Thanks to our amazing team and partners for pulling off Zilliqa: Sharding in Action & Security by Design on 23 May 2018. It’s heartening to see what we have accomplished in such a short amount of time with one of the strongest teams and the greatest community in the world of blockchain.
Thank you to everyone in our community who attended the event, watched the live stream, or learned more afterwards. Hopefully we gave everyone a glimpse of how Zilliqa will become an integral part of the future of blockchain applications.
You can find a detailed report on the event here: https://blog.zilliqa.com/zilliqas-first-progress-update-event-partnerships-project-grants-and-the-unveiling-of-scilla-74fd397ca4c6
And the recording of the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Rv1Q5exbE&t=1606s
In the coming weeks we will be releasing more information about Scilla and also embarking on more outreach programs. We will also be releasing more details about our $5M, non-dilutive grant program for projects looking to build on Zilliqa.
As always, to learn more about Zilliqa or to discuss technical aspects of the project, feel free to connect with us through any of our official channels below:
Leading up to our first major update event, we were attending events and speaking around the world. Many of these events were happening concurrently which meant the team split up to cover events in multiple continents.
Blockchain Week NYC
We were in New York for NYC Blockchain Week and attending Consensus where we were honoured to be featured on CNBC CryptoTrader as one of the hottest projects. View the interview with Xinshu here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9akn3051h38#action=share
We also held a meetup with Enigma in NYC where both Xinshu and Guy Zyskind, CEO of Enigma presented and also co-hosted an AMA.
TechInAsia festival incorporated a blockchain stage this year and invited Amrit to present a keynote on blockchain scalability and smart contract security.
Amrit gave the keynote speech at Bloxpo in Stockholm. You can view his entire presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v19gDpq5V6s
Stockholm Zilliqa Meetup organized by Decentralized Camp:
Amrit and Saiba presented on sharding and smart contract security and the use cases and business need for it to an audience that primarily consisted of developers and businesses.
Impetus One Conference
Impetus One, which plans to launch its dApp on Zilliqa platform, invited Amrit to present a talk to its Romanian community about Zilliqa.
Events across Asia
We have been co-organizing and sponsoring a great initiative — the Blockchain Technical Fundamental Reading Group https://blockchain-nus.github.io/ where we study and discuss research papers. Yaoqi spoke at the session on 17 May on scalability.
Yaoqi also spoke about sharding and Zilliqa at the University of Electronic Science and Technology, Chengdu, China.
And also in Vietnam for the Blockchain Festival where he spoke on scaling blockchains, on Zilliqa and on a panel discussing the potential as well as pitfalls of public blockchains.
Scilla Presentation in London
Ilya Sergey, our advisor and Assistant Professor at University College London presented on Scilla — Foundations of Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain at King’s College London.
June 1 — Shenzhen, China
Global Internet Architecture Conference
June 2 — Shenzhen, China
Scaling Blockchains: The Past and Present
Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University
In the past two weeks, our development team has been working on large-scale testing of our testnet and implementation of an interpreter as well as blockchain interfaces for our new smart contract language Scilla.
For those who missed our Scilla demo from May 23, you may watch a Crowdfunding Scilla contract in action here.
We’ve finished implementing the first version of an interpreter to run Scilla contracts. The reference interpreter is being developed in OCaml. The current version supports a subset of the language specification that is sufficiently rich to support some interesting and non-trivial contracts such as Kickstarter and a 2-player commit and reveal game.
We are constantly working on extending the interpreter to support the full language specification. This includes support for user-defined datatypes, possibility to emit events, a type checker among others.
During our meetup last week, we demonstrated the deployment of the Kickstarter contract on our testnet and calling of transitions (similar to functions in Solidity) using Scilla IDE. We also showed how to use the formal verification tool, COQ to prove correctness and safety properties for the contract. Scilla is being developed hand in hand with formal verification tools to provide mathematical guarantees on the safety of a deployed contract.
