Making blockchains more scalable and faster is the ultimate end game for a lot of crypto projects, and each takes a different approach to it. Naturally, tackling this issue once and for all would have immense ramifications, which is why so many decide to try their hand at it. Zilliqa (ZIL) is one such project, which goes about the problem in its own, unique way to allow Ethereum and other blockchains to host distributed applications or to provide reliably swift transaction processing solutions.
Let us explore how Zilliqa’s hybrid consensus sets it aside in our Zilliqa guide.
Zilliqa (ZIL): Introduction and definition
According to its own website, Zilliqa (ZIL) is a ‘high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications’. Simply put, they provide a more advanced version of blockchain technology that builds upon two previous generations. The first ever cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, naturally represents first-gen blockchains. Offering additional functionalities, platforms such as Ethereum’s are considered second-gen. Zilliqa (ZIL) is said to belong to the third gen because it aims to solve one of the most recurring problems previous generations ran into: scalability. To address this issue, Zilliqa relies on a system called sharding, which is at the heart of its architecture.
As Zilliqa was the first ever platform to implement this technology, it caused much excitement in the crypto world, leading to an unplanned ICO at the end of 2017. At first, the project managed to secure 20 million US dollars’ worth of contributions, which had turned into 22 million by January 4, 2018. The revolution resided in how Zilliqa (ZIL) allows a blockchain to reach consensus, with a solution that can be scaled up or down to accommodate the expansion of its network. This means that Zilliqa could theoretically process several hundreds of thousands of transactions per second.
The ZIL token, Zilliqa’s cryptocurrency, serves as gas for the execution of contracts, as a mining incentive and as a means of paying for transaction fees. Originally an ERC-20 token, the coin is now a native token, though it can be stored on a wide range of wallets.
How does Zilliqa (ZIL) work?
Designed by a team of academics, entrepreneurs and engineers, Zilliqa (ZIL) came to life at the National University of Singapore. Its mainnet launched in January 2019, bringing the first public blockchain platform to address scalability using sharding and applying a linear approach to expanding ecosystems. The process involves dividing the network into several groups of 600 nodes each, which are known as shards. This allows transactions to be treated individually as new shards can be added to support the growth of the network.
Zilliqa (ZIL) puts the emphasis on safety by utilizing a safe-by-design smart contract language named Scilla (short for Smart Contract Intermediate-Level Language). This peer-reviewed language was created to identify security risks directly at language level and to provide a safe solution for developers to implement smart contracts. Making comprehensive testing easier, Scilla supports mathematical proofs to guarantee perfectly reliable smart contracts, which can fulfill their role as an agreement executor between two mutually distrusting parties. Thanks to smart contracts, the network promotes transparency and efficiency without having to depend on an arbitrator.
Zilliqa (ZIL)’s hybrid consensus mechanism relies on a two-layer architecture: a shard layer and a DS layer. This first allows shards to only process micro-blocks, which are parts of an entire block. This prevents nodes from having to communicate with each other in order to have access to the information divided between them. Instead, shards only process the elements they possess the relevant information for, thus solving one of the most prominent issues with sharding. This is one of the main benefits of Zilliqa. The DS layer comes into play when agreement needs to be reached on a whole block, as it is made up of a DS-committee of randomly selected nodes. Unlike the nodes that run the shards, they have access to the entire blockchain, giving them the possibility to reach a final decision on each block.
Why use Zilliqa?
DApp developers and those who need to rely on high-volume smart contracts are likely to get the most use out of Zilliqa (ZIL). Though its blockchain is public – and therefore open to anyone – its main appeal is as a high-speed transaction facilitator. Zilliqa could, in theory, host even very large social media dApps, the likes of Twitter or Facebook, payment processing services and marketing campaigns.
Currently, the Zilliqa ecosystem is home to over 60 project teams operating from 20 different countries. The tools and applications they build on the platform range from explorers, to wallets, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks and more.
Zilliqa (ZIL) has gone as far as to organize a three-track program to help grow their ecosystem by encouraging its adoption in the form of grants awarded to individuals, teams and projects wanting to build tools and applications on the platform. Even those willing to conduct research for it can qualify. Favoring innovation, they are most excited about real-world asset tokenization, digital identity issuance and digital marketplaces focused on the exchange of goods and services. To date, they have funded over 70 projects involving participants from 22 different countries.
Zilliqa’s strong community is the living proof that the crypto sphere is ready for innovative projects. Though some have cited its relatively inexperienced (and not business-oriented) team as one of Zilliqa’s drawbacks, their incredible tech is well ahead of the competition, making up for a possible lack of business sense.
How to buy Zilliqa (ZIL) on Bitit?
Depending on your location, a Binance widget could be available to you on Zilliqa (ZIL)’s website to allow you to purchase ZIL more seamlessly than if you were using the DEX. For most users, however, going through an exchange does remain one possibility, though it is quite cumbersome.
Instead, Bitit aims to provide a streamlined experience by offering an e-commerce-like interface where you can check for current exchange rates and order the exact amount of ZIL you need. The payment process is simplified too, as Bitit supports credit and debit cards, cash and bank transfers while accepting a wide variety of fiat currencies.
Once you have placed your order and proceeded to payment, your coins will be sent straight to the storing solution of your choice.
How to store ZIL?
To store ZIL, a number of options are available, from dedicated online wallets to leaders on the mobile wallet market and physical solutions. Zillet, ZilPay Wallet, Zicli or Zhip are some of the most prominent dedicated wallets. Guarda Wallet, Trust Wallet or Atomic Wallet are interesting alternatives for those who need to store various cryptos, and they support Zilliqa (ZIL) on several platforms (iOS, Android, browsers, etc.). As for hardware wallets, Ledger is one of the most recommended options.
As a project that brings answers to scalability issues in the blockchain world, Zilliqa (ZIL) is a particularly important endeavor, which will, no doubt, keep on turning many heads as it continues to evolve. Zilliqa news does indeed reveal that the team is relentless at striking new partnerships, their most recent one involving Onchain Custodian, which should offer increased security. Still a relatively fresh project on the crypto scene, Zilliqa has much to prove, and it will be interesting to observe its progress.