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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Weekly Crypto News — July, 13 (Bitcoin, Vechain, Visa, Binance, and other)

What important crypto events happened last week?

Regulation, Government, Mass Adoption

📌 Visa has posted a vacancy for blockchain developers. Potential employees will create decentralized applications. Visa requires experience with Ethereum, as well as the ability to work with the Bitcoin, Ripple, R3 blockchains and the Solidity programming language. Employees will be part of a team dedicated to creating innovative “non-card” payment products for Visa.
📌 Binance-backed blockchain hotel reservation service Travala has announced a partnership with Expedia, a US travel agency. Thanks to this, it will be possible to pay for rooms in 700,000 hotels from the company's catalog using Bitcoin.
📌 Bitcoin industry veteran, venture investor and billionaire Brock Pierce announced his intention to compete in the upcoming US presidential election. Pierce noted that he is going to the polls as an independent candidate. The campaign will be held under the slogan “Leadership. Experience. Values ”, but there is currently no specific program that Pierce intends to offer voters.
📌 Zap and Visa will release a payment card for Bitcoin payments. Jack Mullers, developer of the popular lightning wallet Zap Wallet, has announced the launch of Strike's open beta. With it, users will be able to make payments in Bitcoin through direct bank transfers.
📌 The Central Bank of Japan announced the start of testing the digital yen. According to the statement, at the first stage of testing, the bank intends to evaluate the possibility of launching the coin from a technical point of view and will consider the reliability of such a tool and its availability to the general public. Meanwhile, China is already in full swing testing digital yuan in 4 cities in such large networks as McDonald’s and Starbucks.
📌 The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched an investigative pilot program that seeks to find tools to track various types of cryptocurrency transactions. These include private coin analysis software and second-tier protocols such as the Lightning Network. The tools will be used by investigators, who in their work face the need to unravel the movements of privacy-oriented cryptocurrency users.

Coins, Projects, Startups

📌 VeChain rose 73% amid a conference with Microsoft and Amazon. The market value of cryptocurrency has grown by 73% over the past five days, updating a two-year high. Thanks to this, the coin returned to the top 20 digital currencies by capitalization.
📌 Binance has announced the distribution of BinanceTurns3 collectible tokens, released in honor of the platform’s third birthday. BinanceTurns3 are non-fungible (NFT) tokens with unique properties. NFT has no practical use, but they can be bought and sold at auctions. The cost of previous Binance NFTs reaches several thousand dollars. The most expensive token was sold at the OpenSea marketplace for $5,000.
📌 The developers of the Ravencoin cryptocurrency recommended that miners activate an emergency update after a vulnerability was found. The bug resulted in excessive emission by Raven Coin attackers in excess of the established block reward of 5,000 RVN (~$91). User assets were not affected.

Blockchain, Mining

📌 Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham announced the sale of Filecoin mining equipment (FIL) in China, which surprised the expert. In the Filecoin system, miners receive a reward for storing information, so Graham doubted the need for special equipment. The main network of the project has not yet been launched. Thomas Heller, F2Pool Mining Pool Global Business Director, confirmed that sales are made only in China.
📌 The head of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, a year later denied speculation about participating in the creation of solutions on Ethereum. In the crypto community, the entrepreneur was thought to participate in projects with ETH. In April 2019, Musk tweeted with the word “Ethereum”. Subsequently, he made a reservation that it was a joke. Elon Mask still considers Bitcoin the most reliable cryptocurrency, although he owns only 0.25 BTC.
That’s all for now! For more details follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, join our Telegram.
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Weekly Crypto News — July, 13 (Bitcoin, Vechain, Visa, Binance, and other)

What important crypto events happened last week?

