Below are some updates on the various projects, tooling and resources the Mina ecosystem and community have worked on recently.
*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 or ecosystem partners, whose work is important to the development of the Mina ecosystem and is independent from any of the initiatives that the Mina Foundation is working on.
Mina Foundation – Lindsay Casale, Sr Director, Marketing and Sherry Lin, Director, Digital Marketing
The Mina Foundation is helping serve and support the Mina ecosystem, specifically by allocating resources, supporting network health and security, and supporting participants on their path to the Mina ecosystem.
zkIgnite, Cohort 1
Mina’s zkIgnite, Cohort 1 kicked off on February 15th, a three-month program designed to help developers and entrepreneurs turn their innovative ideas into real-world applications and build successful businesses on Mina Protocol. There will be 500,000 USDC and 500,000 MINA in eligible grants across two ‘tracks’ – the zkApp Track and Dev4Dev Track.
On March 5th, after a month of weekly gatherings, which included brainstorming and team building sessions, as well as a gathering with Room40 Ventures to discuss the importance of ZK tech and how they evaluate projects for investments, Cohort 1 participants submitted over 160 initial proposals for grants across the two tracks. Electors from the community will now help participants revise their proposals and eventually allocate grants to winning proposals. If you’d like to follow Cohort 1’s progress, join the Innovation Platform where you can review the proposals, as well as leave comments.
zkApps End-to-End (E2E) Testing
The Mina Foundation is launching the zkApps E2E Testing program to perform end-to-end testing of Mina’s zkApps and SnarkyJS, so that this new code can be included in the upcoming hard fork.
We are inviting a small group of zkApp builders who are the most familiar with Mina’s technology, the community, and who have experience building zkApps to participate. zkApp E2E Testers will build zkApps that cover 9 defined zkApp surface areas/SnarkyjS features: Recursion, Call Stack Composability, Actions, Events, Pre-Conditions (Account), Pre-Conditions (Network), Permissions, Deploy Smart Contract, and Tokens. In addition to building these zkApps, they will be deploying the zkApp on the hard fork release candidate, running a series of tests, and documenting/reporting the process, findings, and feedback. Those who complete the zkApp E2E Testing are eligible to receive a reward of 10K USDC and 5K USD worth of MINA tokens.
- On February 16, Mina Foundation CEO Evan Shapiro was invited to speak at a Google Web3 Talk to discuss his career, why he co-founded Mina Protocol, and how zkApps can help secure privacy. Watch the replay here.
- From Feb 24-Mar 5, Mina Foundation and Mina ecosystem partners, including Viable Systems, nil; Foundation, and O(1) Labs were in-person at ETHDenver! Read our recap of events here, with links to replays from Mina’s sessions at the event.
- Upcoming Events: Mina Foundation and Mina ecosystem partners will be at ETHToyko and Consensus 2023! Stay tuned for our events line-up in next month’s update.
News & Announcements
- Mina Foundation CEO and Mina Protocol Co-Founder Evan Shapiro’s op-ed “The Zero-Knowledge Moment Has Arrived” was featured in The Defiant. Read his 2023 predictions for ZK here. You can also check out another version of his predictions on Medium here.
- Mina Foundation donates to Turkey and Syria disaster relief efforts and encourages the community to do the same. If you’d like to contribute, please send your donations to this Mina address organized by @ParibuCom: B62qkRvhLCRoZikpAKicKnMmQ9vSX8FYq5owXn5P7yPbDHDigya7zsS
Learn How to Code a zkApp
Are you just getting started with zkApps? Join David Wong, O(1) Labs engineer, as he codes his first Helloworld zkApp.
Viable Systems – Juraj Selep, CEO
In-Browser Web Node
Viable Systems has released tools to help improve the performance of the Mina nodes and overall network. Using these tools, VS has already identified and resolved issues with propagating transactions between nodes, more reliably filling blocks with transactions, and memory/speed issues on the nodes. VS can also demonstrate these improvements with two clusters they maintain and a CI tool for deploying different branches of the codebase to each cluster, using OpenMina’s tracing tools to show network and node performance before and after improvements.
To learn more:
- Read the recent blog post on internal and external tracing on Mina here
- Review the dashboard for a Mina k8s cluster here
- Check out the CI tooling for Mina k8s cluster here
=nil; Foundation – Mikhail Komarov, Founder
zkBridge from Mina to Ethereum
=nil; Foundation’s zkBridge from Mina to Ethereum is in the middle of a launch process. They achieved the desired number of proof generators to facilitate the supply side of a Proof Market’s Mina state proof pair. They are waiting another week for more proof generators to arrive and then a verifier will be deployed to enable the demand side of a Proof Market’s Mina state proof pair. See additional details below.
- Proof Market’s Mina state proof generator. One of the most important updates was a stability update (see here) induced by the feedback collected from proof producers. This enables the proof generator to be run in a multithreaded version with no failures for various reasons.
- In-EVM state management and circuits definitions. The primary repository was refactored to contain only Mina-specific in-EVM application definition and Mina-specific zkLLVM-based Kimchi verification circuits definitions. The rest of Mina state proof generation was unified with Proof Market’s proof generator. Read more here.
