One protocol
Two layers

Designed to scale, from inception

Protocol layers

The Minima protocol consists of two distinct layers. Layer 1 is the base verification layer of the protocol and is called Minima, while Layer 2 is called Maxima and is the transactional layer.

The reason for this is simple, layer 1 does not scale, whereas layer 2 does. Scalability relates to the number of transactions per second that a layer can process. On Layer 1 there is an upper bound limit on the number of possible transactions per second, but on Layer 2 there is no limit. Having these differentiated layers, enables the reduction of transaction fees while increasing processing speed.

Layer 1, known as Minima, can be thought of as the verification layer of the protocol

It is used for:

  • Setting up a transacting relationship
  • Starting and completing a transaction
  • End settlement and conflict resolution
  • Minima is slow and secure

Layer 2, known as Maxima, is the transactional layer of the protocol

It is used as the:

  • Peer-to-peer transacting layer
  • Operational level for any number of transactions
  • Maxima is fast and scalable

For a more detailed explanation, download our Protocol layers documentation using the button below.

Layer 1:

All on-chain transactions occur on layer 1, known as Minima, where users of the network collaborate to secure the chain, removing the need for centralised miners. Users should only be using layer 1 if they need to begin a transacting relationship, end a transacting relationship or dispute a transaction that has occurred on layer 2. The layer essentially acts as a layer of trust for users, where all transactions are accounted for.

Layer 2:

All off-chain transactions occur on layer 2, known as Maxima, where the bulk of peer-to-peer exchange between users of the network takes place. Which is faster, because users of layer 2 only need to process their own transactions, instead of processing the entire network's transactions, as occurs on layer 1. For this reason, Layer 2 scales, while layer 1 does not.

How it works

By removing computation from Layer 2, where the majority of exchange between peers takes place, Maxima enables users to transact instantly with each other.

Users only pay a fee, in the form of PoW, when they decide to start, end or dispute a transaction. This ensures Minima as a collective whole can scale, to process a large number of transactions without bloating the network, thereby avoiding high fees and long waiting times for users. Traditionally on PoW chains, high fees are used to pay miners to compensate for traffic that is taken off layer 1, or the supply is increased each year to pay miners. Both of these models work, but neither are optimal. Since either average users cannot afford to use the chain once it becomes expensive, or the chain is forced to sacrifice its fixed supply, removing its ability to become a Store of Value. Minima has an innovative and unique solution to this problem.

Minima has an innovative and unique solution to this problem.


Using a mechanism known as the Pulse, all Layer 2 users secure the base layer by providing PoW to the chain. The Pulse is information that all Maxima users must process on the peer-to-peer Maxima network in order to replace the fee-based security model with a PoW-based model. When you combine the two layers of the protocol you end up with an immensely powerful architecture that can scale to meet the needs of any number of users on the network, without compromising with high fees, slow processing times or needing to inflate the supply.

Minima and Maxima: the Minima protocol.

Technical papers

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