Mintlayer partners with Salus to boost Bitcoin with ZK-powered Thunder Network

Less than a month after partnering with Coinbase-backed Portal in a major push for Bitcoin-based DeFi, Mintlayer has inked another partnership to enhance Bitcoin with L3 ZK-based Thunder Network.

Today, Mintlayer announced it has joined forces with Salus, a research and security company renowned for its expertise in zero-knowledge (ZK) technology,  to develop the Thunder Network, an innovative Layer-3 ZK rollup-based solution built on Bitcoin and the Mintlayer Protocol.

Mintlayer, a prominent Layer-2 scaling solution for Bitcoin, has already enhanced Bitcoin liquidity for decentralized finance (DeFi) through native BTC cross-chain swaps, known as Atomic Swaps. The Thunder Network is set to elevate this functionality by significantly improving scalability, privacy, and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility.

The new Layer-3 solution will not only offer better scalability, enhanced privacy, and faster transaction speeds but also introduce EVM-compatible features. This integration will allow developers to utilize EVM functionalities on a secure and reliable infrastructure connected to Bitcoin, making it easier to build decentralized applications (dApps) on the Mintlayer protocol.

“Partnering with Salus is a significant milestone in Mintlayer’s mission to revolutionize Bitcoin’s scalability and functionality,” said Enrico Rubboli, Founder of Mintlayer. “By integrating ZK technology, the Thunder Network will enhance transaction speed and privacy while providing developers with powerful EVM capabilities to create innovative applications on top of Bitcoin. We’re excited to work with Salus to unlock Bitcoin’s full potential and drive the future of DeFi.”

The decision to collaborate with Salus was driven by their impressive track record in developing privacy-enhancing EVM ZK application layer solutions. Earlier this year, Salus published a highly influential set of ZK solutions tailored for the Ethereum ecosystem, which became the most viewed article on Ethereum Research in 2023. Beyond their pioneering work in ZK solutions, Salus addresses some of the most challenging security issues in the blockchain space.

The Thunder Network aims to resolve potential scaling issues on the Mintlayer network and introduce additional EVM functionality that is currently lacking. This will ensure a robust, scalable, and feature-rich environment for developers and users alike.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Mintlayer to build the Thunder Network, a cutting-edge Layer-3 solution that will redefine how developers and users interact with Bitcoin,” said Shawn Chong, COO of Salus. “The synergy between Salus’ privacy-enhancing ZK solutions and Mintlayer’s Bitcoin Layer-2 scaling expertise will drive innovation and adoption in the Bitcoin space while maintaining security, privacy, and decentralization.”

This partnership marks a significant advancement in the integration of Bitcoin with the broader blockchain ecosystem. By leveraging Layer-3 ZK rollups, the Thunder Network will offer users a seamless and high-performance experience, while upholding the security, privacy, and decentralization principles that Bitcoin is known for.

Mintlayer’s use of Bitcoin’s Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model and Non-Turing Complete Smart Contracts further reduces the risk of bugs and vulnerabilities. The team behind Mintlayer comprises top industry engineers, cryptographers, and blockchain researchers, ensuring the highest standards of innovation and security.

Mintlayer is a Bitcoin sidechain that improves direct token interoperability enabling new ways to trade value, creating a system where new business models can flourish and participate in truly trustless finance. The protocol leverages technologically advanced scalability to enforce network security, increase node inclusivity, and ensure long-term sustainability. It aims to accelerate the future of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and contribute to scaling financial markets globally.