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About MINA

Calling itself the “lightest” (in terms of bytes) blockchain in the world, the Mina Protocol wants to take advantage of that nimbleness to build a bridge between crypto and the real world.

Mina's blockchain, sometimes called "the succinct chain," stands in sharp contrast to the heavyweight Bitcoin network, which has ballooned in size over the past decade.

As of October 2021, Bitcoin’s sprawling digital ledger comprised more than 360 billion bytes, or 360 gigabytes (GBs); all of that data has to be toted along by each peer/node, a heavy lift. Blocks (transaction data) on the chain, is, by design, constrained to being no larger than one megabyte. This limits the number of transactions that the Bitcoin network is capable of processing per second. It’s a problem, inhibiting the network’s ability to scale. And this problem has led to endless debates as well as some forks (and forks of forks).

Mina's blockchain, on the other hand, has remained at merely 22,000 bytes, or 22 kilobytes, its founders insist. That's roughly about the same amount of data as it takes to send out a few tweets, they say. Thus, this lightweight network has positioned itself as capable of allowing participants to quickly transact from devices like smart phones.

MINA tokens, native to the Mina blockchain, are used to facilitate transactions/secure the network via staking/proof of stake (PoS) consensus. The tokens are also used on Mina’s "Snarketplace." Here is where things get rather wonky. This peculiar-sounding term, Snarketplace, as you might expect, refers to a kind of marketplace whereby nodes exchange their network abetting services (producing blocks, verifying them) for a fee.

Block producers exchange MINA tokens for SNARK proofs from SNARK workers. The key to this activity is a cryptography technique, "zk-SNARKS."

It stands for “zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge.” It’s a computer privacy concept – data affirmed though not actually revealed – developed by MIT professor and Algorand founder Silvio Micali.

The concept of a tiny, portable blockchain was created by O(1) Labs, a company founded in San Francisco in 2017 by Evan Shapiro and Izaak Meckler.

Shapiro had worked as a software engineer for Mozilla, having obtained his research MS from Carnegie Mellon.

Meckler developed software for a Wall Street trading firm, Jane Street.

After four years of trial and error, the O(1) Labs team launched the Mina mainnet on March 23, 2021.

The Mina Foundation was created as a non-profit that supports, according to Shapiro, a fully decentralized ecosystem of decentralized applications (dApps) “empowering users with control over their own data privacy.”

Relying on a diet of “recursive proofs” (i.e. those zk-SNARKS), as opposed to sophisticated hardware, Mina's chain purportedly never gains weight. The proofs are small and easy to verify. They don't require any back-and-forth communication between participants in a validation process, Mina explained.

The current price of MINA

As of mid-December 2021, MINA stood at roughly $3.40 having gained more than 200% since late July. An all-time high of about $9 was reached in June but proved short-lived. The all-time low was $0.90 on July 21, 2021.

In November of 2021, MINA rallied back toward $6. It has a market capitalization of about $1.1 billion, making it, per CoinGecko, the 104th-largest coin in terms of total value.

How the price of MINA is determined

The initial supply of MINA: 1 billion tokens. The total supply will increase over time, but inflation is set to decrease from 12% to 7% over the first five years, according to Mina. Further decreases in the inflation rate will be subject to Mina Protocol’s governance. Additionally, the MINA token could see further utility and value, provided it gains widespread adoption across the blockchain community.

What the bulls are saying

*“Because Mina Protocol is so small, the network does not require third-party nodes to run, meaning anyone can quickly connect and verify the chain, according to The Daily Hodl, pointing out the protocol’s advanced privacy features, i.e. its Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge decentralized applications (Snapps), which can privately interact with any website and access real-world data for on-chain consumption.

*Pick A Crypto says MINA could reach as much as $40 per coin by the end of 2021 and climb to anywhere between $60 and $150 by 2025.

*The future outlook for the network is bullish, per Stockstelegraph, citing a five-year projection that places MINA as high as $20.  

What the bears are saying

*"Unfortunately for the crusaders of the Mina Protocol the plausibility of what they propose is out of the question," said developer/pundit Librehash in a skeptical post this past October.

*The Mina protocol is turning slowly to the buy-side, but still, it is slightly bearish, said CryptoNewsZ.

*The Relative Strength Indicator value underscores negative emotion in the coin, suggesting the bears are taking charge, The Market Periodical said in September 2021.

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This article is for informational purposes only and takes no account of particular personal or market circumstances, and should not be relied upon as investment, tax, or legal advice. For investment, tax, or legal advice and before taking any action you should consult your own advisors. Note that digital assets such as cryptocurrencies present unique risks for investors. Please see our disclaimer regarding risks specific to holding digital assets before investing.

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This content is correct as of December 2021

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