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Ecosystem Update

Ecosystem Updates – March 2022

The Mina ecosystem has been hard at work this past month, and many contributors have shared their latest progress, including work on the Rust implementation, the Mina-Ethereum bridge, zkApps and zkOracles, and resources and tooling by community contributors.

The Mina ecosystem has been hard at work this past month, and many contributors have shared their latest progress in this blog. A major update is that the Mina ecosystem has secured $92M via strategic and private sales of MINA in order to support Mina’s growth as a leading zero-knowledge platform for privacy and security in web3. The round was led by FTX Ventures and Three Arrows Capital, as well as 12 other backers. Read the announcement to learn more about the latest development.

Another notable and exciting update is that Snapps are now zkApps (zero knowledge apps). These are still Mina’s zero knowledge smart contracts that will make it possible for developers to build on top of Mina, but the name now properly reflects the Mina ecosystem’s shift to offering a variety of zero knowledge-related technologies such as zkOracles and zkBridges. You can learn more about the transition to zkApps and its impact via this blog.

Another recent example of Mina’s commitment towards zero knowledge and growing the overall zk ecosystem is Mina Foundation’s participation as a matching partner in the $275K ZK Tech GR13 funding round with Gitcoin. The round started on March 9th and will run until March 24, so we encourage any interested developers to apply. More details on the funding round and how to apply here.

The Mina Mainnet one-year anniversary is also coming up! There will be a fun celebration on Mina Protocol’s Twitter on March 23 – be sure to follow Mina and join the community in celebrating this major milestone! 

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, which you can share via MinaResearch.

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. 

Chainsafe – Lerna Jabourian, Project Manager

Chainsafe is working to make the network more resilient, via the reimplementation of Mina in Rust. As part of the networking milestone, 

Chainsafe is currently working on a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) demo of a Mina node that can run in a browser. For details on the current development architecture, you can see the overview of the node here. As the next iteration of this MVP, we’re working on a browser extension with a web Graphical User Interface (GUI), with a small set of functionalities including displaying node status/ chain information in the Mina network. We’re also working on implementing the ledger and accounts support in the Mina node. Additionally, we will be increasing the test coverage on the chain selection components of the Mina network to make sure nothing is overlooked.

 

=nil; Foundation – Mikhail Komarov, Founder

=nil; Foundation is working on In-EVM Mina State Verification, a core component of the Mina-Ethereum bridge. 

Project implementation is coming close to its final steps. This month was mostly dedicated to preparing the code and the documentation for the audit. First of all, this is about cleaning up auxiliary proof generator circuits descriptions and its implementations. Second of all, the verification part becomes more and more shaped as well – no more drafty code versions and we’re trying to get it closer to the theoretical gas consumption lower bounds – 1.5m gas.

Auxiliary Proof Generation

We’ve been working hard to make sure its performance can enable every user to generate a proof even with a phone or in a browser (ambitious, but anyway). So we’ve achieved almost 4x auxiliary proof generation performance improvements compared to the initial implementation, by  speeding-up LPC hashes computation and commitment scheme Merkle tree building. 

Auxiliary Proof Verification

We’ve recently achieved proper in-EVM LPC commitments verification and now we’re coming to finalize the auxiliary proof verification itself. Since such a proof verification mechanism definition depends on how a circuit is defined (and this is what is being polished and prepared for an audit right now), it means in-EVM proof verification mechanism will be finalized exactly at that moment–when circuit descriptions and definitions are considered ready for the audit.

In addition, we’ve achieved our first Polygon-based deployment on their Mumbai cluster. For example, here is a Ropsten-based deployment of Mina’s state in-EVM verification keys piece, and the same piece of logic deployment on Polygon’s Mumbai.

We’ve also had meaningful talks with a couple of Mina-related projects about the integration (e.g. bridges, wallets). But there are never enough integrations. So, application developers, you know what to do, right?

Feel free to ping us regarding any questions/suggestions using the most comfortable communication way from a list of ones mentioned in the project repository: https://github.com/NilFoundation/evm-mina-verification#community 

 

O(1) Labs – Emre Tekisalp, CEO

zkApps & SnarkyJS

Earlier this week, it was announced that Snapps has been renamed to zkApps. There were corresponding changes to developer tooling, which you can read about here. We have also added new encryption and decryption features to SnarkyJS

QANetwork

Berkeley QANet is up and running well! We will keep monitoring for any issues or optimizations needed as we make progress towards a testnet that is open to the wider community. 

Mina Book

To make it easier for software developers to contribute to Mina’s proof systems, the team has been hard at work writing effective documentation. Our goal is to create an extensive repository of documentation related to Mina’s cryptographic backend, which we plan to call Mina Book. This effort has included a neat new tool called `cargo-spec` which lets developers write documentation inline as comments and then automatically extracts these comments to create a cohesive written specification. 

zkOracles 

On the zkOracles front, our Lead Cryptographer, Vanishree Rao, has written a first draft of an initial protocol for zkOracles and the team has similarly collaborated on a first draft requirements document for this proposed first phase of zkOracles. While not yet entirely trustless, this phase 1 protocol would let users “oraclize” data from any Web2 API, under a given set of trust assumptions. This represents a meaningful first step toward a fully trustless solution. We are also planning to grow the team, and will soon be publishing an opportunity for someone to join our team as a dedicated engineer working on zkOracles. If you’re an effective Rust engineer interested in learning more, O(1)’s Head of People would love to hear from you at nacera@o1labs.org. 

