How was Mina Protocol founded? 2023 Predictions

Mina Protocol

In June 2017, Evan Shapiro and Izaak Meckler started O(1) Labs, a open-source project that aims to create a decentralized, scalable, and secure blockchain. Mina uses advanced cryptography and repeating zk-SNARKs to provide an elegant solution rather than relying solely on computer power. But how did this story begin? How did Mina come about and how did Emre Tekişalp, who has worked at Intel, Ripple, and Coinbase, become involved in this story?

Izaak and Evan were close friends. Izaak was a graduate student working in the field of cryptography, and both he and Evan had a strong interest in technology. They were researching cryptography and zero-knowledge technology and working on it. Later, they started working together, initially on various ideas such as machine learning. Izaak continued to work on this project while still a student. They first began discussing block sizes and found that block sizes were a big trade-off. They had to solve this, and the block size had to stop growing. This trade-off gave rise to the idea of a 22kb block size.

Izaak also shared his office with Howard Wu, co-founder of Aleo, and Michael from StarkWare. Although they all shared the same office, they were all working on a type of ZKP company. They were working on an idea. Emre Tekişalp, who later joined O(1) Labs, had previously worked at Intel, Ripple, and Coinbase. Emre was mainly interested in the technology side of things. Coinbase was of course a reputable and reliable company, but for Emre it was like a reliable crypto bank. Emre was more drawn to new blockchains.He was also interested in ZK, or zero-knowledge technology, this revolutionary technology. To him, ZK was like magic. Emre was also looking at Coinbase's Venture Portfolio when he met Evan and Izaak, the founders of Mina Protocol. At the time they met, O1 Labs was looking for someone to fill a business development and management position and Emre joined O1 Labs. It was then that the idea came to Emre's mind, how can I help, how can I be a part of this technology, how can I contribute my own experiences.And of course, his interest in the ZK field only grew. O1 Labs later split into two, giving rise to the Mina Foundation. The Mina Foundation was established as a non-profit foundation to support the Mina Protocol, its participants, supporters, developers, and projects. Emre Tekişalp is currently the CEO of O1 Labs, which has incubated Mina for years.

When asked why he started working at O1 Labs and what influenced him, Emre Tekişalp responded as follows regarding his choice of Mina among the other projects invested in by Coinbase Ventures:

When you start working with a team, you want an environment where you can have a good time and be respected. O1 meets these requirements and has a unique atmosphere, with people who are motivated and interested in technology. This reminds me of my first days at Coinbase. When I first joined, I realized this was a special place. The concept of ZK and the idea of implementing ZK was a big factor. Bitcoin or Ethereum could solve problems by changing many parameters.Other projects had similar logic. O1 Labs and Mina provided a completely unique approach and it was a sustainable approach. They solved the block size issue and zk proofs are valid for the entire blockchain, so you no longer have to consider any parameters as a trade-off. Mina was designed in a very sustainable way.

Emre Tekişalp also thinks that we are in the very early stages of ZK technology. In the future, everything will be based on ZK and every transfer will be private, and every full node will be able to verify quickly and easily. You will be able to experience ZK with any application, but these are still far from us for now.

It was also extremely difficult to program something with ZK, but now there are SDKs. Developers can easily program with what Mina offers. These are not impossible, but they are time-consuming things. So in the future, everything will be based on ZK and we will be able to experience these thingsEven Izaak, one of the co-founders of Mina Protocol, has said that he talked to an anonymous investor in the early days and the investor approached him with skeptical questions like "can you really do it?" Now when we look back, everyone can see what has been done. So he ends his words and the path that Mina has taken from the development stage is truly amazing.

Mina has come a long way and we have entered the year 2023, but let's take a look at where this journey began. When we look at these photos from 2017 and 2018, the only thing that comes to mind is how fast time has passed and how much this idea has been embraced and has come to this day.

Izaak also answers the question of whether O1 Labs has a team to develop ZKProofs and Mina's promises as follows:

Many crypto technologies are vaporous but most of them are unusable, but I think ZKPs basically have capacity. O1 Labs has very talented programmers, communicators, and collaborative team mates, all of whom have this capacity.

What is O1 Labs focusing on currently? If you ask an investor who invested in Mina, but what are they focusing on in the office at the moment, Mina Protocol co-founder Izaak responds as follows:

Currently, O1 Labs is fully focused on ZKApps and making updates to the vital Berkeley network for Mina, as well as testing zkApps. The use of SNARKYJS for writing zkApps has greatly increased and people are beginning to develop on zk. From the feedback, developers believe that SnarkyJS is the easiest development kit for zk.O1 Labs continues to support these initiatives and people, and have even awarded the Mina prize with zkSpark. Currently, over 100 people are working at Mina, a significant number of them being engineers, and this number is expected to grow with the value they produce.

Izaak is most excited about zkApplers, which are real-world accessible applications developed by the team, especially zkOracles that the team can easily handle.

zkOracles is like a key that can unlock the lock of many real-world data. With this, you can do many interesting things secretly. Currently, there is such a lack in the ZK ecosystem. zkOracles will enable many applications to be functional by unlocking this lock. Isaac is very excited about zkOracles to see what will happen after they are published on Mainnet. He is also excited to develop proof systems.

By the end of the 5 years, Izaak will also be a member of the O1 Labs board and will participate in important decisions and act as an advisor on projects. He will help engineers and those working with cryptography. Mina will only participate in important decisions. We thank him for his efforts.

In the past 5 years, our developers and community have developed and learned from multiple testnet stages. At the end of this process, we are now ready to launch Mina to the world. On Mina, developers can provide financial services while developing applications like zkApps (SNARK-powered applications) while respecting data privacy, and everyone can access applications securely from their phones. This is just the beginning.

Although we will face new challenges, Mina is ready to draw strength from its new participants as the world's lightest and most accessible chain. With the hope for a more efficient, aesthetic, and fair future for all of us.

Yes friends, that's how Mina's 5 years went. In this part of the article, I will talk about my own predictions for the 2023-2024 years. Please do not interpret any sentence as an investment recommendation. Mina Protocol has come a long way since its inception and has reached hundreds of thousands of people. This number will increase even more with the increasing demand for privacy. People will want to own their own data more and more every day. People want to secure their own data without any central authority. This will be echoed more in the future. The term Web3 will become more important and the desire for decentralization will increase. Mina Protocol, which offers privacy in such an environment, and its Snark-supported applications will stand out. Ethereum and other chains will want to use the features offered by Mina and make their projects more private and secure. zkBridge will be actively used. Funds will begin to flow to Mina, the use of SnarkyJS will increase significantly, and with this increase, Mina will announce a large developer incentive program. With zkOracles, they will be able to access any information on their websites secretly, securely, and without any trust in any oracle service, which will be a very exciting development for me. Soon we will be able to set up a node on the phone, which will make Mina the most decentralized protocol on the block chain, even more than Ethereum. Most likely, adoption will flare up after the announcement that Metamask will add the Mina Protocol network. There will be a bull run for ZK and I think we will see Mina Protocol as the leader in ZK technology at least at the $15 level when we see these days. This number may be higher and will vary depending on the market situation at that time. The token supply increases that the community wants will be realized and the supply will continue to increase at a lesser rate. Mina will have a very high level of usability and will have dozens of use cases. NFT projects in the ZK field will offer many different utilities and we are now able to build the future we deserve without sharing our information with third parties. Who knows what's next and what time will show us.

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