Regulation, Government, Mass Adoption

📌 Visa has posted a vacancy for blockchain developers. Potential employees will create decentralized applications. Visa requires experience with Ethereum, as well as the ability to work with the Bitcoin, Ripple, R3 blockchains and the Solidity programming language. Employees will be part of a team dedicated to creating innovative “non-card” payment products for Visa.
📌 Binance-backed blockchain hotel reservation service Travala has announced a partnership with Expedia, a US travel agency. Thanks to this, it will be possible to pay for rooms in 700,000 hotels from the company's catalog using Bitcoin.
📌 Bitcoin industry veteran, venture investor and billionaire Brock Pierce announced his intention to compete in the upcoming US presidential election. Pierce noted that he is going to the polls as an independent candidate. The campaign will be held under the slogan “Leadership. Experience. Values ”, but there is currently no specific program that Pierce intends to offer voters.
📌 Zap and Visa will release a payment card for Bitcoin payments. Jack Mullers, developer of the popular lightning wallet Zap Wallet, has announced the launch of Strike's open beta. With it, users will be able to make payments in Bitcoin through direct bank transfers.
📌 The Central Bank of Japan announced the start of testing the digital yen. According to the statement, at the first stage of testing, the bank intends to evaluate the possibility of launching the coin from a technical point of view and will consider the reliability of such a tool and its availability to the general public. Meanwhile, China is already in full swing testing digital yuan in 4 cities in such large networks as McDonald’s and Starbucks.
📌 The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched an investigative pilot program that seeks to find tools to track various types of cryptocurrency transactions. These include private coin analysis software and second-tier protocols such as the Lightning Network. The tools will be used by investigators, who in their work face the need to unravel the movements of privacy-oriented cryptocurrency users.

Coins, Projects, Startups

📌 VeChain rose 73% amid a conference with Microsoft and Amazon. The market value of cryptocurrency has grown by 73% over the past five days, updating a two-year high. Thanks to this, the coin returned to the top 20 digital currencies by capitalization.
📌 Binance has announced the distribution of BinanceTurns3 collectible tokens, released in honor of the platform’s third birthday. BinanceTurns3 are non-fungible (NFT) tokens with unique properties. NFT has no practical use, but they can be bought and sold at auctions. The cost of previous Binance NFTs reaches several thousand dollars. The most expensive token was sold at the OpenSea marketplace for $5,000.
📌 The developers of the Ravencoin cryptocurrency recommended that miners activate an emergency update after a vulnerability was found. The bug resulted in excessive emission by Raven Coin attackers in excess of the established block reward of 5,000 RVN (~$91). User assets were not affected.

Blockchain, Mining

📌 Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham announced the sale of Filecoin mining equipment (FIL) in China, which surprised the expert. In the Filecoin system, miners receive a reward for storing information, so Graham doubted the need for special equipment. The main network of the project has not yet been launched. Thomas Heller, F2Pool Mining Pool Global Business Director, confirmed that sales are made only in China.
📌 The head of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, a year later denied speculation about participating in the creation of solutions on Ethereum. In the crypto community, the entrepreneur was thought to participate in projects with ETH. In April 2019, Musk tweeted with the word “Ethereum”. Subsequently, he made a reservation that it was a joke. Elon Mask still considers Bitcoin the most reliable cryptocurrency, although he owns only 0.25 BTC.
That’s all for now! For more details follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, join our Telegram.
submitted by CoinjoyAssistant to CryptoNews [link] [comments]

Weekly Crypto News — July, 13 (Bitcoin, Vechain, Visa, Binance, and other)

What important crypto events happened last week?

Regulation, Government, Mass Adoption

📌 Visa has posted a vacancy for blockchain developers. Potential employees will create decentralized applications. Visa requires experience with Ethereum, as well as the ability to work with the Bitcoin, Ripple, R3 blockchains and the Solidity programming language. Employees will be part of a team dedicated to creating innovative “non-card” payment products for Visa.
📌 Binance-backed blockchain hotel reservation service Travala has announced a partnership with Expedia, a US travel agency. Thanks to this, it will be possible to pay for rooms in 700,000 hotels from the company's catalog using Bitcoin.
📌 Bitcoin industry veteran, venture investor and billionaire Brock Pierce announced his intention to compete in the upcoming US presidential election. Pierce noted that he is going to the polls as an independent candidate. The campaign will be held under the slogan “Leadership. Experience. Values ”, but there is currently no specific program that Pierce intends to offer voters.
📌 Zap and Visa will release a payment card for Bitcoin payments. Jack Mullers, developer of the popular lightning wallet Zap Wallet, has announced the launch of Strike's open beta. With it, users will be able to make payments in Bitcoin through direct bank transfers.
📌 The Central Bank of Japan announced the start of testing the digital yen. According to the statement, at the first stage of testing, the bank intends to evaluate the possibility of launching the coin from a technical point of view and will consider the reliability of such a tool and its availability to the general public. Meanwhile, China is already in full swing testing digital yuan in 4 cities in such large networks as McDonald’s and Starbucks.
📌 The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched an investigative pilot program that seeks to find tools to track various types of cryptocurrency transactions. These include private coin analysis software and second-tier protocols such as the Lightning Network. The tools will be used by investigators, who in their work face the need to unravel the movements of privacy-oriented cryptocurrency users.

