What is Zilliqa? Overview of the project and cryptocurrency ZIL

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What is Zilliqa? Overview of the project and cryptocurrency ZIL

Scalability is still one of the main problems of all blockchains. Today, many blockchain projects are aimed at solving it, and Zilliqa is one of them. The Zilliqa platform was the first smart contract infrastructure that can be used across global communities and industries. It is highly scalable through the use of sharding technology. Many experts call Zilliqa the next generation blockchain because of its ability to process an unlimited number of transactions per second. So if you don’t know anything about Zilliqa yet, now is the time to fix that. Read a detailed guide from ProstoCoin.

What is Zilliqa

Zilliqa is a smart contract platform with a segmented architecture that aims to address the scalability limitations seen in other blockchains. Zilliqa was the first public blockchain that uses sharding to optimize consensus performance and provide high scalability.

Quite frankly, Bitcoin has long failed to keep up with the demand on its network. Consequently, the network commissions and transaction processing time have increased because of this. Similar problems can be seen in Ethereum, where bandwidth problems entail high consumption of “gas” and slow down the entire network.

Zilliqa blockchain uses a radically new way to achieve consensus with network segmentation. The network divides all nodes into segments. Each such group comes to consensus separately to create mini-blocks, which are then combined into a full block and written to the blockchain. This allows Zilliqa to conduct tens of thousands of transactions per second, adapting scalability to the size of the network.

The ICO of Zilliqa took place in 2018, and 2019 saw the official launch of the blockchain platform. It is the brainchild of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs and is based on the Scilla programming language, providing maximum security for users.

The main goals of the project are:

  • Move the blockchain industry forward by providing the highest quality technological infrastructure.
  • Enable partnerships between industry verticals wishing to use innovative decentralized technologies.

Zilliqa solves a key problem preventing the adoption of blockchain in all areas of the economy and allows decentralized applications to:

  • financial service delivery;
  • digital advertising;
  • fast payments;
  • games and digital entertainment.

Remarkably, transactions in the Zilliqa network are considered completed after a single confirmation. This ensures the fastest possible transfer of data between users. In addition, due to the high scalability of the network, Zilliqa users pay very low transaction fees, which also opens up opportunities for micropayments.

Project Infrastructure

The Zilliqa project aims to offer developers and enterprises a convenient, scalable and secure platform for creating decentralized applications. Zilliqa’s infrastructure includes:

  • Two-layer blockchain. The transaction (TX) chain is used to store information about payments made, and the directory service (DS) node identifier chain stores information about communication nodes.
  • Scilla. The team provided a new language for creating Scilla smart contracts that scales better for projects with automated swaps, financial instruments, and proprietary economics.
  • Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (pBFT). An improved version of pBFT is used to achieve consensus, reducing mining costs and allowing miners to receive rewards instantly, without waiting for block validation.
  • Eco-Mining. Thanks to the consensus mechanism, Zilliqa mining is less expensive. One minute every 2-3 hours is enough to mine ZIL, which allows you to mine other cryptocurrencies at the same time.
  • SDK and developer tools. A set of tools for developers to simplify the creation of decentralized applications and improve the user interface.
  • System documentation. Documented information about the infrastructure, allowing for better developer interaction with the open source project.

How does it work?

The key problem with blockchain systems: The more nodes (communication nodes) connected to the network, the harder and longer it takes for the network to reach consensus. To understand, let’s compare blockchain consensus to groups of people making a collective decision.

It is easy enough for a small number of people to agree and come to a single decision. Of course, not everyone always agrees unanimously, but it is fairly easy to understand each other’s motives. A larger group of people, such as a packed audience, have a harder time coming to a consensus. People can give their vote by raising their hand, but it takes time to count the votes.

When it comes to a group of thousands or even millions of people, counting votes requires even more effort and reserves. It already requires a complex system of voting and counting, and it is more difficult to make a decision.

Of course, this is not a perfect allegory, but it clearly demonstrates how the complexity of reaching consensus increases as the network grows. In other words, we can say that speed and network complexity are inversely related. An increase in one of the indicators will necessarily lead to a decrease in the other.

This is a huge problem for all blockchains. Some try to solve it by moving some of the information outside of the distribution registry, while others try to find ways to increase the size of the block. But this does not solve the problem fully. The developers of Zilliqa have proposed a solution by building their blockchain from scratch and allowing it to increase the capacity of the network as it grows.

Zilliqa’s scalability increases roughly as each 600th communication node is connected, as at that point they are segmented into small groups. These segmented communication nodes are able to reach consensus more easily, and the results of their decisions are already written into the main Zilliqa blockchain.

With this network segmentation, Zilliqa allows thousands of transactions per second, versus 3-15 on the Bitcoin and Etherium networks. And as the network expands, so will the transaction rate.

Zilliqa Blockchain

The Zilliqa blockchain is formed from several groups of communication nodes, each called a “shard”. A particular link node is the Directory Service Committee (DS), which is a kind of oversight shard that controls the formation of other shards and aggregates the results of their verification.

Zilliqa uses shards to process transactions in parallel. The protocol divides all network nodes into groups of 600 communication nodes, aggregating them into shards. Each such shard processes a fractional part of a transaction, combining it into microblocks. Once this process is complete, the microblocks are combined into a solid block and added to the blockchain.

