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An Introduction to the Manta Protocol presented by Appia

By Alessandro Viganò and Colin LeMahieu

The following article is an overview of Manta, an open, multi-currency payment protocol developed to solve problems in the existing payment ecosystem. We’ll go over the motivations for its design and a high level technical look at how it operates.

Manta’s Design Motivations

Manta is designed to be decentralized; it is not a payment processor by itself, instead it is a protocol payment which providers can use to interact with Manta compatible wallets. The reason Manta is designed to be decentralized is to avoid a situation where a small set of payment providers in a few countries control global payment processing.

Manta is designed to be secure, not only in keeping payment requests secret, but also providing the ability for payment requests to be endorsed for authenticity, similar to a browser’s SSL certificate, and giving a guarantee of non-repudiation.

Manta is designed to be private. In a world where all your digital activity is mined for data, it’s becoming increasingly important for the contents and history of an individual’s payments to remain confidential. This property relies on the decentralization and security of Manta in order to maintain an individual’s right to privacy.

Manta’s participants

Merchants are offering goods or services to Payers and initiate payment orders. Typically this will be a storefront, restaurant, or commerce site that is interested in receiving payments over Manta. They are responsible for creating and signing payment orders, sending the order to their selected payment provider, and listening for a signal of payment success or failure.

Payment Processors are companies selected by a Merchant to process cryptocurrency payments on their behalf. Optionally the Merchant can serve as their own payment processor. They provide a list of cryptocurrencies which can be used to pay the merchant. They co-sign payment orders which provides a certificate chain...

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