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Ecosystem Update

Ecosystem Updates – February 2022

Mina ecosystem contributors shared their latest progress and updates to keep the community informed.

The Mina ecosystem is growing. As it expands, it’s important for the community to stay updated on the latest progress from its many contributors. Below is a compilation of some updates provided directly by Mina ecosystem contributors, and the goal is to share ecosystem updates on a monthly basis. 

If you are a Mina ecosystem contributor and have an update you’d like to share with the rest of the community, please fill out this form. We are also open to community feedback on the format and process of the monthly updates, 

Please note that each ecosystem update may contain forecasts, projections, targets or other forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the relevant ecosystem partner’s estimates and assumptions based on information available at the time such update is made. Accordingly, plans, goals and other statements may not be realized as described, and actual results may differ materially from those presented in such an update. In addition, the Mina Foundation is not responsible for updates made by community contributors, whose work are independent from any of the initiatives that the Mina Foundation or its ecosystem partners are working on, unless otherwise stated. 

Updates

=nil; Foundation – Mikhail Komarov, Founder

=nil; Foundation is working on In-EVM Mina State Verification, otherwise known as the Mina-Ethereum bridge. There are two milestones we’re working on right now: 

Auxiliary Proof Generator

We have already finished its commitment scheme implementation (LPC commitment scheme here) and now we’re about to finalize the proof generator itself. We have also already implemented all the Pickles/Kimchi verification circuits (fixed-base scalar multiplication, variable-base endoscalar multiplication and Poseidon hashing), so when the final proof generator implementation comes in, the full auxiliary proof generator can be considered ready. This means that at that stage, Mina state proof preprocessing stage will be ready and third-party applications willing to implement Mina-Ethereum hybrid applications will be welcomed to begin the integration.

In-EVM Verification

This part was started a little bit later than the Auxiliary Proof Generation part, but we’ve already achieved first in-EVM verification deployment on Ethereum’s Ropsten (see here and here). There are still adjustments and debugging to be done (e.g. the deployed version proof system in-EVM transcript turned out to be functioning in a manner that is inconsistent with the auxiliary proof generation part), so this is probably going to be redeployed several times before a stable version is achieved. There is some good news regarding the verification cost. After some auxiliary proof system customization was done and more circuit optimizations were applied, total verification cost estimation came down to ~1.5m gas. On this, we will release a separate blog post and a paper with auxiliary proof system and circuit modifications descriptions.

The Mina community has been helping our efforts. For instance, recently a mistakenly mentioned amount of ETH equivalent to the gas amount (verification cost) was highlighted by a community member, so this was fixed, and this also forced us to re-estimate the gas consumption according to the circuit and proof system optimizations recently done. Now we would really like to see potential integration cases for us to be able to provide proof generator bindings and integration tutorials necessary when the time comes.

 

O(1) Labs – Bijan Shahroki, Head of Product

zkApps Update

zkApps is one of O(1) Labs’ main priorities, and there have been some recent progress and updates on this front. In Q4 of last year, we led a zkApps Workshop in collaboration with ZK Hack, and hosted a zkApps Bootcamp to engage with developers interested in building zero knowledge applications. There is now a group of developers involved with the zkApps Builders Program, who will continue to build zkApps and support in refining the zkApps experience and tooling. You can read more about the zkApps Workshop and Bootcamp here.

To get zkApps to be easily programmable, there will be several phases of testing involving Mina ecosystem partners and the community, which will take place from now through Q2. The O(1) Labs team is also actively working on the zkApps Software Development Kit (SDK), which includes SnarkyJS (a TypeScript library for writing zero-knowledge smart contracts) and the zkApps Command Line Interface (CLI). The target is to launch easy zkApps programmability in Q3 of this year.

Improving Node Stability

We have shipped a few releases in the last several weeks, which have improved node stability for node operators. However, the work is ongoing, and we appreciate community members alerting us to issues that they are experiencing, such as low fill rate at the beginning of epochs. We’re working on the issues and when new releases are shipped, they will be announced on Mina’s Discord on the #mainnet-updates channel, per usual. 

ZK Oracles

This project was formerly called ‘WebzkApps’, but it has been renamed to Zero Knowledge (ZK) Oracles to describe the effort to move public, real world data on-chain using HTTPs and without building special intermediaries. Recently, we’ve identified a list of technical and usability problems that we need to solve, and a proposal for a phase 1 of the project has been developed. 

For more details on the projects above, please read the latest product priorities update for Q1.

 

Chainsafe – Lerna Jabourian, Project Manager

Chainsafe is working on the reimplementation of Mina in Rust, with the goal of making the network more resilient with an alternative implementation. The team is working on enabling this in browser and embedded environments. Most recently, we completed serialization, which allows users to be able to serialize/deserialize a block from the Mina mainnet. We’ve also completed a feature that allows nodes to select and sync with the canonical chain. We are actively working on data structures to store the account state.

