Zilliqa Project Update #6 — Testnet Developments, Events in Asia

Greetings everyone. Two weeks ago we released the Zilliqa Testnet, the first public blockchain to use the technology of sharding to solve the scalability problem, and since then we’ve been making improvements on the stability of the system.

We’ve also distributed testnet ZILs for the Zilliqa Wallet, which allows you to send and receive test ZILs on our network. Currently, as we continue to strengthen the system, we’re asking our community members to apply with their Zilliqa testnet wallet addresses to receive test ZILs.

As most of our community knows, Zilliqa solves the scalability problem plaguing blockchain platforms and will enable a completely new class of decentralized application to be built. In addition, as we have begun to iterate, Zilliqa will also solve an arguably more important issue: security.

Our team, alongside blockchain researchers at some of the world’s top universities, has been working on the language specification of Scilla, a new smart contract language that will solve many of the security issues with existing smart contract applications. Scilla will be developer friendly and will allow anyone to build smart contract applications easily and securely. There will be a compiler that allows Solidity-built applications to easily move to Scilla.

We will be releasing a separate article about the roadmap of Scilla shortly.

As always, to learn more about Zilliqa or to discuss technical aspects of our project, feel free to connect with us through any of our official channels below:

Tegram: https://t.me/zilliqachat

Slack: https://invite.zilliqa.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zilliqa

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/zilliqa/

Github: https://github.com/Zilliqa/zilliqa

Gitter: https://gitter.im/Zilliqa/

Community Updates

Over the past two weeks we have been to South Korea, China and Japan meeting with corporations, presenting at academic institutions, and holding meetups.

We participated in 2 meetups in South Korea, including Blockchain Asia with other leading blockchain projects.

Xinshu speaking at Blockchain Asia

LINE, a popular messaging application in Asia, has recently announced their exciting plans in the blockchain space. We visited LINE in Korea and couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a photo with Brown.

No trip in Korea is complete without a picture with Brown, the mascot of LINE.

Yaoqi was in Beijing speaking at top academic institutions such as Peking University and Tsinghua University.

Yaoqi at Tsinghua University
Yaoqi at the China Software Developer Network (CSDN) meetup

Amrit and En Hui were in Tokyo meeting with corporations and also spoke at the BlockchainTokyo meetup. A big thank you to the event organiser Gunosy and the host for this time DMM.

Amrit and En Hui presenting Zilliqa to a packed crowd of developers in Tokyo

Infographic Contest Update

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our infographic contest; there were many amazing submissions. We have announced the 15 finalists for the contest here and will be awarding more entrants with special mention awards due to the large number of outstanding entries.

Stay tuned.

Upcoming Events

AMA with Bluzelle CEO Pavel Bains

We are hosting Bluzelle CEO Pavel Bains on our Telegram Channel today Monday 16 Apr SGT 8pm (UTC +8) to discuss the Zilliqa-Bluzelle partnership. Please join us at t.me/zilliqachat. We recommend you to submit your questions beforehand through the following form.

Ginco Launch event 25 Apr 2018

We will be speaking at the Ginco wallet launch event in Tokyo, which is one of the earliest wallet apps that supports the Zilliqa token. You can sign up for the event here.

Meetup in Singapore on 23 May 2018

We will be holding a meetup on our homeground in Singapore on 23 May 2018 6.45pm at The Bridge. We will be sharing more on our progress, mentioning partners that are coming onboard and a preview of our new smart contract language, Scilla, that enables unprecedented security levels for smart contracts. To register for the event, please sign up here.

Hiring Update

Please join us in welcoming our new core developer Clark Yang.

Clark Yang, Core Developer

Clark has over 10 years of experience in software development, with a focus on cryptographic engineering and multi-threaded embedded systems. During his former role at MediaTek (a semiconductor company), he has built solutions for large-scale commercial software in cooperation with Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Clark also has experience in Digital Rights Management (DRM) development on Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), with focus on ARMv7/ARMv8 OP-TEE platforms. He successfully enhanced the performance of cryptographic primitives (by X10) in video streaming via HLS/RTP/RTSP, adopting symmetric/asymmetric cryptographic algorithms using OpenSSL 1.0.2g and Public Key Accelerators on DRM software.

He also developed the first Internet of Things (IoT) software (common interface on PCMCIA) in the world, which has been widely-adopted in 30,000,000+ televisions across 100+ countries. During the last couple of years, Clark acquired experience in Agile software development, test-driven development (TDD), continuous integration (CI), software-automation, and test-strategy development, with leading a team of 8 software engineers in developing 7 full stack auto-test software on various platforms.

Prior to joining the industry, Clark graduated from National Chiao Tung University with a bachelor and master’s degree in Computer Science. The experience of Clark will tremendously help the development of Zilliqa.

Join Zilliqa!

We are actively interviewing and looking to bring on high quality members to help Zilliqa achieve its maximum potential. We’re actively looking for programmers with deep C++ experience, compiler engineers, and associates and executives in business development. Please reach out at [email protected] if you feel you can bring value to the growing Zilliqa ecosystem!

Technical Updates

We launched our testnet V1.0 with 1,000 running nodes two weeks ago. Since the release of our testnet, our development team has been working on improving the stability while deploying several new features.

Main Protocol

We’ve optimized the logic of new nodes joining our network and recovery of existing nodes. Due to various reasons such as regional network congestion or power outages, existing nodes in the network may be out of sync, e.g., missing blocks or transactions. We are now able to allow these lagging nodes to contact the lookup nodes to fetch the latest state of accounts, to sync up with the network and participate in the next DS epoch.

We’ve improved this recovery logic with regard to timing (when to sync with lookup nodes) and also more efficient data transmission to achieve a higher success rate for lagging nodes. In the meantime, we have also been working on implementing the recovery mechanism for DS/lookup nodes to further enhance the stability of the system.

Lastly, we have implemented multiple checks for the validation of transactions from wallets. We added the genesis block to generate valid tokens in the testnet and we have distributed the first round of test tokens. To try out our testnet and participate in the next round, please fill out the form here.

A summary of the tasks accomplished on the main protocol is listed below:

  • Redesigned and implemented the logic for new nodes joining
  • Implemented recovery feature for shard members by rejoining the network as new nodes
  • Designed mechanism for rejoining as a DS backup node
  • Designed mechanism for rejoining as a lookup node
  • Stability improvements

Wallet and Block Explorer:

For the past two weeks, we have been continuously optimizing our wallet and explorer. To provide a better user experience of key generation, we improved our algorithm and reduced JSON keyfile generation time from 10s to 2–3s.

To cater to desktop and mobile users, we have completed a proof of concept (PoC) for both desktop and mobile versions of our wallet/explorer, which will be released in the next phase.

For the next few weeks, we’ll keep improving on various features of our wallet/explorer. We also welcome other wallets or platforms to integrate our wallet.

A summary of other improvements is below:

  • Added JavaScript error analytics
  • Enabled support for large integers in the wallet
  • Added icons for the page on explorer details
  • Increased recent transactions to latest 100 on explorer homepage

Zilliqa in the Press