Mixin is a mobile-first blockchain project that wants to connect all existing blockchain networks and their cryptocurrencies. Its goal is to become the blockchain version of the Android ecosystem where existing blockchain networks will take on the role of phone manufacturers.
Even though blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have become more familiar to people, it’s still very difficult to use them. Most of the major blockchain projects focus on distribution and secure key management, which inevitably leads to slow transactions and creates a steep learning curve for new users. It’s also nearly impossible to deploy distributed nodes on mobile devices, which are the most popular computing devices.
Mixin is designed specifically for smartphones. The Mixin Messenger is the first DApp being developed by the Mixin team and will act as a gateway into the network. It will play a role similar to that of Google Play by providing intuitive dApp discovery for users as well as easy notifications and payments for developers. Both the messenger and the Mixin network protocol are open source.
Through its messenger app, Mixin can be used to:
– Securely transfer funds to anyone using their phone number, even if they are not a Mixin user.
– Make quick cryptocurrency payments. The developers claim that using Mixin for payments is easier than using PayPal.
– Easily access all services and dApps in the crypto space.
– Send encrypted messages via Signal protocol.
How Mixin Works
Mixin is designed to strike the perfect balance between distributed network systems and traditional server clusters. It accomplishes this by combining the best parts of these two together onto one network. By doing this, it’s offering the following advantages:
– Trusted full nodes with guaranteed data transparency and consistency.
– Free transactions that have high throughput, low latency, and are encrypted with zero-knowledge proofs.
– Inter-chain communication protocol to connect all blockchain networks.
– Direct interactions with trusted external sources to complete non-deterministic transactions.
– Phone number and PIN-based account model to simplify mobile use.
– Developer-friendly API that caters to all programming languages and Linux libraries.
– Large mobile blockchain network that is immune to hard forks.
– Secure, encrypted messaging.
TEE and dBFT
The platform uses Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technology to accomplish each of the aforementioned goals. All sensitive components of the network (such as dApps, nodes, etc.) must run on top of the TEE. Mixin’s TEE is responsible for security and privacy while maintaining data transparency and consistency.
Mixin uses a Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) algorithm to achieve consensus and prevent data replication. The network is made up of full nodes that can verify the identity of all other full nodes and validate the code they run through the TEE.
End-to-End Encryption Messaging
Mixin uses the Signal protocol to manage all conversations and provide strong end-to-end encryption. The protocol is client based, so Mixin servers only act as a proxy for messages. No one can decrypt the messages, not even Mixin full nodes.
All messages are permanently deleted on the servers once they are read by all the conversation recipients. Photos, videos, and other media attachments are also encrypted with random AES keys before they are uploaded to Mixin’s cloud storage.
Mobile and PIN-Based Identity
An obstacle that prevents many people from using the blockchain is the identity or account management process. All popular blockchain platforms require users to obtain and manage at least one private key in order to maintain an identity. It’s not exactly super complicated, but it’s a much more involved than a simple username and password solution.
Thanks to its secure execution environment and zero-knowledge proofs, Mixin offers a much simpler identity solution: phone verification codes and PIN numbers. Users can sign up with their phone number and create a six-digit PIN to maintain an identity. It’s less complicated than a private key but with a comparable level of security.
The phone number verification process makes it easy for users to transfer private keys if they’re using a new phone. The 6-digit PIN can be replaced with Face ID or Touch ID on supported mobile phones to further improve user experience. The underlying infrastructure of Mixin’s PIN identity is still private key management, but secured and made easy with the network’s zero-knowledge trusted execution network.
The XIN Token
Mixin features its own native token called XIN that is used to pay for services on the network, such as API calls, DApp creation, and node fees. To join the network as a full node, users must pledge at least 10,000 XIN to establish trust.
Every DApp created on the network requires a XIN fee determined by the amount of resources it will consume. The cost of an API call will depend on the call type and count. All XIN fees will be burned in order to increase the value of the existing tokens.
XIN Pricing, Market Cap and Volume
The XIN token was launched during a month-long ICO event which was held from November 25 to December 25, 2017. The total available supply of XIN caps at 1,000,000 tokens. Here’s a breakdown of the distribution:
– 40% of tokens are listed on BigONE
– 10% of tokens will be sold within the messenger app to whitelisted users
– 50% of tokens are held by the Mixin team for development and marketing
Just under half the available supply of XIN was released into circulation (427,114 tokens). The value of one XIN token was first listed in January 2018 at ~$2,320 USD. The price tumbled in the following months and reached as low as ~$347 USD in April 2018.
XIN’s market cap was first listed in April 2018 at ~$141 million USD. It has experienced the expected highs and lows in the following months but it hasn’t managed to top its original price.
Buying, Storing and Selling Mixin
Mixin can only be acquired from BigONE in XIN/EOS, XIN/BTC, and XIN/ETH trading pairs. You can currently only store XIN in the official Mixin app which is available for Android and iOS. Both apps are still under active development, however, and likely still contain numerous bugs.
Liquidity of Mixin
Mixin appears to have good liquidity on BigONE, but it’s the only exchange that carries the token. XIN has a high valuation despite several red flags. There is no information about its team, advisors, or backers. The project, which is supposedly based out of China, has limited social media presence and its developers have done very little marketing.
There doesn’t appear to be a lot of interest in the project by investors or users – even though the developers claim to have nearly 1,000,000 pre-registered users in the project whitepaper. The Mixin Messenger is under development so it’s still too early to determine if the project will be able to accomplish any of its goals.
While the fundamental idea is sound, this project needs to show more from a development standpoint to justify its valuation. Interested investors should be wary.