Interfaces for Scilla
On the backend side, we have implemented various interfaces for our testnet to support the invocation of Scilla interpreter from transactions created by users. To convey and pass data properly, we have implemented input encoding/decoding to be handled by normal nodes.
Each smart contract provides a calling interface so as to allow invocation of transitions with specified inputs and obtain outputs. Execution of a contract with supplied inputs will result in a change in the smart contract state. Note that a transition defined in a smart contract can be called either by issuing a transaction or by another smart contract through message calls. We employ the same interface to call a contract via a transaction from outside and also for contract-to-contract message calls.
Invoking a transition requires several inputs: 1) The transition to be invoked and the corresponding inputs 2) The current blockchain state (such as blocknumber) 3) The current contract state, and 4) The values of the immutable parameters of the contract. We use JSON-formatted data fields to pass these inputs to the interpreter.
We launched large-scale testings for the scalability demo in our meetup. For now, by prefilling a number of dummy transactions, we can achieve a peak throughput of 481 tps with 1 shard, doubling to 2 shards at 995 tps, 4 shards at 1967 tps and 6 shards at 2828 tps, observing linear scaling.
In the past two weeks, we’ve made substantial progress on the way towards a more efficient testnet deployment with kubernetes. We increased the running Kubernetes cluster size to the scale of thousands and reduce its cold launch time to 10 minutes. With the help of Kubernetes, we can simply specify a specific version of Zilliqa’s docker image and get a testnet ready within seconds. With Kubernetes in operation, we are able to focus on delivering new features and improving the stability without being distracted by the chores of cluster maintenance. A summary of other accomplished tasks is listed below:
- Implemented Merkle Trie for storing contract states.
- Tested and finished the first version of the smart contract layer with an interpreter, a Scilla IDE and backend blockchain support.
- Wrote new unit tests for Account and AccountStore with the implementation of smart contract.
- Deployed large scale performance test for new node joining on AWS.
- Implemented docker new node join script.
- Large scale test run up to 6 shards, with a total of 1800 (including DS nodes).
- Updated js-lib for scilla-ide.
We’ve implemented the first version of Scilla IDE that allows end users to deploy smart contracts and invoke transitions on our testnet. Scilla IDE is connected with the backend blockchain infrastructure through several APIs. These APIs for instance allow end users to retrieve the state of a given smart contract and pass it to Scilla IDE. Given a non-contract account, we also support APIs to retrieve all the states of smart contracts created by the account.
We welcome Vaivaswatha Nagaraj to join the team as a compiler engineer! Vaivaswatha has Master of Science degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He has extensive experience working on multiple production compilers, with the latest being LLVM. His focus is on data flow analysis and machine independent optimizations, with a special interest in optimizing loop nests. His interests outside of technology include Indian classical music and trekking the Himalayas.
We are actively interviewing and seeking to bring on high quality members to help Zilliqa achieve its maximum potential. We’re looking for programmers with deep C++ experience, compiler engineers, and associates and executives in business development. Please reach out if you feel you can bring value to the growing Zilliqa ecosystem!
Zilliqa in the News
Forbes published a great article about how Singapore is emerging as a global hub for blockchain innovation because of the strong influence of academics. Zilliqa was featured: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chynes/2018/05/25/how-singapores-academics-are-helping-it-win-the-blockchain-race/#44ed395e2c89
Ran Neu Ner, the host of CNBC Cryptotrader, mentioned Zilliqa on CNBC Fast Money: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1K2pluVwEQ
Xinshu conducted a video interview with CryptoPotato: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ6yRR07noc
Coverage of our announcement of Scilla:
Zilliqa was officially announced as the most profitable ICO available for the public in Q1:
Pre-coverage of our event:
Zilliqa and scalability:
Blockasia’s interview with Xinshu about Singapore as a growing blockchain hub.
Blockasia’s coverage of Scilla and Sharding demonstrations:
Various investors and insiders mention Zilliqa as one projects to watch on CNBC Cryptotrader: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwb275RYbjU