=nil; Foundation is asking for more proof generators to help support Proof Market’s Mina state proof generator and also in-EVM app developers to try its SDK.
O(1) Labs – Emre Tekisalp, CEO
O(1) Labs released SnarkyJS 0.9.1.
This release focuses primarily on changes required to remain compatible with the newly redeployed Berkeley Testnet, at the end of February. For the developer, `globalSlot` is now available as on-chain value that you can write assertions against, such as `this.globalSlot.assertBetween(lower, upper)` to provide the ability to limit when your zkApp transaction should be allowed to be accepted as valid by the network.
See the SnarkyJS changelog for more details. Developers should upgrade their `zkapp-cli` to 0.7.1 or newer, and any current smart contract projects to use `snarkyjs` 0.9.1 or newer in order to be compatible with Berkeley Testnet.
A high-level zkApps Roadmap page is now available on the Mina Protocol docs. The goal is to provide developers with an overview of current, next (i.e. in progress), and later (i.e. planned) functionality that you can use to build a zkApp.
Berkeley Alpha Testnet
The Berkeley testnet was redeployed February 24th with a large set of upgrades and bug fixes. Notably, the deployed release includes a fix to prevent a non-trivial transaction pool DDOS vector and added a ‘valid_while’ protocol precondition. While the release of this Berkeley hard fork release candidate represents an important milestone on the journey to the hard fork being executed on mainnet, testing of the protocol is ramping up significantly and as such, bugs can be expected.
Incentivized testnet planning is picking up steam. Mina Foundation is in the process of selecting a number of groups and individuals who will build zkApps explicitly for the purpose of testing the zkApps protocol. Additionally, ecosystem partners Granola and Viable Systems have started testing and reviewing the upgrades related to Berkeley. While this work picks up steam, O(1) Labs’ protocol team will continue to monitor the Berkeley Testnet closely, fixing any bugs or issues as they arise.
The O(1) Labs crypto team landed a number of custom gates in February, which have now been deployed to the Berkeley testnet. Notably, the team also discovered a mechanism which we hope will enable SnarkyJS developers to write circuits with as many as 2^32 constraints, well above the current 2^16 limit. We look forward to sharing more about this win and what it means for zkApp development sometime soon.
Active development of zkOracles remains on hold at O(1). That being said, we’ve documented the new protocol mentioned last month and hope it will dramatically reduce the complexity of zkOracles SNARK circuits while improving the developer experience for those wishing to build zkOracles of their own.
Ethereum Signature Verification
The custom gates mentioned above in the “Proof Systems” section will be key to enabling zkApps to verify Ethereum signatures. As a next step, O(1)’s crypto team is planning to implement a proof-of-concept keccak hash function circuit, an important dependency for enabling Ethereum/EVM signature verification.
ONTAB – Behzad Malek, CEO
ONTAB has been working on the new uptime tracker for the Mina Foundation Delegation Program.
ONTAB has reduced the time to send delinquent emails at slot 3500 to under 72 hours. They have also seen a major reduction in the number of delinquent BPs.
Additionally, ONTAB has been working on the following items:
- UI changes for uptime tracker
- AWS shake down
- Adding Elasticity to AWS instances and replacing EC2 with Lambda functions in order to reduce the AWS expenses and CPU usage
- Pulling stats on BPs above 90% since 2021
- Taking the snapshot for Feb 9th for delegation Cycle 9
- Working on changing the receiving rewards addresses
- Delegation program summary emails, stats and delinquent notifications for epoch 45 & 46
- Working on increasing voting power from 5% to 8%
ONTAB has noticed some BPs are not able to get their uptime data submitted. If this has happened to you, please share your logs on the Discord uptime-qa channel so they can better investigate this issue.
Staketab is a staking provider that champions credibility, individual approach, and immediate expansion of new cryptos offered by the market.
To support Mina’s decentralized governance process, community contributor Staketab who created Minascan has developed a new feature in the Minascan Explorer to enable users to better understand which proposals are live, how to vote, the timing of the Mina Improvement Proposals (MIPs), the tallying of results, and other important information on governance decisions. Read this blog post by Minascan outlining the new governance features, and check out the Governance tab on the Minascan Explorer to experience it yourself.
About Mina Protocol
Mina Protocol is being incubated by O(1) Labs, the leader in zk-SNARKs and verifiable computation. Mina Protocol, the world’s lightest blockchain, provides a foundation for the decentralized digital economy (Web 3.0), by affording all participants fully P2P, permissionless access to the chain, from any device. By utilizing recursive zk-SNARKs, the Mina blockchain always stays the same size — about 20 kilobytes (the size of a few tweets). Recursive zk-SNARKs allow nodes to rapidly share and update proof of the correct blockchain state across the network. This breakthrough application of zk-SNARKs solves the issues of scalability and high barrier to entry for nodes that have plagued legacy blockchains to-date. By making it easier for nodes to participate, Mina improves decentralization and therefore security of the network. The Mina blockchain can be easily accessed from any device, including phones and browsers, and can be seamlessly integrated into new decentralized applications (dapps).