Coins, Projects, Startups

📌 VeChain rose 73% amid a conference with Microsoft and Amazon. The market value of cryptocurrency has grown by 73% over the past five days, updating a two-year high. Thanks to this, the coin returned to the top 20 digital currencies by capitalization.
📌 Binance has announced the distribution of BinanceTurns3 collectible tokens, released in honor of the platform’s third birthday. BinanceTurns3 are non-fungible (NFT) tokens with unique properties. NFT has no practical use, but they can be bought and sold at auctions. The cost of previous Binance NFTs reaches several thousand dollars. The most expensive token was sold at the OpenSea marketplace for $5,000.
📌 The developers of the Ravencoin cryptocurrency recommended that miners activate an emergency update after a vulnerability was found. The bug resulted in excessive emission by Raven Coin attackers in excess of the established block reward of 5,000 RVN (~$91). User assets were not affected.

Blockchain, Mining

📌 Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham announced the sale of Filecoin mining equipment (FIL) in China, which surprised the expert. In the Filecoin system, miners receive a reward for storing information, so Graham doubted the need for special equipment. The main network of the project has not yet been launched. Thomas Heller, F2Pool Mining Pool Global Business Director, confirmed that sales are made only in China.
📌 The head of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, a year later denied speculation about participating in the creation of solutions on Ethereum. In the crypto community, the entrepreneur was thought to participate in projects with ETH. In April 2019, Musk tweeted with the word “Ethereum”. Subsequently, he made a reservation that it was a joke. Elon Mask still considers Bitcoin the most reliable cryptocurrency, although he owns only 0.25 BTC.
That’s all for now! For more details follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, join our Telegram.
submitted by CoinjoyAssistant to CryptoNews24by7 [link] [comments]

Weekly Crypto News — July, 13 (Bitcoin, Vechain, Visa, Binance, and other)

What important crypto events happened last week?

Regulation, Government, Mass Adoption

📌 Visa has posted a vacancy for blockchain developers. Potential employees will create decentralized applications. Visa requires experience with Ethereum, as well as the ability to work with the Bitcoin, Ripple, R3 blockchains and the Solidity programming language. Employees will be part of a team dedicated to creating innovative “non-card” payment products for Visa.
📌 Binance-backed blockchain hotel reservation service Travala has announced a partnership with Expedia, a US travel agency. Thanks to this, it will be possible to pay for rooms in 700,000 hotels from the company's catalog using Bitcoin.
📌 Bitcoin industry veteran, venture investor and billionaire Brock Pierce announced his intention to compete in the upcoming US presidential election. Pierce noted that he is going to the polls as an independent candidate. The campaign will be held under the slogan “Leadership. Experience. Values ”, but there is currently no specific program that Pierce intends to offer voters.
📌 Zap and Visa will release a payment card for Bitcoin payments. Jack Mullers, developer of the popular lightning wallet Zap Wallet, has announced the launch of Strike's open beta. With it, users will be able to make payments in Bitcoin through direct bank transfers.
📌 The Central Bank of Japan announced the start of testing the digital yen. According to the statement, at the first stage of testing, the bank intends to evaluate the possibility of launching the coin from a technical point of view and will consider the reliability of such a tool and its availability to the general public. Meanwhile, China is already in full swing testing digital yuan in 4 cities in such large networks as McDonald’s and Starbucks.
📌 The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched an investigative pilot program that seeks to find tools to track various types of cryptocurrency transactions. These include private coin analysis software and second-tier protocols such as the Lightning Network. The tools will be used by investigators, who in their work face the need to unravel the movements of privacy-oriented cryptocurrency users.

Coins, Projects, Startups

📌 VeChain rose 73% amid a conference with Microsoft and Amazon. The market value of cryptocurrency has grown by 73% over the past five days, updating a two-year high. Thanks to this, the coin returned to the top 20 digital currencies by capitalization.
📌 Binance has announced the distribution of BinanceTurns3 collectible tokens, released in honor of the platform’s third birthday. BinanceTurns3 are non-fungible (NFT) tokens with unique properties. NFT has no practical use, but they can be bought and sold at auctions. The cost of previous Binance NFTs reaches several thousand dollars. The most expensive token was sold at the OpenSea marketplace for $5,000.
📌 The developers of the Ravencoin cryptocurrency recommended that miners activate an emergency update after a vulnerability was found. The bug resulted in excessive emission by Raven Coin attackers in excess of the established block reward of 5,000 RVN (~$91). User assets were not affected.

