2023 was a landmark year for Zilliqa, packed with major announcements, technical achievements, new partnerships, and more.
As we charted our course through the changeable landscape of the blockchain industry, the Zilliqa community and ecosystem proved resilient and capable of building exciting new products and applications regardless of which way the wind was blowing in the wider market.
One of the key missions of the Zilliqa team is to move towards a faster, more flexible network architecture that delivers value and utility across a range of industries. We are cultivating a blockchain and ecosystem of partners that offer scalable and accessible applications while delivering sustainable growth.
From a high-profile strategic alliance with Google Cloud to the rollout of EVM compatibility and launch of new Web3 gaming and loyalty solutions, Zilliqa’s progress in 2023 was a testament to the success of this result-oriented approach to building Web3 solutions.
As we journey into 2024, we aim to continue delivering real products and features to the market while building a faster and more flexible network model that will underpin the Web3 applications of the future.
Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest highlights from the Zilliqa ecosystem in 2023:
Formation of Zilliqa Group
Building innovative new business cases on the Zilliqa blockchain requires a solid and sustainable framework for growth, and that is why we announced the formation of Zilliqa Group in 2023.
This new corporate structure encompasses several exciting ventures launching from incubation, the core Zilliqa blockchain, and the establishment of a services layer for network integration across a range of industries.
The transition to Zilliqa Group allows companies incorporated under its umbrella to offer world-class services that link and build upon technology created by other elements of the new group structure.
An example of companies incorporated under Zilliqa Group is Roll1ng Thund3rz, the Web3 entertainment company ushering in a new era of gaming that uses blockchain technology to enhance the player experience and give gamers true ownership over their digital assets.
Zilliqa Group also relaunched its metaverse venture last year, announcing the launch of MetaMinds - a Metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform provider that leverages spatial web technology to craft immersive metaverse experiences for customers.
Building strong partnerships
Zilliqa’s impressive business achievements were bolstered by the announcements of several major collaborations over the course of 2023.
Chief amongst these was the announcement of Zilliqa Group’s strategic alliance with Google Cloud, which saw the tech giant commit to operating a Staked Seed Node (SSN) on the Zilliqa network. Infrastructure operated by the Zilliqa team was also migrated to Google Cloud to improve resilience and performance across the mainnet.
2023 also saw Zilliqa announce a partnership with GMEX ZERO13 to deliver a consumer-focussed carbon offset platform powered by blockchain technology. This platform will revolutionise the way customers interact with their favourite brands, allowing them to play a more active role in offsetting their carbon footprint.
Another major announcement we made last year was a collaboration with ChainUp to expand Web3 infrastructure offerings and boost the potential of future partnerships across key industries. As part of this agreement, ChainUp also committed to running a Staked Seed Node (SSN) on the Zilliqa network,
These and many more partnerships drove excitement around the businesses and applications building on Zilliqa while bolstering the ecosystem’s ability to deliver growth in new industries, with each collaboration marking an important milestone on Zilliqa’s path to delivering value through Web3 solutions.
EVM compatibility launched on mainnet
2023 saw significant improvements made to the Zilliqa network, one of the most important of which was the introduction of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility to the mainnet.
This allowed Solidity contracts to interact with the Zilliqa network, opening up the ecosystem to a global network of Web3 developers and improving interoperability with major cross-chain platforms.
EVM compatibility continued to be improved throughout the year, with new features such as support for fungible Scilla tokens being added, as well as improvements to developer tools.
As we head into 2024, we are continuing to enhance EVM compatibility on Zilliqa, as interoperability and cross-chain communication remain a key focus for the network infrastructure team going forward.
Laying the foundation for stronger DeFi
An exciting product of EVM compatibility on Zilliqa is the potential for DeFi applications to be quickly and easily deployed to the network.
EVM compatibility unlocks massive potential for DeFi, and we have already seen applications laying the foundations for a growing and healthy DeFi ecosystem on Zilliqa.
Ionise, the first money market protocol built on Zilliqa EVM, launched in November 2023 with support for borrowing and lending ZIL and zUSDT. The platform is an exemplar to other DeFi applications, demonstrating that EVM platforms can be deployed to and operate reliably on the Zilliqa mainnet.
Last year also saw the launch of PlunderSwap on the Zilliqa mainnet, marking the first deployment of an EVM-based decentralised exchange (DEX) on the network.
DeFi opportunities were also expanded by the introduction of liquid staking through Avely Finance, which gives ZIL stakers flexibility by giving them stZIL tokens based on how much ZIL they are staking through the platform.
Zilliqa’s DeFi ecosystem is poised for exceptional growth now that the first building blocks are on the mainnet and developers are equipped with all the tools they need to start deploying EVM applications on the network
The road to Zilliqa 2.0
Over the past year, the Zilliqa infrastructure team made significant progress on the migration of the network to Zilliqa 2.0.
We saw changes to staking rewards to reduce the inflation of ZIL and ensure a more sustainable token economy, as well as the desharding of the network ahead of the rollout of a more efficient sharding architecture with Zilliqa 2.0.
Holders of gZIL will also be happy to hear that various governance improvements were also implemented last year, including the ability to delegate your voting power to a trusted party, ensuring that you are extracting maximum value from your role in the decision making process.
The network changes implemented as part of the roadmap to Zilliqa 2.0 were enacted through proposals on Zilliqa’s decentralised governance system and successfully passed through votes by gZIL holders.
Looking ahead to 2024, there are many more important updates coming to the network as we approach the launch of Zilliqa 2.0. If you are a gZIL holder, keep an eye on the Zilliqa governance portal and have your say on the upcoming improvements to the network.
Powering a new era of Web3 gaming
Roll1ng Thund3rz, the Web3 entertainment company behind the FUS1ON Gaming Hub and the multiplayer first-person shooter WEB3WAR, made truly impressive progress over the course of the last year.
WEB3WAR was greatly enhanced as the development team worked to deliver a truly high-quality gaming experience, and several much-anticipated Web3 features such as NFT skins were implemented into the game and the FUS1ON Gaming Hub.
At the start of 2024, though, WEB3WAR is set for its biggest milestone since release: the launch of its $FPS in-game currency.
Keep an eye on the WEB3WAR website for the latest updates on new releases and features coming this year.
Redefining the fan loyalty experience
Another major highlight from the Zilliqa ecosystem last year was our expansion into the fan loyalty space, where the Zilliqa underpins exciting new loyalty programmes and initiatives across several major brands.
We announced a partnership with Racing League UK to deliver a new loyalty programme called The Winners Circle, aimed at horse racing fans and empowered with the unique utility of blockchain technology. In this new programme, fans will have the opportunity to own shares in their favourite horses, vote on important governance decisions, compete in prediction games to earn physical and digital rewards, and enjoy exclusive discounts on tickets and merchandise.
The Zilliqa network is also powering another fan loyalty programme launched in 2023, The Pride by MAD Lions. This programme rewards fans with digital collectibles through a streamlined interface and underlying infrastructure built on Zilliqa.
Loyalty is a growing industry globally, and Zilliqa has already begun to disrupt traditional fan interactions with new and exciting initiatives that reward fans for their support with tangible rewards and experiences.
Expect to see a lot more from the fan loyalty space as Zilliqa heads into 2024 and beyond.
Exciting updates coming in 2024
2023 was a truly impressive year for the Zilliqa ecosystem, but there are even more exciting announcements coming in 2024!