user data into collectively verified systems. This approach ensures efficiency and privacy. Today this looks like zkKYC, zkIdentity, zkVoting, zkGaming, and zkDeSci.

However, looking ahead, this only begins to scratch the surface of what becomes possible with Mina’s open database of verified statements. Today, data is often siloed within big companies, leading to fragmented ecosystems where platforms don’t communicate. This new paradigm dismantles those barriers, ushering in a wave of applications previously unimaginable. Much like the early tech revolutions where visionaries recognized the crucial role of hardware, we’re laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s innovations, paving the way for revolutionary applications yet to come.

Mina allows interactions with the chain that verify the truth of their data while keeping sensitive information private. Users can prove something once on their local device, Mina will verify it once, and businesses can then verify these proofs among themselves. For businesses, these verifiable proofs can be composed together to build applications that integrate user data into collectively verified systems. This approach ensures efficiency and privacy.

Why does this matter? Why now?

In an age of misinformation, AI, and deep fakes, truth (not trust) is paramount and we need a future-proofed foundation for building a better internet. 

Imagine scrolling through your feed and knowing which photos are real, knowing you are engaging with real people on social media instead of bots, launching an appchain with thousands of TPS, creating a government platform with verifiable private voting, running digital elections that validate real-world results, building a DeFi platform that’s regulatory compliant with TradFi liquidity, or playing provably fair online poker. This is the future that Mina Protocol enables.

With Mina’s lightweight design, the costs of verifying and participating in the network remain low and consistent, even as it scales. Data is rolled into a ‘proof of everything,’ verifiable by anyone, on any device, anywhere.

With its singular global proof of state, developers can build off-chain and verify on-chain, gaining optional privacy, customizability, affordability, and composability—all in a single proof.

What now?

The recent upgrade cements Mina as the first ZK L1 platform with ZK programmability and it’s a giant step towards developers utilizing Mina’s proof of everything to build an Internet of (True) Things.

Visionaries, disruptors, and trailblazers should join us. Over 50 projects are already building on Mina, from zkKYC, private voting, zkGames, and more. Once these projects complete their production-ready apps and undergo thorough testing and auditing, they will be the first to deploy on the mainnet, marking a new era for the Mina ecosystem.

On the technical front, ensuring the network stability will remain a top priority, but the focus will increasingly shift to supporting the successful deployment of zkApps on mainnet. To get there, users need to test all of these applications first. This will be done by providing critical technical support for current appchains which are largely used by existing Mina developers, encouraging rigorous testing and auditing of community apps, setting development standards, and more.

Exciting Mina ecosystem projects are gearing up for beta testing soon, and they need early users like you. Sign up now to get notified about exclusive opportunities!

If you’d like to build on Mina, check out the Navigators program—the fastest way to get a grant and accelerate your ZK project to production. 

To dive in right away, join our community of smart, talented individuals on Discord and participate in our monthly Illuminate Town Halls. These sessions foster open discussions and provide updates on key developments, ensuring you stay at the forefront of innovation. See you there!

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.

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