Blockchain, Mining

📌 Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham announced the sale of Filecoin mining equipment (FIL) in China, which surprised the expert. In the Filecoin system, miners receive a reward for storing information, so Graham doubted the need for special equipment. The main network of the project has not yet been launched. Thomas Heller, F2Pool Mining Pool Global Business Director, confirmed that sales are made only in China.
📌 The head of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, a year later denied speculation about participating in the creation of solutions on Ethereum. In the crypto community, the entrepreneur was thought to participate in projects with ETH. In April 2019, Musk tweeted with the word “Ethereum”. Subsequently, he made a reservation that it was a joke. Elon Mask still considers Bitcoin the most reliable cryptocurrency, although he owns only 0.25 BTC.
That’s all for now! For more details follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, join our Telegram.
submitted by CoinjoyAssistant to cryptonewswire [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Decentralized finance DFC-leading the next round of financial transformation

Decentralized finance DFC-leading the next round of financial transformation

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The financial industry has been changing from decentralization to centralization and back to decentralization. In the early stages of the entire Internet, decentralized data was used to build a universal distributed read/write system. With the passage of time, the expandability of the Internet has become higher and higher, and the blockchain has gradually emerged, becoming an opportunity to plan and describe the blueprint of financial technology and build a next-generation Internet based on credit.

Opportunities in the era of DFC: Link the world and stand out

The global financial system has created tremendous wealth, but the centralized management of traditional financial institutions often leads to an unfair distribution of resources, and people with resource advantages are more likely to obtain funds. As global inequality becomes more severe, is there a way to break this shackle and give everyone the opportunity to achieve equal wealth growth? DeFi Decentralized Finance came into being.
In the past two years, the DeFi ecosystem has made great progress. According to Consensys reports, there are more than 100 cutting-edge blockchain projects in the field of decentralized finance. DeFi is already an economic system with a value of up to 3 billion yuan. After many years of precipitation, the DFC project has become more and more perfect, and the company has chosen to announce it at this time, taking advantage of the DeFi industry heat wave.
Create a decentralized and prosperous ecosystem

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At present, the DFC project is conveniently connected with other DFC services through clearly defined APIs and standard smart contracts; focusing on its professional fields, integrating with other blockchain projects and building channels, opening the cross-chain exchange ecology to serve customers well, at the end of 2020, the lending and mining ecology will be officially launched, and mortgage lending will be started. The test network will be released in the first quarter of 2020, the stablecoin USDS ecological construction will be gradually completed, and the staking product based on DFC revenue will be launched simultaneously. It is expected that after a year of ecological testing, the main network will be officially released in the third quarter of 2021. In 2022, the construction of cross-chain ecology will be completed, and the community gradually expanded to 14 countries around the world. It will achieve the growth of millions of users worldwide, complete the leap of platform profits of tens of millions of dollars, and gradually develop and upgrade to DFC version 2.0, building more decentralized financial application ecology.
What should be the future blueprint for DFC? No one knows. However, it is foreseeable that DFC will be an important supplement to traditional finance because of its non-access feature. If the emergence of Bitcoin makes low-cost cross-border payments possible, then the development of the DFC system is the second breakthrough in the blockchain system. It is fundamentally changing the settlement structure of the global financial system.
With the development of technology and wide application, a new decentralized financial system came into being. DeFi Coin (hereinafter referred to as DFC) is a cross-chain decentralized financial (DeFi) platform created by the Singapore DIFI Blockchain Foundation. With the decentralized operation and management mechanism of DFC, DFC proves to the world that the promotion of decentralized business structure is a widely used business blueprint for human society. Every innovative product is launched with powerful support behind it.
Adhering to the direction of decentralization and financializing encrypted assets, this is the evolution direction of encrypted assets. Blockchain is born to serve the economic system and financial system. DFC stands out and is expected to become the key to the bull market.
DFC is currently building DeFi and cross-border financial solutions globally. Our scalable public blockchain supports an open financial infrastructure layer-a set of smart contracts. Developers can build products and applications accordingly, without having to start from scratch. In addition, we are also creating products that fully serve cross-border payments, allowing partners to use DFC's global settlement layer in various scenarios, such as import/export, international payroll, and international e-commerce payments.
Of course, the world's largest well-known financial ecosystem created by DFC has reached a strategic partnership with the world's leading C2B blockchain data trading platform Datawallet, Indonesia's head financial technology company Ayo Uang and other large-scale traffic portal platforms. Relying on the advantages of extensive community resources and platform resources, DFC quickly formed a considerable influence on the global scale, with a total financing amount of tens of millions of dollars, and won the favor of more than 20 top blockchain investment institutions and individual investors. At the same time, CNBC, ABC, Yahoo, "The Wall Street Journal", "Forbes", Sinovision, Xinhua News Agency, Phoenix Satellite TV, Sina, SMG Vietnam VITV TV and other top media have been widely reported.
In other words, unlike other functional DeFi projects, DFC is not satisfied with being an "upgraded version" or "alternative" of a traditional financial instrument, but hopes to work together with super volunteers with a high consensus spirit around the world. Using the underlying technology of the blockchain to build a decentralized financial ecosystem with complete bottom, rich applications, and prosperous communities.

