What Is Zilliqa (ZIL)?

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by Beatrice Mastropietro · 4 min read
What Is Zilliqa (ZIL)?
Photo: Shutterstock

This guide focuses on the Zilliqa protocol and ZIL token, launched in 2017. So far, the platform has found real-world utility across various industries such as finance, digital advertising, and gaming.

Ethereum (ETH) was the first public blockchain to employ a consensus algorithm known as sharding. This allows transactions and computations to be sent out in “bundles” of information or shards. These shards can then relay back together into one chunk. It is an idea initially conceptualized by Bitcoin (BTC) developers, but Ethereum hoped it could implement something more scalable. It still had issues, and this is when Zilliqa (ZIL) appeared.

Zilliqa uses a unique approach to solving scalability problems. It initiates cross-chain transactions for their submission layer, passing on data through the PoW-BFT hybrid mechanism that verifies and protects all clients’ data.

History of Zilliqa

In 2017, a team of scholars from the National University of Singapore created Zilliqa. In June that year, Xinshu Dong, Yaoqi Jia, Amrit Kumar, and Prateek Saxen joined as initial team members. Their first significant accomplishment was their very first testnet.

On January 31, 2019, the project launched for the first time. It was a milestone event because when the first bootstrapping mode, mined rewards were sent out, and transactions could not yet be accepted in this phase to protect against early attacks.

Zilliqa’s Functioning

Zilliqa is one-of-a-kind in the cryptocurrency industry because it focuses on sharding and scilla. The mainnet for Zilliqa’s sharding system came online in January 2019, putting it a step ahead of all other public blockchain platforms due to its recent completion date.

First of all, Zilliqa employs sharding. Sharding is a process of splitting up blockchain nodes into different groups. Each group has roughly the same number of nodes as each other, so if one shard can do ten transactions per second, all shards together can process 100 transactions per second. For information security, nodes must be sizeable. There are two types of transactions that may appear on the Zilliqa blockchain: transfer transactions and minting transactions. Transfer transactions occur when a user sends ZIL back or forth in a contract. Minting transactions happen when miners hash new blocks with new transactions added to them with more than 600 nodes.

Zilliqa’s consensus mechanism begins in a Proof of Work phase. During this phase, investors must confirm the blockchain by completing an individual hash. This process has finality, meaning that most nodes must agree on a mini-block before it is finalized.

Zilliqa Transactions

There are two types of transactions that may appear on the Zilliqa blockchain: transfer transactions and minting transactions. Transfer transactions occur when a user sends ZIL back or forth in a contract. Minting transactions happen when miners hash new blocks with new transactions added to them.

Zilliqa is a fast platform for carrying out transactions. The speed of Zilliqa transactions is 2,500 transactions per second, while the rates of the most prominent digital assets BTC and ETH are 7 TPS and 15 TPS, respectively.

Like the most prominent digital currency Bitcoin, Zilliqa uses proof-of-work (PoW) consensus protocol to establish initial mining identities and defend against Sybil attacks. The latter is a type of attack in which a node in the network operates multiple identities simultaneously time to subvert authority in reputation systems.

Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance

Zilliqa’s governance system ensures that transactions go through and helps nodes stay in sync. A node cannot participate in a transaction block without the first consensus from Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (pBFT). All nodes appointed to specific shards must comply with pBFT before finalizing the transaction, meaning anyone who has ZIL can vote on updates to the network or help maintain it with running or voting. After this, each node receives rewards for validating transactions.

Zilliqa Token

The utility token ZIL is used for the execution of smart contracts and transaction fees on the Zilliqa blockchain. These tokens are also rewards for PoW miners who dedicate resources to the network and stakers in the future. Major cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance or Coinbase have listed Zilliqa (ZIL) tokens.

From December 27, 2017, to January 4, 2018, Zilliqa was conducting an ICO. It managed to raise as much as $22 million.

Advantages and Risks Associated with Zilliqa

Zilliqa users have many advantages. The decentralized structure of the network allows users to make transactions on a censor-resistant platform. The platform’s functionality allows it to manage big transfers of foreign currency and tiny transactions. Micro-transactions enable developers to construct deeper apps and consumers to carry out directions with little cost.

Zilliqa is also not harmful to the environment compared to Bitcoin that uses a lot of energy when executing transactions and during the mining processes.


Zilliqa’s sharding design facilitates scalability in the crypto market. The entire cryptocurrency market seems to be welcoming the forthcoming bull-run next month. Assuming this occurs, ZIL could hit $1 by the end of 2021.



What is Zilliqa?

Zilliqa is a new blockchain that is expressly designed to solve the issue of scalability.

Who is standing behind Zilliqa?

The Zilliqa project was founded in 2017 by a group of researchers from the National University of Singapore.

What is pBFT?

Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (pBFT) is the ability of a distributed computer network to reach consensus despite malicious nodes in the system.

How are Zilliqa transactions processed?

Transactions on Zilliqa are processed via a protocol called “Sharding” that enables parallel processing of transactions.

What is ZIL token?

ZIL is the utility token for Zilliqa that can be used to execute smart contracts and process transactions on the network.

What are the use cases of Zilliqa?

ZIL is primarily a currency, but it is also used to process transactions and execute smart contracts.

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