Zilliqa is a “scalable” and “secure” blockchain-based digital currency platform designed specifically for “hosting decentralized applications” (dApps), according to the official Zilliqa website.
Zilliqa Network Can Process Over 2,800 TPS
First and second generation blockchain platforms such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are only able to process an average of 7-15 transactions per second (TPS). However, the Zilliqa network can reportedly handle over 2,800 TPS, so its users “can focus on developing [their] ideas without worrying about network congestion, high transaction fees or security” issues, the platform’s website states.
Some of the key areas or industries the Zilliqa network is helping to improve include the gaming and entertainment business, digital advertising, and payments. To allow online gamers to “truly own and custodize [their] assets”, the Zilliqa network supports non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These are special kinds of non-interchangeable cryptographic tokens as they are used to represent something with a unique value.
According to its developers, Zilliqa aims to improve “programmatic advertising” by eliminating or reducing the number of third parties involved in processing payments. Because of the third generation blockchain network’s high throughput, users pay relatively low transaction (or network usage) fees. Low fees allow dApps hosted by the Zilliqa network to make affordable remittance and cross-border micro-payments.
Sharding “Improves Energy Efficiency” Of Crypto Mining
An article by Dr. Xinshu Dong, the Zilliqa team leader and a computer science Phd from the National University of Singapore (NUS), explains that the Zilliqa platform was developed after extensive research was conducted on sharding. Although sharding, a process that divides a database into smaller segments for faster processing, is not a new concept, Dong believes that dividing a blockchain network into separate “shards” can help address the scalability issues plaguing major cryptocurrency platforms.
The Zilliqa platform CEO and co-founder explained that “sharding significantly improves the energy efficiency of cryptocurrency mining.” By dividing a blockchain network’s data into “multiple shards”, the transactions associated with the data can be processed faster as the validating nodes can conduct their respective consensus processes in parallel.
According to Dong, “this is a more efficient way to generate blocks instead of the entire network of miners working on a single block together.” He explained that on the Zilliqa network, the energy intensive proof-of-work (PoW) process is “only required periodically” and the platform’s primary consensus protocol “does not require much computation.”
Consuming Far Less Energy Than Bitcoin, Ethereum
Notably, Dong has said that “sharding in Zilliqa has an energy footprint that is at least an order of magnitude less than today’s Bitcoin or Ethereum.” In addition to providing an energy efficient alternative to other dApp development platforms, the developers of Zilliqa released a design document for the platform’s smart contract language, Scilla in May 2018.
As noted on the new language’s website, Scilla is short for Smart Contract Intermediate-Level Language. As its name implies, Scilla aims to be an “intermediate-level smart contract language” that is currently being developed. Due to the increasing number of vulnerabilities found in existing smart contracts, Scilla is being designed as “a principled language” that will make the process of issuing smart contracts more secure.
Scilla: Secure Smart Contract Language
To ensure that code is being written without compromising security, Scilla “imposes a [syntax] structure” on smart contracts that makes “applications less vulnerable” to hackers and/or logical errors. This is achieved by “eliminating … known vulnerabilities” at the “language-level.” Moreover, Scilla’s principled structure will make applications “inherently more secure” and smart contracts composed in the new language will be more “amenable” to formal verification.
At present, the Scilla language is being designed “hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics” and it will be possible to determine the “properties of programs” written in Scilla. To ensure that code conforms to certain guidelines, “mechanized proofs” will be used.
Scholarly Background Gives Zilliqa The Edge
When compared to many other blockchain platforms, Zilliqa has the upper hand as its founders and other team members have a very strong technical and academic background. Similar to the Cardano (ADA) platform, “the fundamentals have been [peer]-reviewed, discussed, and vetted” by several prominent computer science researchers, Dong revealed.
Dr. Prateek Saxena, the chief scientific advisor for the platform, confirmed that the entire development of Zilliqa and Scilla is “based off of peer-reviewed academic research.” Published in late 2016, Saxena co-authored a research paper titled “A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains.” Notably, Zilliqa’s sharding protocol is based on the findings of this research paper.
Commenting on the ideal business environment that Singapore provides for blockchain-related projects, Dong remarked:
“Having some of the best blockchain researchers in [the] world close to you along with a government that supports innovation gives companies in Singapore a big advantage. [Singapore has embraced] … blockchain technology [including its] regulatory [and] financial institutions [and] academics and entrepreneurs. It’s a unique socioeconomic [environment] for the proliferation of blockchain development and applications.”
Recently Listed on Coinbase
On December 18th, 2018, San Francisco-based digital currency exchange Coinbase announced that it would begin supporting Zilliqa’s ZIL token on its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro (in addition to several other cryptocurrencies). The ZIL token is also listed on Malta-based exchange Binance, Huobi, and South Korea’s Bithumb.
The market capitalization of ZIL tokens stands at nearly $180 million at the time of writing, with each ZIL coin trading at about $0.01938. In May, the market cap of the ZIL cryptocurrency exceeded $1 billion, however it is now down considerably from its all-time high due mainly to the extended crypto bear market.
Despite digital asset prices falling sharply this year, Zilliqa is among the very few projects in the blockchain space that appears to be moving along with its original roadmap. Last month, Zilliqa’s team members announced via Twitter that the platform’s mainnet is expected to go live in January 2019. This, after the Zilliqa network successfully completed two major security audits, confirmed the completion of the platform’s core features, and launched Zilliqa’s testnet version 3.0.
$5 Million Development Fund
In June of this year, a news update regarding the Zilliqa network had mentioned that the platform’s founding company intends to support the development of dApps on Zilliqa with a $5 million grant program. To help expand its business and encourage more organizations to use its blockchain-based network, Zilliqa has partnered with a number of multinational firms.
Mindshare, a “global media agency network” with over 100 registered offices in 86 different countries, is among one of several companies that has partnered with the developers of Zilliqa. In a press release regarding the new partnership, Gowthaman Ragothaman, a senior executive at Mindshare, said:
“Blockchain technology is going to influence the media and entertainment industry at a much more rapid pace than we ever thought possible. Mindshare’s partnership with Zilliqa [involves] testing this technology and its possible future application in the media and entertainment industry.”