DFC ends financial crisis, two-way enabling scenarios

There will be more and more financial products on both the B-end and C-end on DFC, and they will definitely be uneven. However, all products will enter the global unified community evaluation system, and evaluations based on product performance, safety, stability, underlying asset quality and other dimensions will also be chained to become a product traceable credit system.
It is necessary for DFC's invention patents to use blockchain technology to solve existing problems on the Internet. DFC has completely independent intellectual property rights for "an implementation of a decentralized application development platform". The underlying technology platform of the DFC blockchain has the characteristics of high TPS, low latency, security, and 3D data upload, which can fully meet the needs of Internet applications data on-chain, and has applied for more than 300 invention patents, has become the strongest technology community after BAT independent research and development technology.
It is not just technology that drives the decentralized financial system. The power of DFC’s huge community is based on the help of the global community.The global super-volunteer community allocates community traffic and capital resources at any time according to their respective behavior rights and functions. In response to the global community, the DFC project team concentrated on exploring the application of blockchain technology in the field of people's livelihood, contributing to the compliance and practicality of blockchain, and giving back to society with technology. In addition to the strength foundation laid by DFC North American technology development team, the community of South American community developers has also continuously added to the DFC system. Unlike the American community's strong interest in technology, the power of DFC's blockchain cultural ecology has been advancing the globalization process of the DFC community and market. DFC's African community has continuously contributed brand power to users around the world.
There are volunteer communities in 100 countries around the world, and the fission of more than 100,000 communities will change the global world financial system, realize the basic ecology of DFC belonging to all mankind, and bring on-chain life services to users around the world. The decentralized ecological community has promoted the progress and development of the blockchain cultural ecosystem.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that DFC includes all DeFi businesses in the current market-cross-chain asset exchange, decentralized exchanges and stable currency, financial services, loan services, and mining ecology. For DFC finance to develop, it needs to be built on the basis of other higher-frequency businesses, on the basis of the precipitation of a large number of existing assets, and on a reliable stable currency system.
According to the existing ecological deduction, if decentralized transactions can slowly become popular, there will be more and more accumulated and precipitated funds. After more and more precipitated funds, the mortgage will generate decentralized stable coins. Basically, with the flow of decentralized transactions and reliable stablecoins, the development of DFC financial business is much easier, and DFC finance is where the advantages of decentralized transactions are truly reflected, and centralized exchanges cannot really do it. With DFC Finance, decentralized transactions may go hand-in-hand with centralized transactions, or even overtake.
Since the entire community is a strong consensus ecology, the DeFi business can not only quickly land on DFC, but also realize model upgrade. In the future, the ecological scenario of DFC will continue to be concrete, detailed, and implement applications, get rid of the shackles of the platform, build a free economic world with the interconnection of everything using finance as a medium, and enable global fintech business in both directions.

