Interviews

Interview with: Zilliqa

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Could you introduce yourself to our readers? And for those that have never heard of Zilliqa, could you give us a brief introduction on what it is?

Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain for next generation applications and enterprises. Developed through academic research and helmed by a team of experienced scientists, engineers, venture creators and leaders in the financial services, Zilliqa addresses limitations in scalability and security, enabling real-world usability across a variety of industries, including finance, digital advertising, and gaming.

In 2019, Zilliqa became the first public blockchain platform to be built on sharded architecture, with smart contracts written in the platform’s secure-by-design programming language, Scilla. Zilliqa is now focusing on leveraging blockchain technologies to create a more inclusive and open financial ecosystem across the world – especially in emerging markets.

 

The blockchain industry is extremely saturated, what competitive advantage and features differentiates Zilliqa from other blockchains?

Yes, the blockchain industry indeed has a lot of players who are bringing in their own expertise and solutions into the industry. Zilliqa stands out because it has successfully implemented an effective solution to combat one of the pressing issues in the industry – that of scalability.

• The company started out in the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus with this very: intention: addressing the key issue of scalability. Over time, this has turned into one of our core value propositions. The platform is based on an on-chain solution called sharding, which is a “divide and conquer” technique where nodes and transactions are allocated into groups and processed in parallel. This ensures that the network is not prone to additional security vulnerabilities and maintains its decentralised state. Because the network scales linearly as it grows, this provides Zilliqa with a network speed of 2,828 transactions per second, rivaling other existing platforms in the market.

• This technique helps Zilliqa balance the golden trilemma of security, decentralisation and scalability which forms the core principles of blockchain. Other projects have found it extremely challenging to achieve this balance. This is part of what gives Zilliqa its competitive edge in the industry.

• We use a modified version of the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus protocol to ensure decentralisation without making it too costly for miners. We thus have a more eco-friendly, costeffective model of mining, whereby they only need to perform approximately 12 hours of PoW each month for Sybil attack prevention and to establish node identities. In comparison, the cost of mining on other blockchains such as Ethereum, are 9x more costly than Zilliqa.

• We follow a security-first approach. In order to provide an infrastructure that is safe for all ecosystem and enterprises users (businesses, developers and entrepreneurs) Zilliqa comes with a new smart contract programming language called Scilla, which is secure-by-design and formally verifiable. What this means is that using Scilla, developers can easily write and express the conditions of contracts conveniently on Scilla while being assured that their smart contracts are not prone to bugs and coding input errors.

 

What is the purpose of the $ZIL token within the Zilliqa ecosystem? And are there any stacking services?

$ZIL token can be used for the various dapps in the ZIL ecosystem, or as gas fees.

Just recently, we released a Zilliqa Improvement Proposal (ZIP) on staking services here: https://github.com/Zilliqa/ZIP/blob/master/zips/zip-3.md

This is a long-term project to further develop our seed nodes, and make the Zilliqa ecosystem even more rewarding for its users. The staking service will be built out based on developers and public feedback, which can be shared via Github or Reddit.

 

Zilliqa’s blockchain is marketed as being Enterprise Ready, are there any specific industries being targeted?

By merit of the project being an open network, there are no limitations to the next generation applications that can be built on top of Zilliqa. Whether it is a dapp to build or a smart contract you want to write, Zilliqa could well be the right platform for you given its value proposition and offer of scalability, security and decentralisation.

Zilliqa’s infrastructure is being used to develop both pilot and commercial applications in the areas of security token offerings, gaming, domain registry service, financial services, and payment reconciliation in the case of advertising via projects such as HGX, Xfers, Unstoppable domains and Project Proton.

 

Zilliqa recently announced a Decentralised Exchange, are there features that are unique to it?

Zilliqa is working with Switcheo to build a decentralised exchange or DEX that will support $ZIL or any Zilliqa-based tokens (such as the $XSGD). What this means is that Zilliqa token holders and traders will be able to tap into digital assets on the Ethereum blockchain for the first time, bolstering the growth of Zilliqa’s DeFi ecosystem.

