Mina bills itself as the “world’s lightest blockchain”. Current cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum store massive amounts of data on their blockchains, and will only continue to increase in size. Mina however, claims that their blockchain will always stay the same size (about 20 kilobytes), no matter the usage. This will allow the blockchain to be downloadable by anyone who has basic storage and internet access.
Because of its size, we could potentially see Mina’s tech everywhere. It could, theoretically, run on any native browser or phone without having to download any extension or trust additional 3rd parties. This would dramatically reduce the resources necessary to verify a chain’s history, which would increase the number of transactions a protocol can process.
Mina plans on doing this by combining recursive composition with zero knowledge-succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge proofs, or zk-SNARKs. zk-SNARKs let Mina create a proof of computation, and then share it with anyone. This will create an unforgeable certificate that transactions are performed correctly, without proving the entire computation.
Individual tokens on the network will be called Mina. The initial supply of Mina will be 1 billion. There will be 3 types of roles within the Mina network, Verifiers, Block Producers and Snarkers.
Verifiers can improve the validity of the network by downloading a zk-SNARK, which will certify consensus information. Block Producers are similar to miners or stakers in other networks. They are incentivized by block rewards, and network fees, which are paid by users. Snarkers produce zk-SNARKS that verify transactions.
More information on the relationship between Verifiers, Block Producers, and Snarkers can be found in Mina’s recently released Economic and Monetary Policy Whitepaper.
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The Mina token.
The initial supply of Mina will be 1 billion.
Currently, there is no minimum stake required to be in the active set of validators.
Block producers will be selected at random by stake-weight, and will receive the entirety of the block rewards and transaction fees.
Delegators will receive a pro-rata portion after commission fees have been deducted.
Verifiers will improve the validity of the network by downloading a zk-SNARK, which will certify consensus information. These zk-SNARKs are bits in size and will take milliseconds to download. It is expected that most of the network’s participants will be able to verify.
Snarkers produce zk-SNARKS that verify transactions. They are compensated in fees paid out by the block producer. Snarkers can post fees they want to charge to produce zk-SNARKS, which in turn, creates a natural marketplace that Mina calls “the Snarketplace”.
There are currently no penalties for block producers being offline. Nevertheless, being offline will discourage delegations.