Top teams work hard to build DFC services worldwide

The core of the future form of DFC is to realize a distributed autonomous borderless open financial system, and form a stable, self-evolving community autonomous financial system that supports the full integration of online and offline finance. Therefore, DFC will rely on cross-chain and decentralized exchanges and other technologies, expand the DeFi application ecosystem, establish a community autonomous financial system, implement modern financial transformation of existing digital token products according to certain rules, and improve the communication channels between existing physical finance and digital token finance. In the world of digital tokens, share the latest global economic achievements; in the future architecture, connect with the digital token system issued by global central banks and enterprises, such as DC/EP and Facebook’s Libra.
Based on this, DFC can achieve ecological closed loop and sustainable development, serving billions of users worldwide.
It is understood that the DFC team is an international team, which is composed of global financial professionals and blockchain technology talents. Its blockchain and DeFi technical teams are composed of the Musk rocket startup team, Google artificial intelligence research institution, Russian cryptography and other global diverse teams. At present, these teams have joined the DFC community in accordance with the organization principles of the open source community, and have conducted in-depth and extensive research and construction work. The participation of top international talents has prompted DFC to break through technical barriers and set off a wave of Genesis for the future.
At present, some decentralized financial products have appeared in the cryptocurrency market, and DFC is one of the pioneers. Its founder and CEO Piyush Gupta is a leader in this regard. He has held various positions in Morgan Bank, DLT Association, DAO Decentralized Organization American Association, and now Piyush Gupta said that DFC has passed the 0x Project protocol test and is beginning to break the traditional use case of Bitcoin as a value store, which has become a leader in the development of decentralized financial technology.

DFC Leads Financial Change: The Best Times for Breakers

The first important development of the financial system in history is its own transformation to the direction of "finance". This sentence sounds a bit abstract,to put it in a nutshell, when people finally have enough resources for trading and cooperation, and not just for their immediate survival, abstract finance is formed. For example, extra wheat can be exchanged for pottery, animals, or even original portrait sculptures or toys.
Throughout the history of finance, from coins to paper fiat currencies to digital finance, the latter is probably the most successful form of finance to date. It can realize the DFC vision, tokenize all assets, and open up the financial transformation of global free transactions.
At present, the total monthly transaction volume of popular crypto exchanges can exceed billions of dollars. DFC leads the next round of financial change, from infrastructure to applications to network security, DFC embraces the future of financial technology and is a major opportunity for global finance. We are in the middle of a thousand-year opportunity, there are many changes in the process , and due to our inherent limitations of thinking, we cannot see clearly the trend of future outlets. The economic cycle of DFC's future layout faces huge global challenges, but it also contains rare opportunities. Under internal and external troubles, this is the worst era, but for those who break the game, this is the best era.
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A guide to Smart Contracts

A guide to Smart Contracts

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We all have heard the term Smart Contract. When Satoshi invented Blockchain, it was meant to perform transactions only. Ethereum smart contracts made it the prime choice to build Dapps over it. Smart contract enhanced Ethereum’s functionality and makes it different from the traditional blockchain (Bitcoin). This functionality was replicated by other newer Blockchains.
What are Smart Contracts?
Smart contracts can be defined as self-executing applications that run on a blockchain. It is an agreement between two or more parties in the form of a computer code that runs on a decentralized network in a blockchain. It consists of a set of defined rules which are agreed upon by the involved parties. The contract automatically gets activated whenever certain conditions are met.
This idea will remove the involvement of any trusted third-party companies (such as banks) and will be controlled by computers on a trusted network.
Ethereum is one of the most popular blockchain platforms for creating smart contracts. It supports a feature called Turing-completeness that enables the developers to build customized smart contracts. Solidity, Ethereum’s original coding language is used to develop smart contracts. Ethereum blockchain's ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens are smart contract standards.
Who created it?
Nick Szabo, a computer scientist, and cryptographer, first described the idea of Smart contracts in the ‘90s. He worked on the concept of defining contract laws in businesses between parties by maintaining an electronic commerce protocol on the Internet.
He further designed Bit Gold, a mechanism for a decentralized digital currency in 1998. Though the idea was never implemented it created a base that led to the popularity of Bitcoin after 10 years.
Properties:
· Self-verifiable
· Self-executable
· Tamper Proof
Benefits of using Smart Contract
· The removal of third-party or middleman leads to direct and transparent communication between involving parties
· Helps in maintaining trust as the agreement rules were predefined and agreed by the parties involved
· Helps in reducing error and frauds
· Time and cost-efficient
· No single point of failure or data loss as data is distributed across the network

