Manta Network: An Introduction to Privacy Preserving Technologies

Manta Network is developing a decentralized anonymous exchange on Parity Substrate. The use case is to exchange tokens without disclosing any user address. The exchange is called MantaDAX.

Manta Network

Parity Substrate explained:

  • Parity Technologies is a blockchain infrastructure company founded by Gavin Wood. It is responsible for the development of the Polkadot blockchain. 
  • Gavin Wood was one of the co-founders of Ethereum before moving on to Polkadot. He is the founder of the Web 3.0 Foundation. 
  • Substrate is a technology by Parity that allows applications to create custom blockchains tailored to their needs.

Manta Network is trying to solve the privacy issues related to existing decentralized exchanges. Any token exchange that users currently conduct on a decentralized exchange such as Uniswap is visible to the general public. However, there are many users who would like to keep their transactions private for various reasons.

A business that is interacting with a blockchain might not want to leave a trail to their data which is visible to their competitors. Furthermore, there are users whose real world identity is linked to a specific wallet. These users might wish to exchange tokens in a private manner. 

A further problem that Manta tries to solve is front running. Since all transactions on blockchains are transparent it is possible for users to front run others simply by placing a higher gas limit. This is a typical phenomena that you observe on decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap. Bots are screening for large transactions that can move the market and are trying to capture value before the order goes through. 

Additionally the Mantra protocol would make it impossible for blockchain analytic companies to trace back the movement of funds and interactions of certain blockchain addresses. 

Manta Network is designed as a parachain on the Polkadot blockchain. In order to achieve the desired privacy features it relies on Zero-knowledge Proofs and zk-SNARKs.

Polkadot parachains explained:

  • The relay chains is Polkadot’s central chain
  • Parachains on Polkadot are validated by validators from the Relay Chain
  • Parachains run in parallel to the Relay Chain which allows Polkadot to achieve scalability
  • Scalability and decentralization are the critical features of every blockchain and it is technically hard to combine them

Manta Network further aims to build MantaDAP an anonymous payment network on the Polkadot blockchain. You can imagine it like a privacy coin such as Zcash or Monero running on Polkadot. The underlying currencies can be any asset that lives on the Polkadot blockchain. 

The goal of Manta Network is to build an interoperable privacy-preserving DeFi stack on Polkadot. The private decentralized exchange is the first use case of the project.  


The Mantra Network initially received a grant from the Web 3.0 Foundation. It went on to raise 1.1 million USD in venture capital in a round led by Polychain Capital. Polychain Capital is one of the oldest and most prestigious venture capitalists in the cryptocurrency space. A number of other venture capitalists have participated in the fund raise including Multicoin Capital and Alameda Research. 

The team chose to build on Polkadot due to the high degree of ecosystem development which is only matched by Ethereum. Decentralized exchanges on Solana and Polkadot are emerging and trying to capture value from Ethereum’s DeFi as gas fees on Ethereum are going through the roof.