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01 out 2022

Mina Protocol - ‘Berkeley’ Testnet Alpha Participation Guide

Calling all developers wanting to build on zk

Welcome to the Berkeley Testnet Alpha on Mina Protocol!

The Berkeley Testnet Alpha is the first phase in the march towards easy zkApps programmability on mainnet, and will be a collaborative journey among zkApp developers, ecosystem partners, node operators, and Mina community members to strengthen the protocol through testing and feedback.

This is a chance for more zkApps to be tested in a live and public environment, so the primary goal of this phase is to understand and implement feedback on what’s working, and what needs improvement as we work toward a future incentivized testnet.

If you’re a developer interested in building smart contracts written in Typescript AND leveraging the cryptographic power of zero knowledge smart contracts, then you’ve come to the right place! Help shape the future of zkApps technology together with the Mina community.

Getting started: for beginners

If you’re new to zkApps, or need a refresher, here are a few ways to begin:

Familiarize yourself with some core zkApp concepts

Check out Mina’s developer docs

Follow this step-by-step tutorial for building an anonymous message board to understand how zkApps work from start to finish.

Getting started: for experienced zkApp developers

If you’re already comfortable with zkApps, the best way to get started is to begin building your own! The Berkelely Testnet Alpha is currently live, so you’ll be interacting directly with the public network when deploying your application.

The Docs linked above should take you through the flow of writing a zkApp, but here are a few resources to point out for further exploration:

Once you’ve got the hang of SnarkyJS and zkApps, explore some additional features

SnarkyJS API Reference that includes a full list of zkApp features currently available

A guide for creating a ‘custom tokens’ on Mina (similar to ERC-20)

Additional resources

An example zkApp for secure, private and bias-free mortgage credit, with a UI from a previous hackathon participant Diego Ferret-san

Community-curated library of some other zkApps on Mina

Share your feedback

The primary goal of this first phase of the Testnet is to understand how zkApps and SnarkyJS are currently working, and Mina can only be successful with your help!

Here are a couple ways that you can ask questions, leave feedback and contribute:

Ask a question and/or share your feedback directly with Mina’s core devs on the #zkapps-developers channel on Discord

Report Mina Protocol issues and all other protocol-related bugs through Mina’s Github Repo. Please reference the standard bug template for instructions on reporting.

Report bugs related to SnarkyJS here.

Join the weekly zkApp office hours, taking place each Wednesday. Check out the schedule and link to join here.

Apply for a retroactive grant

If you’ve built a zkApp or contributed to the zkApp ecosystem, you might be eligible for a grant through Mina Foundation’s Quarterly Grant Program! Each quarter, community members can nominate individuals and teams who they feel have made invaluable contributions to Mina – including, but not limited to, zkApps, tools, scripts, blogs, videos, newsletters, events, community-led groups, and more.

Here are a couple example of zkApp grant contributions that have recently received grants:

An explainer zkApp where users can toggle pixels on and off a shared canvas, and the app commits the state of the canvas to Mina. Built by @45930#8225

A zkApp developer workshop co-hosted by @Laurence Kirk#2549 and @Karol#4597

A blog explaining how to build a zkApp for DeFi lending by @vim#1368

Here is the nomination form for Mina’s quarterly grants program.

Happy building! We’re excited to shape the future of zkApps technology together with you.

About Mina Protocol

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 about 22kb, the size of a couple of tweets. It is the first layer-1 to enable efficient implementation and easy programmability of zero knowledge smart contracts (zkApps). With its unique privacy features and ability to connect to any website, Mina is building a private gateway between the real world and crypto—and the secure, democratic future we all deserve. Mina is stewarded by the Mina Foundation, a public benefit corporation headquartered in the United States.


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