As the year comes to an end, we take a moment to reflect on the important events of 2018 and look ahead at what’s in store for us in 2019. It is with no doubt that we will look back on 2018 as one of the most exciting and important years for Zilliqa. Together, we’ve made steady progress towards delivering a secure, decentralized, scalable blockchain platform and are on the cusp of our mainnet launch.
Our Key Milestones
In the past year, we’ve been actively working towards implementing new features and improving existing ones on the platform. We completed the major building blocks of a sharding blockchain, including launching the Mao Shan Wang public testnet with external miners. We also designed and implemented Scilla, a new secure-by-design smart contract language. Through collaborations and partnerships, we started to onboard a range of interesting and innovative use cases across digital advertising, insurtech, digital content, and gaming.
Prior to inviting public miners, we worked closely with our selected developer pool as they bootstrapped our network, testing features and developing tools to ensure we had a sufficiently robust ecosystem in time for our mainnet launch. Through our participation at events worldwide, we also engaged with our enthusiastic developer community by way of Scilla hackathons and workshops.
Beyond our technology, we have also actively been engaging with industry partners and the wider blockchain ecosystem. We have been working with Mindshare on Project Proton, to demonstrate how Zilliqa’s blockchain protocol can address some of the challenges in programmatic advertising, such as settlements and transparency. We also launched the #BuildonZIL Ecosystem Grant Programme this year to support developers in growing our ecosystem. Previous grants have included wallets, developer and user tools, and we are now seeking applications for scalability (e.g. layer 2 solutions), gaming SDKs, DApps, and Scilla additions.
Our Biggest Challenges and Learnings
Despite having a research prototype and a permissioned platform, building a public sharding blockchain still comes with many technical hurdles to overcome in terms of its scale, security, and efficiency. From this, we’ve come to understand the need to invest in improving the development and quality assurance process, in order to make development operations more efficient.
Growing from a team of ~5 to over 20 has also been a huge challenge in itself, but we’re glad to have grown our developer and business teams over the year. The difficulty lies in finding the most suitable talents, who are willing to work in a nascent industry that’s full of uncertainties, hype, but also tremendous opportunity. We’ve learned that there is a need for more education, training, and motivation to inspire talents to appreciate and contribute to blockchain development.
Another discovery we’ve made is that it can be difficult to write smart contracts for a new blockchain and in a new language, and we have learned that developers need to be armed with more tools, additional documentation, and informative tutorials to build on us.
What’s Next For Zilliqa?
One of our biggest upcoming milestones in 2019 is the launch of our mainnet. A highly-anticipated occasion when we give our supportive community, our partners and the wider industry in general access to what we’ve been building for the past year, and demonstrate how our research can work in real-life.
Real-life being a major keyword for 2019, as our main areas of focus will be in real value-add use cases. We aim to achieve that through supporting developers with great ideas with grants, making strategic investments in promising companies, and accelerating partnerships with enterprises.
Moving forward, we will continue to invest in research, so we can continue to innovate and drive our technology forward, pushing the boundaries of blockchain technology and adoption in the long term.
A Message To Our Community
We want to thank our supporters who have actively participated throughout the bootstrapping, fundraising, and development of the project, and who have stuck with us through our highs and lows. Thank you for your constant support of our vision.
We would also like to extend our gratitude to our developers who have been tirelessly building tools for Zilliqa and writing smart contracts in Scilla, while we work on improving the functionality and user-friendliness of the developer tools.
Moving forward, we look forward to more participation in testnet mining and additional tests on the Zilliqa wallet. You can also help us out in the new year by staying calm during the process of the mainnet launch and token swap — we thank you in advance! Finally, we believe that the true strength behind a blockchain protocol is in its community, and your involvement will be a great help to us in building and growing our ecosystem. There are various ways you can participate, including contributing great DApp ideas, building tools and DApps, mining, and using DApps and games on Zilliqa.
Last but not least, thank you for making 2018 such a memorable one for the Zilliqa team. We’re looking forward to a great 2019.