What is Zilliqa (ZIL)? Your ultimate guide

Zilliqa: What is the high-performance, high-security, and low-fee layer-1 blockchain protocol?

The Zilliqa website photographed on a computer screen                                 
Zilliqa aims to solve the scalability limitations of blockchains – Credit: Shutterstock


Given the number of crypto start-ups in existence, keeping up to date with all of them can be tricky. Understanding the technology and USP of each one can also be difficult, but here we will explain the purpose and functionalities of this blockchain.  

Zilliqa explained

What is Zilliqa? The Zilliqa project was founded by a group of academics, entrepreneurs and engineers from the National University of Singapore. Notable early members include: Xinshu Dong, Yaoqi Jia, Amrit Kumar and Prateek Saxena.

Michael Conn is the current chief executive while Colin JG Miles is the chief commercial officer.

Incorporated in June 2017, the start-up had its first test run a couple of months later.

What is Zilliqa used for? – Sharding

With a desire to bring the theory of “sharding” into practice, the founders wanted to create a protocol that could successfully process smart contracts at scale without compromising on important blockchain principles.

But what is sharding? Let’s take a look…

Difficulties related to scalability continue to be one of the major obstacles to a wider adoption of blockchain technology in many sectors.

Sharding, which remained for a long time an untested idea, seeks to address these problems. Sharding can help blockchains become more efficient, quicker and more scalable, in turn rendering them more competitive to centralised solutions currently in usage.

Why does blockchain have scalability issues?

Well, in order to keep blockchains decentralised, data must be processed by every node in the system. Any new transaction or piece of information is added to a ledger only once all nodes agree upon it. This is the way the integrity of the system can be preserved.
The problem is, once more nodes are added to the system and more data requires processing as it becomes larger, the network becomes slower.

Sharding is a way to solve this.

It divides network nodes into groups. Data stored is divided between these groups. Each group or ‘shard’ can be differentiated as they each store data with specific characteristics.

Sharding can involve separating databases horizontally, or by organising nodes so that there is a core central relay network. The latter allows shards to store any data that their functions necessitate, while other shards can access this information through the core relay.

Easy communication between shards is necessary so that each user can easily access information stored on the blockchain.

Zilliqa review

With the launch of Zilliqa’s mainnet in January 2019, the crypto start-up became the first public blockchain platform to successfully trail sharding as a scaling solution.

Zilliqa’s sharded design allows concurrent chains to process transactions at the same time, thus increasing the capacity and speed of the network.

The start-up is currently working on various R&D projects to improve the core infrastructure. Metapolis is set to launch in April 2022, and with a huge ecosystem and numerous upcoming partnerships, the blockchain is in a good position to stay ahead of the competition in the rapidly maturing digital asset space.

What is Zilliqa? – Smart contract layer

Zilliqa’s smart contract layer involves a programming language called Scilla.

Scilla enables developers to conveniently and easily write conditions and details of smart contracts.

The programming language solves various known security vulnerabilities that may exist in other programming languages.

Eco-friendly consensus mechanism

The consensus mechanism used by Zilliqa dramatically reduces the ecological footprint of mining. It uses a modified version of the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus protocol. According to the team, only one minute of every two to three hours is required to mine ZIL. This allows different chains to mine simultaneously.

Zilliqa is looking to introduce a staking mechanism to replace the PoW mechanism.

Zilliqa cryptocurrency

ZIL is the native coin of Zilliqa. ZIL has a total supply of 12 billion.

A couple of months after Zilliqa launched on mainnet, users could transition ERC-20 ZIL crypto tokens over to Zilliqa mainnet.

The token swap ended in February 2020, by which time, according to Zilliqa, users had swapped 98.3% of the 12.6 billion ERC-20 ZIL. The remaining ER-20 ZIL tokens, totalling 1.02% of the maximum supply, were unswapped and would be frozen.

ZIL crypto price

Zilliqa cryptocurrency has experienced peaks and troughs in its price since its inception. After reaching highs of $0.19 in May 2018, the price dropped and plateaued to lows of around $0.005 throughout 2019 and 2020.

In early 2021 the crypto rose to reach record highs of $0.24 in May 2021. The price has since dropped substantially in Q4 2021 and for much of Q1 2022. However, on 25 March 2022, investors and commentators were sent into a frenzy when the blockchain announced that Metapolis would be joining forces with Agora, a global talent awards app. Zilliqa witnessed a massive upswing of 116% and is currently valued at $0.1088, as of 28 March 2022.

There is a total supply of 12 billion Zilliqa coins. There are currently 12.58 billion ZIL coins in circulation.

Despite high levels of volatility, ZIL has seen immense growth since its inception. Its singular qualities differentiate it in a saturated market. It is also constantly innovating to improve its infrastructure.

While it is difficult to ascertain whether it will rebound and grow more or not, it is definitely one to watch.

ZIL is available on some, but not all, crypto exchanges. While we don’t have it on Currency.com yet, we will let you know when we do. Just remember that cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, and prices can go down as well as up. Always remember to do your own research and never invest more money than you can afford to lose.

Further reading

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