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Different objects of Smart contracts
There are three essential and main objects of Smart Contracts
· Signatories- The parties who use the smart contract.
· Agreement subject
· Terms and Condition-. Details like rules, obligations, and associated punishments, etc are mentioned as terms and conditions as appropriate.
How Smart Contract works
Ethereum has 2 types of accounts
· External accounts (user account) - Controlled by public-private key pairs
· Contract accounts - Controlled by the code stored together with the account
These accounts contain four fields:
· The nonce, which ensures that each transaction can only be processed once
· The current ether balance of the account
· The contract code of the account
· The storage of the account
Model steps
  1. External account executes a function:
a. The user initiates the process by signing the transaction using his private key corresponding to the account.
b. Local validation of the transaction happens. It is broadcasted to the network.
c. The transaction is added to the transaction pool. The mines maintains such pools.
  1. Generate EVM bytecode through compiling
  2. EVM
a. EVM is a powerful, virtual sandbox embedded within each full Ethereum node
b. The job of the EVM is to update the Ethereum state by computing valid state transitions as a result of smart contact code execution
c. The EVM should not run into any exceptions during the execution
  1. Get contract address from that transaction's receipt
  2. Trigger contract address to invoke methods of that deployed smart contract
  3. Upon receiving a newly created block, the local node executes all the transactions in the block.
The accuracy and quality of a smart contract depends on the following things
· Open and decentralized database
· The environment needs to support the use of public-key cryptography
· Quality programming is crucial.
· Data should be reliable.
· Robust rules should be used while automating the process.
Features
Smart contracts automatically support the features of underlying blockchain technology.
· Autonomy – Complete control of the involving parties. No need of middleman as in the case of traditional contractual system
· Speed – Automated computer code runs as soon as the input criteria fulfill, thereby eliminating the delays caused by manual paperwork activity
· Safety – Network encryption guarantees safety against data theft or hacking
· Savings – No doubt that the removal of middleman saves a lot of overall cost and time
· Accuracy – Since these smart contracts are automated software codes so they ensure accurate output as long as the data fed into the system as input is accurate
· Trust – Helps in building trust as the documents are encrypted in a shared ledger
· Backup – Since in Blockchain network, each node has a complete backup of data which ensures protection over data loss
Potential Use cases
Smart contracts can be used to exchange money, property, shares, or anything without any intervention of middleman. They are now gaining popularity and adaption in various sectors. Some of the main sectors are as follows:-
· Insurance Companies
· Health Systems
· Government’s administrative work.
· Business Management
I will cover each of the potential use cases in detail in my future articles separately.
Conclusion
Smart Contract is the greatest innovation built on Blockchain technology. We can say it as a cherry over the pie. It has given a new dimension to technology and is one of the biggest reasons behind the popularity of Ethereum.
We can say without any second thought that very soon we will be entering into the era where there will be no intervention of any third party. In this way, it can help us in saving a lot of money, time, and effort. Also, we don’t need to be dependent or trust anyone while taking any crucial transactions. This will surely help in reducing fraud, unnecessary delays, and the overall cost of transactions. Smart Contracts will make many transactional jobs redundant. We can be hopeful that further development in technology will open sources for many other new jobs.
Read More: Understanding Hard Fork
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Proof of Authority

