This section gathers the most commonly asked questions about Protokit, and aims to provide a bite-sized answer to each of them.

How do smart contracts compare to runtime modules?

In general purpose blockchains, smart contracts are used to implement business logic. Usually the developer is responsible for deploying a smart contract to the blockchain - normally associated with an on-chain address for the smart-contract itself (like in EVM).

With Protokit, the developer is responsible for building their own application chain, which is not a general purpose blockchain, but an application specific blockchain. This means that the features of your application are de-facto the features of your own blockchain. Therefore instead of implementing and deploing smart contracts, the developer implements runtime modules and deploys them as a whole as their application chain.

How does Protokit enable privacy?

Protokit is built on top of MINA's o1js library, which is a zk-dsl. You can use it to write circuits which produce zero knowledge proofs. Runtime modules can accept proofs as arguments, which under the hood turns the transaction execution into a recursive zero-knowledge proof.

This means you can generate a zero knowledge proof on the client side - e.g. in the browser, and send that proof as part of a transaction to your application chain's runtime. The sequencer will execute your transaction 'on server side', by passing the client side proof to the respective runtime method.

How is my application chain connected to MINA?

Application chains built with Protokit can be settled to MINA, this means that the state of your application chain is anchored to MINA's blockchain. All of this is possible thanks to the L1 settlement contract(s), which need to be deployed to MINA's blockchain. These contracts are responsible for verifying the transaction processing and block production of your application chain.

Please keep in mind that the L1 contracts are still a work in progress.

Do i have to run my own infrastructure?

As of now, yes. Once your Protokit based application-chain is ready for "testing" you will need to run your own infrastructure. This means that you will need to run your own sequencer. We are working on making sure hosting your own sequencer is as easy as possible (devops wise).

Do i have to generate proofs during development?

No, you do not. It is advised to stick to "mock proofs" during development and testing of your application chain. This approach results into quicker iteration times and faster test suites. If your runtime design is correct and your circuit implementation is sound, then "enabling proofs" should be just a matter of sequencer configuration.

What stage of development is Protokit in?

Protokit development began in Q2 2023, and is currently in the early stages of development. We encourage developers to start building with Protokit today, since the 'gist' of the SDK is already there. We are working on making the developer experience as smooth as possible, and we are looking forward to your feedback!

How is Protokit funded?

Protokit is funded publicly thanks to the support of community grant programs from the Mina foundation.

Is Protokit free to use / opensource?

Yes, and it allways will be.

How can i contribute?

The best way to contribute right now is to start building open source runtime modules, and sharing them with the Protokit community. We're working on the Protokit library, if you'd like to see more plug-and-play runtime modules, please consider contributing to the library.

I am stuck, where can i get help?

You can reach out to #tech-support in our Discord server (opens in a new tab).