Core features of the Zilliqa mainnet
We set out to build a better blockchain platform, one that can form the backbone of future DApps. Below are the core features of our mainnet. For full details, you can read our blog post here.
Sharding: The network supports transaction sharding for both regular payment transactions and those that invoke smart contracts.
PBFT-style blockchain: Zilliqa will be one of the very few PBFT-style (Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) blockchains available today. A PBFT-style consensus mechanism is efficient and gives finality to transactions so that confirmations are not required.
Safe smart contracts: The protocol comes shipped with our new safe-by-design smart contract language, Scilla.
Dual and eco-friendly mining: By using PoW only for Sybil resistance, the energy footprint of mining on Zilliqa will be much smaller compared to the blockchains that use PoW to reach consensus on every block.
Low variance in block rewards: A novel incentive mechanism to reward miners by measuring their contributions in the consensus protocol allows thousands of (or more) miners to be rewarded for a single block.
Securing the Initial Network against Potential Attacks
Security is a key priority for us and drives a great deal of our decision-making. Therefore, the Zilliqa mainnet is released with several protection mechanisms and conservative settings.
We will first launch the network in a bootstrap phase to ensure that our network is protected against attacks while the hash power is still relatively low. It will automatically end once a set number of blocks are mined – we anticipate this to happen around March 2019, and we will keep our community and friends updated on progress.
Guard nodes will spawn automatically to join the network for safeguarding purposes. The number of such nodes is dynamically adjusted to maintain network size and stability. They will be phased out over time, and replaced by community-run nodes.
Lookup and Seed nodes will maintain the transaction history and the global state of the blockchain to offload the full storage responsibility from the nodes that run consensus. Seed nodes also provide additional resilience against Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks by serving as the gateway for users and clients to access the Zilliqa network. All functions are expected to be passed to consensus nodes over time.
Enabling blockchain-powered solutions with real value-add
In terms adoption and use cases, we continue to focus on enabling blockchain-powered solutions that bring real value to users rather than “blockchain for the sake of blockchain”. We believe that this allows the industry to grow in a meaningful manner, by demonstrating the potential of the technology.
I’m proud to share our progress on this front, and have some exciting developments in the coming months.
Project Proton: We are working with Mindshare to trial a blockchain-based digital advertising supply chain by providing a secure, scalable blockchain that can handle complex business applications, a smart contract that can help determine payouts quickly, and a dashboard to help advertisers better visualise and optimise based on viewability. The first live campaign will launch in Q1 2019.
Hg Exchange: We recently announced that we will be powering Hg Exchange, which will be the first member-driven exchange in Southeast Asia for privately-held shares and Security Token Offerings. The exchange is envisaged to provide access to high-growth startups and decacorns such as Uber, Grab and Space X. Hg Exchange has applied for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) FinTech Regulatory Sandbox – typically this approval takes a few weeks to a few months.
BOLT: BOLT, an open entertainment economy where users are rewarded for engaging within the BOLT ecosystem, has recently been granted mobile content transmission rights for Southeast Asia by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. They will transition to the Zilliqa mainnet to support the thousands of transactions that will occur on the platform.
EMONT Frenzy: EMONT Frenzy, a decentralised underwater game where players enter as fish to collect tokens and battle with others, is expected to launch in April 2019. This is part of our collaboration with EMONT Alliance to address the scalability issue for blockchain games.
Future Research and Development Plans
The launch of our mainnet is only the start of our journey. We now have the necessary infrastructure on which we can add new features and protocols, and will also be constantly enhancing the platform. Some areas that we will be exploring include a more efficient backend for Scilla, efficient smart contract sharding, and research on incentive and staking mechanisms for different blockchains. We will be sharing more details and updates on our blog.
This is a tremendously exciting time for me personally, our team and our community.
The name Zilliqa is actually a play on the word ‘silica’. Just as Silicon powers the computing industry, we hope that with Zilliqa, we will one day see a future where blockchain radically impacts the way we all live, work, and play.