First we had (and we still have) Bitcoin, which brought along blockchain. After that, we saw few other cryptocurrencies emerging (so called “altcoins”), and then Ethereum was introduced — promising to bring decentralized computing to the space with the help of smart contracts.
These days, we see emergence of what are effectively third generation of blockchain projects, which are those that aim to solve shortcomings of existing systems, namely Ethereum. Most notably, these new projects want to solve scalability issues and deliver faster transactions.
Today, we’re presenting you with one such project, called Zilliqa. Here’s what’s it all about…
1. What is Zilliqa?
Zilliqa dubs itself as “The Next Generation, High Throughput Blockchain Platform.” The reason behind such bold claim is that it aims to solve the problem of scalability of blockchains starting from the consensus layer itself. Therefore, Zilliqa is able to achieve thousands of transactions per second, a number that will only increase as the number of Zilliqa nodes grow. More on that in a second; first let’s take a look at the introductory video:
Zilliqa has its native cryptocurrency (ZIL) that is used for transactions on the blockchain, as well as a temporary ERC20-based token.
2. How Zilliqa works?
Zilliqa relies on the age-old concept of Sharding which is the first time it has been used in an open permissionless blockchain.
Here’s how sharding works:
In the Zilliqa blockchain, shards represent small groups of nodes that are divided to parallelly process the transactions happening from nodes and wallets. This way, not all nodes are engaged in the same work of validation of transactions, thus the capacity of the network is increased.
For instance, you could imagine a scenario involving 10,000 nodes in the Zilliqa network; the system would make 10 small groups or shards, each containing 1,000 nodes. Now, instead of asking all the 10,000 nodes to work on the same set of transactions like Ethereum or Bitcoin do, Zilliqa will put different transactions based on their addresses into different shards.
After transactions have been processed, Zilliqa will apply the consensus protocol called Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (pBFT) within the shards to agree on the order of transactions. And then after transactions have been cleared and put into right order, that information will be spread across all nodes.
3. Who’s behind Zilliqa?
Unlike many other teams working on crypto-related projects, the one behind Zilliqa is completely transparent. All of the team members are listed on the company’s website with their full names and duties. In a nutshell, the team consists of experienced cryptographers, developers and marketers.
Zilliqa has even prepared a video to highlight its team members. Here it is:
4. How to buy and store Zilliqa cryptocurrency (ZIL)?
Zilliqa’s cryptocurrency is available from many exchanges, though at the moment users are forced to use their Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings to buy ZIL coins. A few exchanges that will let you buy ZIL include KuCoin, Binance, Gate.io, Huobi and Bithumb.
Zilliqa’s blockchain is still not live, so there is no wallet that can hold the “official” ZIL cryptocurrency. However, as we’ve noted above, there are ERC20-based ZIL tokens that can be stored in a multitude of wallets — including Coinomi, Jaxx, and MyEtherWallet. Also, like any other ERC20 token, they are supported by Ledger Nano S and Trezor hardware wallets.
5. What’s ahead for Zilliqa?
Zilliqa is preparing to launch its mainnet in the third quarter of 2018, and in the meantime – it is developing its own smart contract language called Scilla, which will be non-Turing complete.
According to Zilliqa, non-Turing complete is a better approach because many applications don’t require Turing completeness; also, the opposite approach could lead to incidents like that was the case with the DAO hack in Ethereum.
We like the novel approach Zilliqa is taking, combining some old and new technologies and techniques to deliver a compelling offering. Whether it will succeed is a different matter…