Here at Mintlayer our core mission is to develop the tools that will unlock the next evolution of Bitcoin. As part of that commitment, we are re-focusing our brand to better reflect our mission and core values.
Since its inception, Mintlayer has stayed true to the core values of the Bitcoin community. Decentralization, immutability, trustlessness. We identified several areas where other protocols had failed, and over the last two years, the events that transpired throughout the crypto industry have made our vision seem almost prophetical.
Building a protocol that lives up to this standard is difficult. Along the way, we have made a misstep or two, but every bit has only made our core product better.
We find ourselves at a place where we know what we have to do. We have a team that knows how to do it, and we are very close to releasing a working testnet that all ML holders will be able to contribute to.
It was our dream to develop a non-turing complete smart contract protocol that solved many of Ethereum’s problems, settled on Bitcoin, and didn’t require a wrapped token to use Bitcoin. To do this, we would have to do things that no one had tried before.
It turned out that many other people liked this idea as well. With the support of many partners and organizations, we raised $5.2 million dollars in our seed round, and an astonishing $12.6 million dollars during our pre-sale.
The Decision to Move Off of Substrate
After some initial development, we decided to move off of Substrate because of irreconcilable incompatibility between the platform and Mintlayer’s long-term goals.
It was necessary to build our own proprietary framework to both guarantee the maximum interoperability with Bitcoin and reduce processing requirements enough to democratize the protocol. We ended up building everything from scratch to meet our needs.
After moving off of Substrate, the Mintlayer team has met several development and marketing milestones.
- Launched Mojito Wallet for iOS and Android
- Launched browser extension for Mojito Wallet
- Reach 100,000 lines of committed code at the end of 2022
- Held our Token Generation Event
- Listed ML on Gate.io
- Listed ML on Mexc
- Partnered with Launchpool Labs, Forint Finance, and Metaverse 4 Finance
The core is nearing completion, and we will launch the testnet before the end of the quarter.
Mintlayer is the Proper Evolution We All Needed
Throughout 2022, events in the industry repeatedly reminded us why Bitcoin’s core tenets and our project were so important.
We watched as FTX, a centralized exchange, suffered a significant collapse with wide reaching contagion. Along with lenders BlockFi, Celsius, and several other centralized entities that require custody of customer assets, users lost billions of dollars.
Poor risk management by centralized entities reminded the community why decentralized finance and self-custody is so important. At the same time DeFi projects that focused on token bridges and wrapped tokens were targeted by hackers. Several large attacks cost customers hundreds of millions of dollars as hackers drained assets from bridge wallets.
Only one protocol will allow people to access all the tools and applications in DeFi using their native Bitcoin without token bridges or wrapped tokens; Mintlayer is the answer, and our vision has never been more important.
As 2023 progressed, we witnessed Ordinals and Bitcoin NFTs. While popular, Ordinals suffered from many drawbacks, among them was that Bitcoin nodes could purge them and that they polluted the Bitcoin base layer.
Bitcoin stamps offered several improvements over Ordinals, including how image data is stored and offering semi-fungible variants, but still pollute the Bitcoin base layer, which many maxis believe should be for settlement and certain transactions only.
Now that we are past the media storm that comes along with launching a token, we want to focus more on the most fundamental advantages and support that we will bring to the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Self custody, trustlessness, and dramatically expanded capabilities for native Bitcoin. Mintlayer is the essential tool for expanding the Bitcoin ecosystem thoughtfully.
Our first aim is to grow and energize the Mintlayer community. We want every user to be involved to the full extent of their abilities. New users will learn to set up Mintlayer nodes on their personal computers and developers will be invited to meet with the Mintlayer development team for mentorship and advice in the upcoming months.
ML Token Staking
The next feature you will see launched will be our staking program. Every ML holder will be able to stake their tokens and earn extra ML tokens in preparation for the mainnet.
Once we release the testnet, those users that have staked ML may participate in our testnet to earn rewards that are redeemable for even more ML when mainnet launches.
Every user should understand how easy it is to create a Mintlayer node and get functional practice so when mainnet launches, they will already have experience with the process. We designed Mintlayer to be as efficient as possible so the average person could run a node on their desktop—we want to make sure that the average person knows how, and gets all the support they need to do it. We also believe that community incentives should go to interested community members.
The ecosystem fund will help facilitate development of projects and infrastructure built on the Mintlayer blockchain. There are three parts to the ecosystem fund.
- Incubator program
- Accelerator program
- Grants initiative
Developers with great ideas can apply for the incubator program. Projects in development that want to port over to Mintlayer will qualify for the accelerator program. Developers that want to build educational tools, analytics tools, wallets, block explorers, and other key infrastructure can qualify for the grants initiative.
If you have a great idea and need funding to execute, or want to contribute to Mintlayer in other ways, you can visit our Ecosystem page and submit an application.
Weekly Twitter Spaces
Our team will continue updating our followers with development updates and we will schedule weekly Twitter spaces with the Mintlayer team and special guests.
Twitter spaces will cover a variety of topics, and will take the place of the YouTube live updates we have been doing. If you haven’t already, follow Mintlayer on Twitter. Joining our Twitter space is one of the best ways to learn about Mintlayer’s development and how our protocol will revolutionize DeFi on Bitcoin.
The Mintlayer Brand
Our refreshed brand identity is more focused. We will update our messaging on the website over the next few weeks, engage with our ambassadors, and we will be producing new content that aligns more closely with the Bitcoin community.
In conclusion, Mintlayer’s core tenets haven’t changed. We had a clear vision concerning how DeFi on Bitcoin should look and as we approach the release of the testnet; we are still committed to addressing fundamental flaws in existing DeFi platforms. However, we have continually improved the Mintlayer project since we started, and we want our community and message to reflect that.
Stay tuned to our Telegram announcements channel or upcoming updates regarding staking and how ML holders can take part in the testnet.