if (foo) {  bar();  } else {    baz();  }           π v Block Txn

A scalable protocol for succinctly verifiable computation.

Mir is a cryptocurrency platform that supports arbitrary computations. Rather than verifying a block by reexecuting each included computation, Mir uses succinct arguments to prove the correctness of each state transition.

The problem with reexecution

In other blockchain designs, nodes must reexecute each smart contract themselves in order to verify that it was carried out correctly. In a large network, each computation might be reexecuted thousands or even millions of times.

This redundancy is incredibly wasteful. In order to keep costs under control, these blockchains charge a “gas” fee for each transaction proportional to its computational cost.

Proving correct execution

In Mir's design, each computation only needs to be executed once. The node which performs a computation also generates a small cryptographic proof, showing that it was executed correctly. These small proofs can be verified in constant time, regardless of the underlying computation.

Since there is no reexecution, there is no need to charge gas fees. Every Mir transaction incurs the same small fee, even if the underlying computation involves millions of operations.

Higher order proofs

For each pair of transactions in a block, we generate a higher order proof which recursively verifies the proofs of both transactions. By repeating this process, we ultimately get a single “block root” proof which verifies the entire block.

Each block root proof also verifies the proof of its parent block, so by downloading the latest root block, a user can instantly verify the entire history of the blockchain.

The team

Brendan Farmer

Brendan Farmer

Brendan was part of the founding team of a startup that was later acquired. He then studied math as an A.B. Duke Scholar.

Daniel Lubarov

Daniel Lubarov

Daniel came from Google, where he worked on Glass and Pixel Buds. Prior to that, he worked at Square where he built scalable and fault tolerant payment systems. He studied computer science at Harvey Mudd.

Stay tuned

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