Zilliqa Announces Release of Public Testnet of Scalable Blockchain, Creates New Smart Contract Language

Zilliqa has Released their public testnet of a Blockchain that deals with the technology’s biggest hurdle: the ability to scale and serve the demands of global financial institutions. Zilliqa uses a technique called sharding that apparently can enable their Blockchain to hit transaction speeds similar to Visa.

Zilliqa says it wants to solve the scalability issue faced by current bBlockchain platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum.  The company calls this release a technological milestone as the first ever implementation of sharding used in a public, permissionless blockchain.

The Zilliqa testnet is said to be accessible via a fully functional block explorer that allows users to view specific blocks, transactions, and addresses, and to view data such as transaction rate, block rate, and number of peers using a clean and user-friendly interface. A wallet application is also available for users to create test transactions.

Initially, the platform has been launched in a “scaled down” state using less than 1,000 nodes that are AWS Virtual Computers Instances.  During stress testing the testnet showed speeds of up to 2,000 transactions per second.

Xinshu Dong, CEO of Zilliqa., said this was a tremendous milestone – not just for his company but Blockchain as a whole;

“It is incredibly challenging to create a high transaction rate Blockchain while maintaining the security and decentralization of the system, but we feel we have made a breakthrough with what we have achieved. The team behind Zilliqa is made up of some of the brightest minds in blockchain, business, and finance, and what we have built is extraordinary, but it is just a small step compared with the potential our technology has.”

Blockchain platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum can currently process a maximum of 20 transactions per second, which has caused major network challenges when popular applications are used.  For financial applications, this is simply not acceptable. A payment processors like  VISA processes approximately 8,000 transactions per second worldwide.

Originally proposed in an academic paper in 2015 by a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore, Zilliqa’s use of sharding is said to enables transactions, and smart contracts to be confirmed in parallel, without the risk of double-spending

In private internal tests in November 2017 [LINK], the Zilliqa team claims it achieved speeds of 2,488 transactions per second using 3,600 Amazon EC2 instances to serve as nodes. Zilliaqa says that as the number of nodes on the network increased, the number of transactions per second also increased, showing an almost linear scalability of the system as it gets larger and more computers join the network.  Zilliqa states that its high throughput blockchain will perform up to 1,000 times faster than Ethereum.

The company has also announced the creation of a new, more secure, intermediate smart contract language called “Scilla” that will be used to run applications on Zilliqa and other blockchains and will help ensure the security of the system.

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