Users of the Zilliqa DEX are promised convenience among the many benefits, as they will not need to signup to the exchange to access trading services. This simplified onboarding process coupled with future APIbased mobile wallet integrations will allow users to swap between different assets without any infrastructural hindrances. Token holders and miners can also put their $ZIL holding in liquidity pools to earn fees from each Uniswap-like DEX transaction. For traders increasingly turning to DEX as their preferred method of trading, they can also earn more fees from high-traffic smart contract transactions taking place on-chain. Developers worldwide will be able to build layers of technology without the need of a series of permissions.

How many projects have been launched on Zilliqa’s mainnet?

We have over 60 project teams from over 20 countries building on and around Zilliqa. This includes wallets, explorers, toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks and dApps. We are enterprise-ready and are forging many more strategic partnerships to help people leverage the benefits of our platform and smart contracts.

 

How does Zilliqa deal with traditional Proof Of Stake issues? Like exchanges unknowingly using users funds to vote on behalf of someone else.

Zilliqa uses PoW, albeit in a very different way from the way it is used in platforms like Bitcoin. This ensures that PoW does not become a bottleneck for scalability. Zilliqa demonstrates that even with PoW, it is possible to hit a throughput of thousands of transactions per second. Our staking mechanism doesn’t allow for voting, but rather rewards seed node operators for providing the API services.

 

You have an initiative that offers accelerator programmes, grants and educational programmes called ZilHive, could you tell us more about it?

ZILHive is our umbrella ecosystem growth initiative. The idea behind this is to make sure our projects and many initiatives are aligned with our larger purpose and goals, and with each other so we can create a powerful and effective network of people that can accelerate industry growth, together. Under this umbrella, we have ZILHive Grants, ZILHive Accelerator and ZILHive Education to cultivate a meaningful, resourceful environment for developers, entrepreneurs, students, investors, educators and leaders.

• ZILHive Grants: Used to be called the “Ecosystem Grant Programme”, which has been operational since August 2018. We’ve done tremendous work supporting 61 fantastic global projects from a total of 21 countries — but this doesn’t stop now! We will continue to identify and support promising developers looking to #BuildOnZIL. Prominent early grantees include Unstoppable Domains.

• ZILHive Education will take initiatives like the Blockchain A-Z workshops and LearnScilla forward and look for new avenues through which we can expand our outreach to up-and-coming talent and blockchain enthusiasts, budding developers and aspiring entrepreneurs.

• Under ZILHive Accelerator, we will mentor, support and incubate leaders in high-performing and promising start-ups into a ‘structured incubation set-up’. We will bring them in as ‘incubees’ and provide them with strong tools to grow their idea, and network and through which they can access further funding to take it to the next level.

More about ZILHive here: https://blog.zilliqa.com/introducing-our-newly-restructured-zilhive-programme822563acabde

 

Every company has short, medium and long term goals. What can we expect to see from Zilliqa?

Looking at the larger picture, Zilliqa is working on rejuvenating the financial sector so that empowerment and autonomy is enjoyed by the masses – not just the few. We are committed to building a future where decentralised technologies will no longer be optional to progress, but rather at the core of it – changing the way we live, work, pay and play. As we contribute to creation of accessible and equitable solutions within the token economy, we want to see blockchain drive open finance across the world and across Southeast Asia, where the uptake of deep technology is rapid and promising.

Of course – the path to achieving this is not without roadblocks. The short term will feature many projects which address some of the finer barriers in blockchain – such as enhancing user experience (UX) and streamlining processes such that the crypto-amateurs can also buy tokens and consider building their business ideas on blockchains. At this time, Zilliqa’s Language and Platform teams will continue refining our protocol layer to ensure that when all enterprises have blockchain on their minds, we’ve got the capability to power them and measure up to their complex or sophisticated needs.

We will continue to provide more developers with more tools, resources and IDEs, and cultivate more talent using educational materials and via strategic collaborations with academia, the private and public sector.

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