What is Zilliqa?
Zilliqa is a blockchain platform for enterprises with high-level security and great performance. It's the world's first public blockchain built on a sharded architecture for creating next-gen apps. The network architecture is able to process transactions without a trusted coordinator making the platform fully decentralized. Anyone can make P2P payments and create decentralized applications.
ZIL coin was designed and created by the National University of Singapore(NUS). The developers decided to risk and put the Sharding technology as the digital coin basis. The team created a fully working blockchain that has been tested for almost two years before they launched ICO. The Zilliqa cryptocurrency was created as an ERC-20 token. ICO took place over nine days, the project was able to achieve the established hardcap and raised $22 million with a total of 21 billion ZIL issued.
How Zilliqa works
Zilliqa's core infrastructure is composed of the network and the consensus layer. The main feature of its mainnet is high throughput increasing with the network scalability. The key goal is to achieve the massive use of the platform by creating decentralized exchanges, launching high-performance applications, conducting scientific calculations and automated auctions. To reach it, the developers applied Sharding technology and implemented their own consensus algorithm.
Sharding is a technology dividing data into blocks and distributing them among groups of nodes. It allows to increase the transaction speed process. Groups of nodes are called "shards." Zilliqa developers were the first who used Sharding technology as a decentralized network basis. There are 600 nodes per 1 shard, i.e. transaction processing speed increases with each new 600 nodes on it.
Principle of work: Each future block is divided into “microblocks”, then the shard processes each microblock and verified microblocks are compounded back to a full-fledged block, which is recorded in the blockchain. The DS Committee is responsible for organizing this process. A random selection algorithm determines the nodes that take functional control over the shards. The DS Committee allocates transactions to the shards and then generates a new block. Zilliqa team conducted an experiment; it was possible to achieve a processing speed of 1218 Tps with 3 shards (1800 nodes), 1752 Tps with 4 shards (2400 nodes), and 2828 Tps with 6 shards (3600 nodes ). Its data shows that the more nodes the network serve, the higher the blockchain speed.
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Zilliqa developers have created their own unique consensus protocol for network maintenance. This is a hybrid solution based on Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Byzantine fault tolerance (pBFT). The main processes are carried out by the BFT protocol. The PoW protocol is used only to verify identification data and prevent Sybil attacks (a type of attack in a peer-to-peer network, when the victim connects only to the nodes controlled by a hacker). Using PoW protocol only for data verification saves Zilliqa from mining energy high costs.
pBFT is responsible for creating new blocks in the network.
Only nodes that are not under the hackers’ control decide to create new blocks. The developers used an additional “view change protocol”, which is intended to replace a hacker-leader. Each Node can declare a desire to change the Shard leader and if all nodes decide that the requirement is justified, a replacement is made.
The time between block creation is not limited. Zilliqa transactions are completed from the moment of the creation, they do not require confirmation and time-wasting. Zilliqa protocol reduces the risk of ZIL double-spending and increases network speed.
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Zilliqa is powered by the peer-reviewed and safe smart contract language called Scilla. The Zilliqa team developed not only a unique blockchain but also created a new functional programming language. Its main advantage is to provide high-level security and standardization. Scilla is a smart contract language created by the academics and provided to help different developers identify generic security vulnerabilities directly at the language level with the help of a static analysis framework and an automated scanner. Scilla has a lot of static type-checkers and sanity-checkers, which makes comprehensive testing easier. Finally, Scilla provides programmers an opportunity to write mathematical proofs for contract safety rules.
Several dApps are currently live on Zilliqa mainnet and many more are in development. For example, now Zilliqa partners are:
- Unstoppable domains - A service for replacing cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name
- Krypton Galaxy - A blockchain game with cross-chain support including IOST Planet and Ethereum Mainnet Planet App
- Ocean Rumble - A blockchain game revolves around a secret world of bizarre creatures under the sea, where they fight to showcase their power
- Depos USD - is USD-pegged stablecoin which fully collateralized by digital assets, provides instantly redeemable collateral, and incentivizes distributors with an interest rate.
To grow, develop, and expand reaches of the ecosystem, the team developed a program called ZILHive. To encourage the development of dApps that are built on Zilliqa, a pool of $5 million USD will be given to start building tools and applications and conduct research for the Zilliqa platform. It is targeted to developers creating different tools, frameworks, SDKs, and Layer-2 protocols. It is also targeted to entrepreneurs building dApps that tokenize real-world assets, enable issuance of digital identity, or enable an exchange of goods and services in a digital marketplace.
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