Mina Foundation Raises $92M to Accelerate Adoption of Zero-Knowledge Proofs

The terms of the token sale were not disclosed but FTX Ventures and Three Arrows Capital led the effort.

AccessTimeIconMar 17, 2022 at 4:02 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:59 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Zero-knowledge proofs took a step forward Thursday with a $92 million token sale to accelerate adoption for the Mina protocol.

The round was led by FTX Ventures and Three Arrows Capital, with the raise representing FTX Venture’s first investment in a zero-knowledge project. Other participants include Alan Howard, Amber Group, Blockchain.com, Brevan Howard, Circle Ventures, Finality Capital Partners and Pantera.

  • 'The Voice' Makes Its Way to the Metaverse
    'The Voice' Makes Its Way to the Metaverse
  • Staking Has Been a Major Liquidity Sink for ETH: Coinbase Institutional
    Staking Has Been a Major Liquidity Sink for ETH: Coinbase Institutional
  • Fantom Token Jumps; Dolce & Gabbana Sued for NFT Deliveries
    Fantom Token Jumps; Dolce & Gabbana Sued for NFT Deliveries
  • What's the Key to Winning a Hackathon?
    What's the Key to Winning a Hackathon?
  • “The main opportunity here is to be able to program with zero knowledge for regular developers,” Mina Foundation CEO Evan Shapiro said in an interview with CoinDesk.

    He added: “Historically, this hasn't been possible. You had to be a cryptographer that also happened to be super good at the kinds of programming you need to work with zero-knowledge proofs. What makes this exciting is any developer who knows JavaScript can now work with ZK proofs.”

    Shapiro declined to share the price at which the tokens were sold or the percentage of the Mina Foundation treasury the round represents.

    Grant program

    According to Shapiro, the network soft-launched in December 2021, and the team has been slowly raising production ever since.

    “The main function of the raise is to increase our capacity to give out grants to proposals that can help support the protocol,” he said.

    So far, “1,100 or so” grantees have received funds, and the team saw over 100 applications for its “ZK Bootcamp” application development program, of which the foundation selected a dozen to nurture.

    An identity solution, multiple games and a “highly scalable layer 2” system count among the first cohort, and Shapiro said he expects to see many of them reach production within the next six months.

    Other promising zero-knowledge applications include “a [decentralized finance] app that has a form of identity of private [know your customer],” private decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) transactions and memberships, and private non-fungible token (NFT) ownership – all of which are frequently requested features among users and developers.

    “This is a special moment where zero-knowledge proofs are becoming something that people can generally use, and not just select developers. That’s an exciting thing for Mina and for the space,” Shapiro said.


    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Andrew Thurman

    Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.