The platform

The Zilliqa platform was the world’s first public blockchain built entirely on a segmented architecture. Its key features are:

  • Scalability. Using a unique segmentation technique, the Zilliqa platform completely solves scalability problems by allowing transaction rates to increase linearly with the size of the network. The ability to quickly process a large volume of transactions allows large enterprises to use the platform.
  • Security. In addition to already well-known security measures, Zilliqa also uses its own programming language, Scilla, which eliminates several known vulnerabilities of other languages.
  • Decentralization. Zilliqa shards can process transactions without a trusted coordinator, allowing the platform to remain fully decentralized.
  • Low “gas” charges. Scalability directly affects network fees and transaction latency. Zilliqa, on the other hand, can offer record-low fees, suitable for processing micropayments, among other things.
  • One blockchain. In most blockchains, for a transaction to be considered completed, it must receive several confirmations. Zilliqa does not require this. As soon as a transaction is processed by the network, it is immediately added to the blockchain.

Also read Is it Possible to Hack the Bitcoin Blockchain Platform in our blog page.

How does it work?

The key problem with blockchain systems: The more nodes (communication nodes) connected to the network, the harder and longer it takes for the network to reach consensus. To understand, let’s compare blockchain consensus to groups of people making a collective decision.

It is easy enough for a small number of people to agree and come to a single decision. Of course, not everyone always agrees unanimously, but it is fairly easy to understand each other’s motives. A larger group of people, such as a packed audience, have a harder time coming to a consensus. People can give their vote by raising their hand, but it takes time to count the votes. When it comes to a group of thousands or even millions of people, counting votes requires even more effort and reserves. It already requires a complex system of voting and counting, and it is more difficult to make a decision.

Of course, this is not a perfect allegory, but it clearly demonstrates how the complexity of reaching consensus increases as the network grows. In other words, we can say that speed and network complexity are inversely related. An increase in one of the indicators will necessarily lead to a decrease in the other.

This is a huge problem for all blockchains. Some try to solve it by moving some of the information outside of the distribution registry, while others try to find ways to increase the size of the block. But this does not solve the problem fully. The developers of Zilliqa have proposed a solution by building their blockchain from scratch and allowing it to increase the capacity of the network as it grows. You should also read article about how Phishing Coach helps companies engage their employees in the fight against cybercrime.

Zilliqa’s scalability increases roughly as each 600th communication node is connected, as at that point they are segmented into small groups. These segmented communication nodes are able to reach consensus more easily, and the results of their decisions are already written into the main Zilliqa blockchain.

With this network segmentation, Zilliqa allows thousands of transactions per second, versus 3-15 on the Bitcoin and Etherium networks. And as the network expands, so will the transaction rate.

In August 2019, Scilla was peer-reviewed and accepted at one of the most prestigious programming language conferences, OOPSLA 2019.

Sharding

As mentioned above, Zilliqa uses sharding to solve scalability problems.

Sharding is a consensus mechanism in which the blockchain network and data are split into smaller pieces. Sharding helps to process information in parallel, resulting in higher network throughput and greater operational efficiency without sacrificing decentralization and security.

A shard in the Zilliqa network consists of 600 independent communication nodes and, as new nodes are connected, the blockchain will create new shards as well.

The ecosystem

Regarding building the ecosystem of Zilliqa, the development team is of the opinion that the exchange of information, cooperation in a technical and creative way contributes to the development of the platform, as well as to the common interest of blockchain projects.

Collaborations

The most important thing for the development team is education. For educational purposes, a Blockchain AZ workshop was organized at King’s College London (in cooperation with KCL Blockchain Society). Zilliqa also partnered with Future of Blockchain to educate students from Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, LSE, UCL and KCL.

In addition, the team has developed the ZILHive Journey platform for education, grants, and startup assistance.

Dapps

Several well-known decentralized apps are already running on the Zilliqa network and many Dapps are still under development. Selected Dapps Zilliqa:

Unstoppable Domains – an app that allows you to create censor-resistant websites.

Ocean Rumble is a blockchain game with real-time PvP.

Krypton – a crypto game with the ability to trade and make money by stealing ZIL.

Integrations

The Zilliqa ecosystem is integrated with projects such as Moonlet and Chainlink. The first project is a blockchain-independent cross-platform wallet that allows for easy management of cryptocurrency assets. The Moonlet wallet is designed for both mobile and web environments. Moonlet gives users full control over their assets.

Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that connects smart contracts with data from the real world. With this integration, smart contracts in the Zilliqa network can easily retrieve and query external data feeds through a customizable Chainlink adapter. This gives real-time access to information such as exchange rates, market prices, weather forecasts and more, ensuring that smart contracts work properly.

Mining

Zilliqa cryptocurrency uses a hybrid PoW + BFT mining algorithm. Before a user can mine on the network, they need to find a hash on the PoW algorithm. This is needed to identify blockchain network nodes, to prevent the so-called “Sybilla attack”.

When the identity is confirmed, the link node will be bound to a shard that uses PBFT consensus, where most link nodes must agree on a miniblock. The miniblocks are then combined and added to the main chain’s distribution roster. In doing so, the reward for adding a block is distributed to all of the communication nodes that participate in the checkout, ensuring a more even distribution of new tokens.

How to buy Zilliqa

You can buy ZIL on the project’s official website, as well as on one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges Binance, which is available to residents of more than 170 countries. To make a purchase, it is enough to register on Binance.com and fill out the purchase form.

Reviews on Zilliqa.

The Zilliqa project has many fans who believe in its future and that it can make a huge contribution to the development of cryptocurrencies. The project was the first to offer the use of sharding technology to solve scalability problems. Many consider this to be its key advantage.

Of the disadvantages, some point to a weak business model. The platform is led by scientists, not business people. Some users note that other projects have stronger partnerships, so Zilliqa still has room for improvement.

According to ProstoCoin, Zilliqa is a truly unique project that solves one of the main problems of blockchain: scalability. This could make it one of the most important developments in blockchain history.

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