Mina Protocol is a blockchain designed to address scalability issues faced by some Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain networks. Mina utilizes small block sizes and the zk-SNARK system to enable more participants to run nodes. The Mina protocol aims to provide the ability to keep your data secure and decentralized on a compact and scalable blockchain.
So, what is Mina coin, and should one invest in this cryptocurrency?
Token Name: Mina Protocol
Blockchain: Mina Blockchain
Total Initial Supply: 1,000,000,000 MINA
Created by O Labs and launched in 2021, Mina Protocol is a security-focused blockchain network prioritizing accessibility and decentralization to achieve what it calls a “lightweight” blockchain infrastructure. Mina achieves this through the use of an advanced technique called zk-SNARKs, along with the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. The Mina cryptocurrency project is based on the idea that blockchains like Bitcoin are constrained towards centralization due to inherent conflicts in their structures.
On Proof-of-Work-based blockchain networks, every node must confirm the entire data history of the chain before new transactions can be processed. As the blockchain grows, the data burden becomes larger, requiring more processing power to efficiently handle transactions. This increased processing power often demands more specialized hardware, creating a barrier for many individuals wanting to run nodes.
Mina Protocol addresses this issue by using more efficient data and a new technology called zk-SNARKs. It aims to enable a broader population to verify the blockchain, thus promoting trust, security, and decentralization.
As of May 2022, the circulating supply of Mina Protocol’s native cryptocurrency (MINA) is 503,151,296, compared to Bitcoin’s (BTC) 19,040,743 and Dogecoin’s (DOGE) 132,670,764,299. Mina encourages staking, and initially, the inflation rate of this currency is 12%, decreasing to 7% over the next 5 years. The MINA cryptocurrency is used to process transactions on the Mina cryptocurrency network. Staking MINA is available on various platforms, and MINA coins serve as a method of payment to incentivize block producers and Snarkers, those who keep the network running efficiently.
Mina Protocol attempts to address scalability issues through Proof of Validity. Instead of sharing large data files, proofs or SNARKs are shared to secure data and make the blockchain operate more efficiently. Due to the smaller chain size, a much wider audience can verify the blockchain, thus encouraging more trust, security, and decentralization.
In addition to functioning as a PoS blockchain network, the Mina Protocol uses what is known as “Proof of Validity” to reduce file size and minimize the computational power nodes require to participate in network consensus. Zk-SNARK is an acronym for “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge.” Essentially, zk-SNARK is a quick snapshot of the blockchain’s super data, rather than the entire data set for each individual transaction. As the blockchain grows, these zk-SNARK “snapshots” or summaries contain evidence of its validity based on super data, instead of the full blockchain history. These snapshots can serve as evidence of data validity without requiring access to the entire blockchain history. This structure means that Mina nodes are processing smaller data sizes, making it more feasible for a broader audience and, consequently, promoting a more decentralized and democratic network.
Mina believes that as long as the blockchain is valid, the snapshots will be valid. This implies that a longer chain history can be retained in a smaller file size. As the blockchain develops, new zk-SNARKs will be created based on existing ones to maintain an efficient data set on the Mina blockchain.