Mina Launches the zkApps Era
Zero knowledge has come a long way, from an academic paper in 1985, to building out functioning proof systems, to a lot of work trying to translate the esoteric into something that is useful for building. All of these efforts have taken us here – we believe we’re on the cusp of a shift, where zero knowledge transitions from being ‘moon math’ that only a select few in the world can comprehend to something that is accessible and usable for the many.
With Mina’s zkApps (zero knowledge smart contracts), developers can finally easily build with zero knowledge without knowing advanced cryptography, learning a whole new programming language, or writing everything from scratch. We are entering the zkApps Era, and the Mina ecosystem is inviting you to join us.
The Road to Programmable ZK
Over the next several months, the Mina ecosystem will be launching key initiatives with developers to advance the current state of ZK, building up to the industry’s first incentivized testnet with zero knowledge. This milestone will be followed by enabling programmable zkApps on Mina Mainnet, as well as significant grant programs to support the expansion of the ZK ecosystem and fostering teams in the space.
Leading the Way with Accessible zkApps
What makes Mina’s zkApps so different and accessible?
1. It’s not “like” Typescript — it IS Typescript.
Previously, working with ZK involved learning a new programming language and understanding cryptography, making it time-consuming and challenging. Mina’s zkApps are written using SnarkyJS, a Typescript-based library. You don’t need to be a cryptographer, or have previous experience with Solidity or EVMs to utilize ZKPs.
Another benefit of writing in Typescript is that zkApps are the only ZK smart contracts that are designed to be run end-to-end in the browser. The zkApp experience is straightforward – users execute smart contracts and produce ZK proofs directly in a browser, ensuring maximum privacy and decentralization.
2. You can use unlimited off-chain computation for a flat fee.
Traditional blockchain smart contracts require every node in the network to run every computation on the network to verify the consensus state, which is extremely inefficient and also costly if you want to run complex computations. With Mina, you can execute zkApps off-chain, privately in your browser and then send a ZK proof that verifies the expected computation was run on-chain. This includes any amount of powerful and extensive smart contract computations which then get accepted on-chain, all as part of one transaction.
3. zkApps give you the most complete set of features and benefits.
Mina’s zkApps aren’t just for one thing, like scalability via rollups. zkApps on Mina give you a complete feature set and benefits: infinite recursion, off-chain computation, privacy for data inputs, scalability via rollups, & composability. PLUS all the benefits of being an L1, such as custom tokens, bridging, permissioned smart contracts, and more.
We could go on about why zkApps are the key to unlocking programmable ZK, but don’t take our word for it – it’ll become clear if you spend an hour or two playing around with some of the tutorials and experiencing it for yourself.
Introducing zkIgnite – Co-build the zkApp Era With Us
To help co-build the future of ZK and pioneer the zkApps Era for future builders, you are invited to sign up to join zkIgnite. zkIgnite, Cohort 0 is set to begin on November 22, 2022.
Sign up now to:
- Complete tutorials and build zkApps and get rewarded from a pool of 250K MINA*, with bonus prizes.
- Explore and test the latest zkApp features and be a part of iterating them for readiness on mainnet.
- Have the opportunity and support to turn your project into a ZK business in the future.
As part of the zkIgnite, Cohort 0 kick off, there will also be a virtual event with Evan Shapiro (Mina Protocol Co-Founder and Mina Foundation CEO) Brandon Kase (Mina Protocol founding engineer and O(1) Labs Product Architect), where they will discuss the latest developments in zkApps, use cases, and even do some live coding – tune in on Tues, Nov 22 at 10AM UTC-8 here.
A lot more is in store for the zkApps Era in 2023, including developer meetups around the world with hands-on ZK workshops and grants to foster ZK innovation and businesses. Join us in co-building the zkApps Era and bringing the magic of ZK to all.
* All token grants are subject to a 12-month lockup and those who qualify for grants will need to complete KYC/AML verification to receive them.
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).