Proof of Authority
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The Blockchain industry is continuously progressing since its inception. The consensus mechanism is the core of a decentralized ecosystem that helps it to achieve consensus in the network. Till now, many consensus methods have been invented and implemented to achieve consensus within a blockchain system. I am writing a series of articles on different consensus mechanisms with a detailed explanation of their advantages and disadvantages over each other. I have already covered PoW and PoS, so here in this article, I will focus on PoA.
The PoW consensus algorithm used by Bitcoin is considered a reliable and secure consensus mechanism but it doesn’t support scalability. As a result, it restricts the performance of the Bitcoin network along with its transaction speed. The major disadvantage of this method is that it requires high energy consumption and system resources which are needed to solve the complex mathematical puzzles.
With some more features, Proof of Stake came into existence which offers better performance than PoW. There are several PoS projects which are still under development so what new features it can offer and how much it can deal with the drawback of the existing consensus mechanism is depends on the success rate of future projects.
Then there is another consensus mechanism called Proof of Authority which is the enhanced version of PoS. It supports better performance by allowing more transactions per second. Now let’s discuss it in detail.
What is Proof of Authority?
The Proof-Of-Authority (PoA) is a consensus method where a group of validators is already chosen as the authority. Their task is to check and validate all the newly added identities, validate transactions, and blocks to add to the network. To ensure efficiency and security in the network the validator group is usually kept small (~25 or less).
Proof of Authority (PoA) is an enhanced version of Proof of Stake (PoS) where the validator’s identity is used as a stake in the network.
A node needs to complete a mandatory process to authenticate itself to receive the right to generate new blocks. Validators need to register themselves in the public notary database using government-issued documents with the same identity that they have on the platform. Thus, Blocks and transactions are verified by participants, whose identity is already verified and acts as an authority of the system.
With the power under a limited number of users, PoA consensus can be adopted as a solution for private networks rather than public blockchains.
PoA was proposed by a group of developers in March 2017 (coined by Gavin Wood) as a blockchain-based on the Ethereum protocol. It was developed with the idea to solve the problem of spam attacks on Ethereum’s Ropsten test network. The new network was named Kovan, the main test network that all Ethereum users use today.
Pre-Requisites for Proof of Authority Consensus
The PoA consensus algorithm is usually based upon the following criteria:
· Validators need to disclose and confirm their identities by giving government-issued documents.
· The standard procedure for verifying the identity of validators.
· Complex and robust criteria to define a validator so that they can put his reputation at stake and commit to a long-term alliance.
Advantages of PoA consensus
As compared to other consensus methods, PoA offers the following advantages:
· High transaction rate.
· High-performance hardware is not required.
· PoA networks are very scalable as compare to PoW blockchains
· Less power extensive.
· Low transaction fees.
· Sequentially block generation with fixed time interval by authorized network nodes. This increases transaction validity speed.
· No communication is required to reach the consensus between the nodes.
· Network operation is independent of the number of available genuine nodes.
· The chance of a node to become a forge depends upon both its stake and overall holding.
Drawback
· Proof-of-Authority based networks lack in decentralization.
· PoA validator's identities are visible in the network.
· PoA does not guarantee censorship resistance.
Practical Implementation
PoA consensus algorithm can be applied in various fields and industries to achieve high throughput ranging from supply chains to banking sectors. PoA is considered as an effective and reasonable solution along with cost-saving benefit.
Below is the list of projects which has adopted PoA :
· Ethereum’s test net Kovan built on the Parity's PoA Protocol
· PoA Network by the Proof of Authority, LLC. (an Ethereum sidechain)
· The VeChainThor platform.
Conclusion
Every consensus method, be it PoW, PoS or PoA has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. But if we talk about PoA particularly, it somehow compromises in the decentralization area to achieve scalability and throughput.
Proof-Of-Authority can, therefore, be treated as a better option for a centralized solution because of its efficiency and less power consumption property.
Read More: Mastering Basic Attention Token (BAT)
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Property Buying Guidelines During COVID-19 Crypto Bitcoin (Technical Analysis) What is a Bitcoin Node? - Step by Step Explanation Benno Luthiger - Bitcoin and Blockchain for Pythoneers

Offered by Princeton University. To really understand what is special about Bitcoin, we need to understand how it works at a technical level. We’ll address the important questions about Bitcoin, such as: How does Bitcoin work? What makes Bitcoin different? How secure are your Bitcoins? How anonymous are Bitcoin users? What determines the price of Bitcoins? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated Bitcoin Details . Bitcoin was first released by its creator Satoshi Nakamoto on January 3, 2009. Its purpose was to provide an alternative to the existing banking and financial systems of the day by allowing users to store and exchange currency without relying on the trustworthiness of institutions like banks and governments. The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. Understanding the details of the Bitcoin protocol opens up otherwise inaccessible vistas. In particular, it’s the basis for understanding Bitcoin’s built-in scripting language, which makes it possible to use Bitcoin to create new types of financial instruments, such as smart contracts . Digital money that’s instant, private, and free from bank fees. Download our official wallet app and start using Bitcoin today. Read news, start mining, and buy BTC or BCH.

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"How Bitcoin Protocol Works" - Andreas Antonopoulos

Property Buying Guidelines During COVID-19 GSS Projects. ... For More Details Contact: +91 94484 88441, +91 99866 99364 ... Banking on Bitcoin YouTube Movies. 2017 · Documentary; "Bitcoin and Blockchain for Pythoneers [EuroPython 2017 - Talk - 2017-07-10 - Anfiteatro 1] [Rimini, Italy] Why should a Python programmer be interested in B... In Part 12 of the Beginner's Guide to Bitcoin, I talk to Jameson Lopp, co-founder and CTO at Casa, and renowned Bitcoin privacy expert. We discuss Bitcoin privacy, best practices and operational ... This information should only be used by investors who are aware of the risk inherent in securities trading. Hodlrekt accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from any use of this ... In this Bitcoin Protocol tutorial video, the Transactions section of the Bitcoin protocol paper is explained. Of course, however, with this proposed solution, we have another issue.

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