Community,Ecosystem Update

zkIgnite Cohort 1 Update

An update on the projects that were funded from zkIgnite Cohort 1.

Earlier this year, the zkIgnite program was launched, aimed at supporting those wanting to build using zero knowledge (ZK) technology in the Mina ecosystem with ideation, technical guidance, grants and further funding support. And in the months since zkIgnite Cohort 1 submissions were evaluated and over 20 projects were initially funded, the teams have been hard at work developing their projects. They have been supported throughout this time by official and unofficial zkIgnite mentors, weekly technical office hours, monthly meetups to share progress and learnings with each other, office hours with VCs, as well as ad hoc support from the zkIgnite team. 

“I believe it’s very important to have a mentor, or in my case, two mentors, who care about your project and help you stay focused on your main goals. This is especially true for short-term projects, where you can easily get off track and stuck on side issues. Having mentors can help keep you on the right path and focused on what you need to do to make your project successful.”

– Rafael, zkIgnite Cohort 1 Participant building Cryptographic Proof of NFT Endorsement (CPoNE)

Cohort 1 teams recently shared their progress and milestones with Electors, and here are some notable updates.

Cohort 1 Milestone Presentations

During the first week of August, the funded zkIgnite Cohort 1 teams presented their milestone updates to the Electors to share their progress. Teams were encouraged to share demos of their project to demonstrate completed work, so that Electors can better provide feedback and make a decision about whether milestones have been met for the team to receive the remaining portion of their grant. 

The team behind zkIgnite Cohort 1 zkApp project, BioSNARKs, discussed how zero knowledge proofs (ZKPs) can be used to enable co-computation for drug research and discovery, in response to Eroom’s law that drug discovery becomes slower and more expensive over time.
Protokit, a Cohort 1 project under the Dev4Dev track, demo-edtheir appchain framework built on top of Mina.

You can watch all of the zkIgnite Cohort 1 milestone presentations here.

Cohort 1 Project Results

Based on the recent milestone presentations, the community Electors decided that 20 out of 26 projects successfully delivered on their milestones, and 2 projects were given extensions by request. Below are highlights of some of the projects which you can learn about and try out:

Mina Arena – A Free to Play Battle Game on Mina

Mina Arena is a free turn-based-strategy game that pushes the limits of typical blockchain games. It allows you to take your gaming items from battle to battle, or pick up scars which build up their attributes over time, and the game can pay for its own transaction fees, thanks to Mina’s off-chain computation model. Try out Mina Arena > 

Social Cap – A Community-based Protocol for Streamlining Web3 Credentials

Social Cap is a community-based attestation protocol, complemented by a user-friendly zkApp, that enables the verification of credentials in the digital world. Credentials, or claims, are validated by randomly selected anonymous true peers from the community. Especially relevant to web3 ecosystems, Social Cap is designed to be community-driven and allows each community to set their own parameters, such as claim types, credential prices, validation rules and badges. Try out Social Cap >

AdMeta – A ZK-Based Advertising Protocol

AdMeta is an advertising protocol completely designed and customized for Web3. AdMeta users can opt into receiving personalized ads and earn rewards in return. Unlike on Web2 platforms, users of AdMeta own, control and profit from their own data, and advertisers can reach a highly specific audience to maximize conversions. Try out AdMeta >

Check out the full list of zkIgnite Cohort 1 projects who have completed their milestones to learn more about their progress.  

What's Next

Congratulations and great work to all of the zkApps and developer tooling and resource projects, which are exciting additions to the growing Mina ecosystem. Here are some thoughts from Cohort 1 participants on their zkIgnite experience, as well as how they plan to continue to iterate on their projects:

“Developers on Mina are so active, I’ve just rolled out an alpha version of zkDatabase and got 198 downloads instantly. I plan to take some surveys to understand how I can make it easier for people to use. So I’m going to get some feedback and work on improving the product.”

– chiro8x, Cohort 1 participant building zkDatabase

“About our experience with Cohort 1, we’d say we were impressed with the technology, and we also think Mina is an awesome community – very helpful and very open. It’s the best I have seen in the crypto space and I think the selection process, where electors from the community are choosing, is quite interesting and we learned a lot. I have also talked a lot with our mentors, who helped us a lot and was there whenever we had questions.”

– mario_zito#0206, Cohort 1 participant building Social Cap

“We felt honored when were part of Cohort 1 and we’ll be interested also in becoming part of Cohort 2, of course. And we’re already trying to become part of this whole new ecosystem and support in whatever sense possible.” 

– Niklaus, Cohort 1 participant building AirGap

The Mina Foundation will also be meeting with each team to determine ideal next steps for each project and discuss the support that’s needed. In addition, there are demo days planned for Cohort 1 teams when zkIgnite teams will have the opportunity to pitch their project to potential backers for further support and funding, as well as share their projects with the Mina community. Follow along and attend these community sessions via the Mina Ecosystem Calendar, and you can also follow Mina’s Twitter and join the Mina Discord server for further updates.

Get Involved

If you are reading this and are interested in getting involved, here are a few ways:

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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