Proof Systems

Further, two key updates were merged into Proof Systems, Mina’s cryptographic back end. The first was added support for foreign field multiplication, which will allow for foreign field multiplication natively in a SNARK. This will help improve performance and is an important precursor to creating signatures for Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions inside a SNARK circuit. 

Second, a new “double generic gate” was implemented, which allows users to combine two generic gates into one, reducing the length of the circuit and improving verifier performance. This new gate will improve the performance of Mina’s recursive SNARKs when adopted by the protocol. 

Node Stability 

We shipped a new release, 1.3.0, which included a series of CPU performance improvements to Mina nodes. These updates allow Mina nodes to sync to the chain faster, and to put less pressure on nodes as they participate in the network. We are continuing to work on more improvements which will be included in additional 1.3.x releases in the near future.

 

olton#7372 – Grant Recipient and Community Contributor

I developed an object explorer for the Mina blockchain called Minataur. Minataur allows you to receive, view and analyze information about various objects in the Mina blockchain such as blocks, addresses, and transactions. In the near future, I will add a part to view and analyze snarks.

The first major milestone has been implemented. Minataur allows you to view and analyze blocks, addresses, transactions, and receive up-to-date information about the uptime of addresses in a convenient way. Please use Minataur and send me feedback/comments!

 

carbonara | WeStake.Club ⚡#5880 – Genesis Founding Member, Grant Recipient and Community Contributor

WeStake is working on Clorio Wallet. Recent updates on Clorio Wallet include a recent redesign, Ledger Nano X support, as well as anti-phishing transactions warnings (blacklisted addresses). We are ready to deploy the deeplinking capabilities for Clorio in order to be able to interact with Mina’s zkApps. We also want to highlight that we are privacy aware and so the Clorio wallet does not track wallet usage.

* The Clorio Wallet is not affiliated with the Mina Foundation.

 

Trivo#0001 – zkApps Builders Program Participant and Community Contributor

I am currently fully focused on my zk-Rollup on Mina project as part of the zkApps Builders Program. The zk-Rollup will help new Web3 developers that are interested in the Mina ecosystem to get their new exciting zkApp project kickstarted. Be it a DeFi or NFT related smart contract, developers will be able to utilize the zk-Rollup to kickstart their project and provide an even more efficient and higher performing application to their end users. 

The main benefit of zk-Rollups is a massively increased transaction speed! It will benefit both developers and end users. It will serve as a solid foundation and go-to reference for new zkApp builders who want to improve the performance of their project. End users will be able to use the zkApp while experiencing improved performance, without having to be concerned with the underlying technology or base speed of the layer 1.

Some of the milestones I have successfully completed include finishing the design phase, writing the first docs and starting the implementation of a basic MVP. I don’t have anything ready to share quite yet, but I plan to release more information and a demo with the upcoming zkApps testnet that is open to more community members.

As I actively work on this project, I am always happy to chat about zk-Rollups and Mina’s zkApps and I am happy to answer any questions regarding these topics!

 

Comdex#3801 – zkApps Builders Program Participant, Genesis Founding Member and Community Contributor

My team and I are working on Minascan, which is a website providing real-time predictions and statistics about Mina Mainnet as well as an open API for the community to see the most current information. Currently, based on the transaction pool and snark pool, Minascan supports the best and latest fee prediction for both block producers and snark workers. In addition, it provides a convenient API interface for third party developers to make an integration.

Minascan has a clear roadmap. Currently, it is an MVP that collects key data from Mina Mainnet. More functions are planned and around the corner, which we’ll share more about.

We encourage the community to try out and use Minascan and welcome any feedback like bugs noted or improvement suggestions to make Minascan better. 

 

cryptocaptain#6356 – Grant Recipient and Community Contributor

I’m running MinaClub, a Chinese regional community which aims to serve Mina developers and enthusiasts and share Mina Protocol with the wider world. Our channels include:

MinaClub Website
Twitter
Telegram Group
Weibo
WeChat Official Account: 微信搜索“Mina Club”即可关注 (Search for “Mina Club” to follow)

Feel free to follow us on any of those platforms to stay up to date on the latest about Mina, have access to community-generated Mina resources and discuss Mina with other like-minded individuals who are Chinese-speaking.

We were happy to support World Mina Day in February by creating Mina-branded masks and distributing them to community members in China. We also rallied the Mina community in China to suggest to Binance to turn on staking for Mina on their platform, and we’re very excited to see our voices being heard!

 

The updates above are a snapshot of ecosystem updates shared by Mina contributors, but it is not a comprehensive capture of everything that is being worked 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. 

More from our Blog

Community / 2022-09-27 / Mina Foundation
Meet the zkApp Builder — Marek Narozniak
Learn more about Marek and his first zero knowledge smart contract, LendApp.
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Resource / 2022-09-26 / Mina Protocol
‘Berkeley’ Testnet Alpha Participation Guide
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Ecosystem Update / 2022-09-20 / Mina Ecosystem Contributors
Mina Ecosystem Roadmap – Q3 2022
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Learn / 2022-09-13 / Mina Foundation
Is Zero Knowledge Technology the Future of NFTs?
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