What is Mina? – The (very) basic concept

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 and always will be about 22kb, the size of a couple tweets, ushering in a new era of blockchain accessibility.

So what does that mean? 

The first thing to know is that all Blockchains are complicated. This page is an attempt to explain in very simple terms why Mina is such a game changer in the Blockchain world. If you are looking for a more detailed explanation then Alpha Trades put together this article on Medium. There is also a very good explanation of zkSnarks and Mina on the official Mina Protocol website.

Bitcoin & Most other Blockchains

The original blockchain, Bitcoin is essentially a digital ledger and every time something interacts with it in any way it gets bigger (think of a very long roll of till receipts at the supermarket). In order to verify these interactions validators need to have a copy of all the previous transactions (ie, the entire ledger) to check they are correct.

When (like Bitcoin) the ledger becomes really big it starts to create a problem. This is because to produce a new block and to hold the entire ledger requires huge computing power, specialised equipment and enormous amounts of energy. In turn this compromises the security, decentralisation and validity of the blockchain, because only a limited amount of people are able to do do it. 

Large / Heavy Blockchain
with small number of validators = bad. 🙁
Small / Light Blockchain
with large number of validators = good. 😀

Trying to understand how Mina Protocol works

Have you ever watched the TV series Modern Family? At the start of the show the credits start with a shot of one group of the family, the next shot is of the next group of the family holding the photo of the last shot of the group before and so on and so on, but in all of the shots you can see all of the previous snapshots.

This is kind of like how the Mina Blockchain works. Using a very clever technology called ZK-Snarks, rather than validating the entire blockchain (like BTC) the Mina Blockchain only needs to validate the previous few blocks as it already knows the ones that went before are valid.

So… Essentially Mina Protocol takes the equivalent of a digital snapshot of the previous blocks and then puts that ‘photo’ of the previous blocks together with the new transaction. By doing this it enables the blockchain to remain very light.

Mina is the world’s lightest blockchain and it’s actually only about 22k, less than the size of a couple of tweets. With Mina Protocol it is much easier for people to become validators as they require less sophisticated hardware to set up with. This uses much less energy too.

It is still possible to run a Mina archive node that does store the entire Mina Protocol blockchain, but for the main part this easy, lightweight validation process creates more decentralisation and a more secure blockchain. Potentially this also allows Mina to be validated on a regular smartphone or computer and facilitate interactions with regular https websites using programming languages familiar to developers, such as Javascript. 

The possibilities for permission-less authentification with Mina are endless, esp with regards personal privacy. With Mina Protocol you can prove that you know a secret (eg your personal details) without actually having to reveal the secret itself. In the near future Mina Protocol will also be able to talk with other Blockchains such as Ethereum.

For a more detailed explanation of the amazing technology behind Mina Protocol, the world’s lightest layer one blockchain, visit the official Mina website here > 

• Mina is not an ERC20 Token
• Mina does not have any ERC20 Smartcontract
• There is no Mina being sold after the coin list sale, always follow the official announcements.
• Mina addresses will start with B62… Not 0X…
• Mina Explorer web address is https://www.minaexplorer.com not etherscan.io
• Mina is also not a BSC or Polychain Token
Be careful when you send crypto, there are lots of scammers out there!

Visit our page on #snapps (Mina’s Apps) to see what exciting things are in development and to find opportunities to collaborate on projects that build upon Mina’s incredible technology.

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