 

ONTAB – Behzad Malek, CEO

The ONTAB team is working on the new uptime tracker which is an important tool to provide data for the Mina Foundation Delegation Program. The new stateless verifier for SNARK worker data has been successfully integrated into the uptime tracker, and we have designed the new website for publishing the results, alongside existing uptime data. Currently, we are considering various strategies to come up with a balanced approach to recognize block producers for their uptime, using SNARK worker data. The strategy is being finalized and testing will begin shortly.

We have already reached out to block producers in the Mina community to start reviewing their logs against the new scoring system for testing and validation. Once the new uptime tracker is live, we would like to get more feedback on the accuracy and performance of the new system and anticipate making more changes based on the community’s feedback. 

Ledger

Hardware wallet Ledger has recently shared that the Mina App 1.0.6 is now available in developer mode on Ledger Nano X and Nano S. Ledger is currently working on an audit, although Least Authority has recently audited the Mina Ledger application. Those who are interested in using the Mina App in developer mode should proceed at their own discretion. More details about the Mina App in developer mode here. Once the Mina App is audited and approved, there will be updated instructions on the Mina docs for this and users will be able to use Ledger to custody MINA tokens without activating developer mode.

 

flushthefashion#5369 – Community Contributor

I am currently working on a wide range of Mina Protocol-related projects.

World Mina Day (Feb 2, 2022)

World Mina Day is something that I proposed for the community. Its purpose is to raise awareness to the project, in addition to creating a sense of community for Mina supporters. It is something that I hope can grow every year and expand with local meet ups and we will try to create many positive shared experiences. 

This year’s World Mina Day included six international quizzes held on February 2. I liaised with community leaders in the different locations, created questions for the quiz, uploaded the data into the quiz website system, and coordinated the 5 different translations (Turkish, Hindi, Ukraine, Chinese, Japanese). Together we created videos to promote the quizzes in 6 languages and distributed these to relevant community members. To create a fun atmosphere on the day I also suggested some World Mina Day recipes of cocktails and a pizza! These recipes have been posted on minacrypto.com.

I also created a series of 22 unique NFTs to commemorate World Mina Day, which have all been sold. 100% of all proceeds from the sales will go to the crypto covid charity https://cryptorelief.in

minacrypto.com 

The site continues to grow with daily updates on Mina Protocol news, new additions to the Mina Tools directory, new reviews of these tools, as well as exclusive interviews with ecosystem contributors and partners such ChainSafe and =nil; Foundation. The mailing list is expanding daily and there are summary updates sent to all subscribers every week. minacrypto.com is a major reference point for the Mina Community and provides a platform for them to hear news from all sides.

@minacryptocom Twitter

Since launching at the end of July 2021, the @minacryptocom Twitter account now has over 7,000 followers (currently growing over 1000 new followers per month), with high engagement from followers. Currently the account receives many DMs from community members looking for help and advice on a range of Mina-related questions. As a community-generated account, I see it as a way to engage the community and support other smaller Mina communities to grow on social media through RT’s and encouraging engagement through polls and content. The twitter account is responsible for hundreds of thousands of twitter impressions each month that support the Mina Protocol project. 

snappsformina.com
*snapps are now zkapps

The website is live and ready to publish all details of any new zkApps as they come online. At the moment, the site has all the zkApps that were built during the zkApps Bootcamp and is a repository for where these can easily be found. I have also created a database of several hundred community members who have expressed a specific desire to help test zkApps and to give important feedback to developers. Once zkApps are easily programmable on mainnet this mailing list will be utilised to help developers and further improve zkApps for everyone.

Community-suggested Mina Improvement Proposal (MIP) on Mina Research

I am a Mina Research Founding Member and have submitted many topics and ideas to engage the forum and instigate discussion. One of them is the first ever Mina Community MIP to reduce the price of creating a Mina Wallet from 1 MINA to .25 MINA. I am currently in the process of finalising this so that it is ready to be implemented during the upcoming hard fork. The lengthy process has involved encouraging and managing community feedback and discussions, including conducting several polls to finalise a common agreement on the process. As this is the first community-led MIP, I also feel that this can inspire other members of the community to engage and become more actively involved in Mina Protocol and that their efforts can result in positive action and democratic decision-making being implemented.

 

The updates above are a snapshot of ecosystem updates shared by Mina contributors, but it is not a comprehensive view of everything that is going on. We will continue to invite ecosystem partners and participants to share their projects and progress in the following months. Be sure to follow Mina’s monthly community newsletter to stay up to date on the exciting work happening in Mina’s ecosystem. 

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