Zilliqa originates from "silica", a material used to power computers around the world. Just as silicon plays a crucial role in computers, Zilliqa aims to power the next generation of dApps and smart contracts.
Founded in 2017 by a team of National University of Singapore graduates, Zilliqa is the first blockchain that implemented sharding in its network. Zilliqa has real-world utility in various industries such as gaming and finance. Zilliqa's native token is ZIL, a utility token used as gas for executing smart contracts, paying transaction fees, and rewarding miners.
Zilliqa has two main components that make it stand out from other blockchain projects: the programming language Scilla and sharding.
Scilla stands for Smart Contract Intermediate-Level Language and is Zilliqa's smart contract language which is more secure by addressing security vulnerabilities of other languages and easier to understand.
Zilliqa was the first blockchain platform to utilize sharding as a means of scaling its network. Sharding is a feature that allows the blockchain to scale linearly as it grows. By sharding, you fracture a network of blockchain nodes into "shards". For example, Zilliqa divides a network with 1000 nodes into 10 shards, and each shard has 100 nodes. The reason for sharding's efficiency is that every shard processes a small portion of transactions concurrently. A block is formed because each of these shards is called a microblock, and the microblocks merge into one complete block and are added to the network. Numerous small projects have tried using sharding in order to increase transaction throughput. In this model, each shard can process ten transactions per second. Since all microblocks are processing transactions simultaneously, Zilliqa can process a massive amount of transactions in a second and is a very robust blockchain.
The Zilliqa blockchain can scale linearly as the network grows, thanks to sharding. It means that the potential of processing greater amounts of transactions increases as the number of participating nodes on the network grows. In a trial run in late 2020, Zilliqa reached near 2,500 transactions per second using six shards with a total of 3,600 nodes. This is when Bitcoin can process 7 transactions per second, and Ethereum can process 15 transactions per second.
For security reasons, a shard must at least contain 600 nodes to lower the probability of having a 1/3 fraction of the shard being corrupt. With the size of 600 nodes, the chance drops to one in a million.
Zilliqa further achieves efficiency using two consensus protocols; Proof-of-Work and Optimized Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerant (pBFT) consensus protocols. Zilliqa uses PoW only to establish initial mining identities and to defend against attacks. Any new node who wishes to join the network must perform a PoW as an entry ticket to the network. However, when it comes to finalizing transactions, Zilliqa uses pBFT, which delivers:
pBFT does not require every transaction's history to be saved on the network, providing less storage consumption. However, Zilliqa is exploring decentralized cloud storages to optimize their storage needs further. Zilliqa has also added staking, which opens up Zilliqa's seed nodes to the public, resulting in the network's further decentralization and more utility.
Zilliqa received $20 million in a private fund and received another $2 million during its ICO. Zilliqa's current market capitalization rank is #98 and has a circulating supply of 11.95 billion. The maximum supply is unclear, but it is claimed by some sources to be 21 billion. ZIL reached its all-time high on May 10, 2018, with a price of $0.2303. However, ZIL is not listed on Binance yet.
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