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Mintlayer is a protocol focused on developing a decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem that leverages the Bitcoin blockchain. The company is moving forward with a vision of developing a platform to deploy smart contracts on the BTC blockchain, which will eventually give rise to a decentralized exchange (DEX). Mintlayer is opening up new ways for the DeFi sector to integrate with Bitcoin to enable real-world financial use cases on the Bitcoin blockchain.
The protocol helps lay the groundwork for giving developers the tools to build financial instruments on Bitcoin. Their goal is to empower an entire ecosystem of builders via their Ecosystem fund that provides incubator, accelerator and grant programs. The ecosystem fund helps developers, early and developed projects to integrate and build on the Mintlayer protocol.
The Mintlayer framework is integrated with the Bitcoin Lightning Network. The company aims to utilize Bitcoin, Lightning and its own protocol to unlock more real world applications and use cases.
Just as the Lightning Network answered the question: “How do we make payments with Bitcoin a Reality?”
Mintlayer answers the question: “How do we make DeFi with Bitcoin a reality?”
What is Mintlayer?
Mintlayer is a layer-2 blockchain for Bitcoin that enables DeFi, smart contracts, atomic swaps, non-fungible tokens (NFTS), and other dapps to exist on Bitcoin. The protocol leverages strengths from Bitcoin, Lightning Network and its own layer 2 blockchain to create the infrastructure for projects to build on Bitcoin.
Key Features of Mintlayer
One of the unique core concepts behind Mintlayer is assets on the ecosystem will be directly swappable 1:1 with native Bitcoin. Mintlayer aims to be the only DeFi/Bitcoin platform directly interoperable with native BTC, unlike other platforms that use intermediaries like wrapped BTC or token federation.
To accomplish this, Mintlayer will develop a decentralized exchange (DEX) for atomic swaps.
Mintlayer helps to solve blockchain scalability by shrinking the transaction size by about 70%. This reduces the transaction fees and network congestion that comes with slow transactions. The network also uses the Lightning Network to aid its transactions throughput.
Also, with multi-token transfers in a single transaction, Mintlayer makes aggregated payments a reality.
Blockchain security is another crucial feature that protects the technology from cyber attacks and manipulation. As a layer-2 solution, the Mintlayer team understands the importance of ensuring privacy and security for users. Mintlayer is developing a tokenization standard called MLS-02. These “privacy enabled” MLS-02 tokens will allow users to make confidential transactions on Mintlayer with increased anonymity.
Decentralization is a blockchain feature that takes authority away from a central source and hands it over to a trustless community of members. Blockchain is decentralized when it has multiple nodes confirming transactions (i.e., the higher the number of nodes, the more decentralized the network).
Mintlayer eases the process involved in running a node, which it believes will help to “achieve true decentralization.” Almost anyone can run a node since the machine requirements are quite low even older machines with low specs are able to run the full node.
The Ecosystem Fund
The organization offers three initiatives in their Mintlayer Ecosystem Fund — grant initiatives, incubator and accelerator programs.Ecosystem Fund:
- Incubator Program – offering support and mentorship for early-stage projects
- Accelerator Program – connecting established projects with funding and support
- Grants Initiative – grant opportunities for open source projects to build on (or port to) Mintlayer
Mintlayer Token (ML)
ML is a utility token for the Mintlayer ecosystem. The token launch is on March 21, 2023. The project developers have already pre-mined 400 million ML tokens for distribution and vesting. The development team plans to release 15.8 million ML tokens upon its launch at the Token Generation Event.
The ML token will be used for different activities on the platform, including transaction fees, governance, and staking. Token holders will be able to stake their tokens and become network validators. These validators get rewarded with transaction fees from the blocks they validate.
Transactions on Mintlayer are free from the gas fee monopoly, as Mintlayer operates without a specific gas token. Blocksigners may choose to accept any token created on the network as transaction fees – not just ML.
As a governance token, ML holders will be able to participate in the decision-making process involving the Mintlayer ecosystem. The development team claims token holders “will ultimately decide the fate and direction of the network” when the asset is launched.
To this date, Ethereum remains the most popular platform as it brought the concept of smart contracts to the blockchain ecosystem. With Mintlayer, considering their vision to scale the notion of DeFi on the Bitcoin network, BTC blockchain too might see smart contracts deploying on its network.
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