O(1) Labs, the team behind the development of Mina Protocol (formerly Coda Protocol), has raised $10.9 million in fresh capital.
The strategic investment round was co-led by Three Arrows Capital and Bixin Ventures, with participation from HashKey Capital, NGC Ventures, and Fenbushi Capital, among others.
With backing from these Asian investors, O(1) Labs plans to build a developer community for Mina blockchain in the region, co-founder and CEO Evan Shapiro told The Block. Mina has been under development since June 2017 and is expected to launch mainnet "very early next year," said Shapiro.
The protocol is being built using a technology called zero-knowledge proofs, specifically zk-SNARK, which helps prove possession of certain information without revealing that information. "This helps developers build decentralized applications bringing privacy and efficient computing, as well as verifying offline data," said Shapiro.
Mina will be a lightweight blockchain, retaining a size of 22 KB, said Shapiro. The zk-SNARKs technology "enables us to build very small proofs of the whole blockchain. You just take the previous proof, and you recursively uptake the previous proof of the update and you produce a new proof using the previous proof. And that's the proof that's getting sent around to verify the chain," said Shapiro.
Given the lightweight model, Mina will also be working on phones and browsers, he added. When it launches, Mina doesn't look to compete with blockchains like Ethereum, but can interoperate with other protocols being a Layer-1 blockchain, said Shapiro.
As for real use cases of the Mina blockchain, Shapiro said they could include verifying data that has been traditionally private, such as financial information and personal identity.
Today's round brings O(1) Labs' total funding to date to $29.4 million. The firm had previously raised a $3.5 million seed round in May 2018 and a $15 million Series A in April 2019 from investors such as Coinbase Ventures and Paradigm.
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