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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Slack log for Ark token's value proposition discussion 16-07-18

Please find below a log of the discussion we had in slack regarding the ark token's value proposition. Some of the community members who happen to be long term holders of ark feel that the ark token's value proposition isn't clearly communicated by the team so they asked about it. I'm posting the entire discussion it here to make a permanent record since slack wipes messages after a while.
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arigard [7:21 PM]
Hey team, so I'm curious. Is there any update on a new white paper at all that was being mentioned? I've been holding Ark since it hit Bittrex and I personally don't really have a clear idea about how the token is going to work in the overall picture, or what really the direction is for the project once v2 is out. It feels like things have gone a bit flat recently, are there any updates on direction and what the plan is once V2 is live? Is there any idea about when it might go live? Or how the Ark token will fit into the economy (will it be a gas?). I see a lot of other projects i'm invested in coming up with very clear roadmaps/dates and direction about what they want to be and I still personally feel Ark's message is a little confused and hard to read especially for people who are not coders/developers.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:22 PM]
the roadmap is on the site, arkdirectory.com/kits has nice presentations and other goodies
roks0n (deadlock) [7:23 PM]
@Matthew_DC mentioned a couple of days ago that he’s preparing several blog posts which should explain most of these @arigard
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:23 PM]
the Blog also goes into lots of v2 details
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:24 PM]
Hi everyone.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:24 PM]
Ark is Ark, not like Eth with gas, hence no gas.
Hey @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) welcome back
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:24 PM]
Hey rob, hi Rok :slightly_smiling_face:
roks0n (deadlock) [7:25 PM]
Rob, I think he means how everything will be connected with ArkVM etc.
similar conversation as the one few days ago (edited)
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:25 PM]
It's been a while, but I was head on in the project, sorry for not showing more often.
arigard [7:25 PM]
Yeah my main question is really I still don't know what will give the actual Ark token value .
goldenpepe [7:25 PM]
we dont know how the arkvm will work
All we can do is wait
Doubled1c3 (ArkStickers.com) [7:26 PM]
uploaded and commented on this image: bucket.jpg
@Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe)
goldenpepe [7:26 PM]
We can make assumptions but that's all they'll be
roks0n (deadlock) [7:26 PM]
@arigard this was the discussion: https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531422791000216
roks0n (deadlock)
definitely, I’m not blaming anyone :slightly_smiling_face: Was just curious if there were any developments in terms of the updated whitepaper because I was reading one of the threads on reddit from 6 months ago where it was mentioned you’re looking to hire someone write it up.
Posted in #generalJul 12th
arigard [7:26 PM]
And I kind of feel this is such a big elephant in the room for people in the long run.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:26 PM]
click on the link and read from that post on (edited)
arigard [7:26 PM]
ok
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:27 PM]
I saw that there has been some drawbacks with the V2 ?
(Not sure if it's exact, I only came a few times and seemed to understand it was so)
goldenpepe [7:28 PM]
There are just some incompatibilities between v1 and v2 in devnet
which is why devnet is currently down
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:28 PM]
ArkVM may be unnecessary as more modern approaches to handling contracts are available, one of the main issue is having them be distributed just like the tokens.
goldenpepe [7:28 PM]
There's a community run v2-only devnet though #devnet_unofficial
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:28 PM]
it's more like drawback with v1
arigard [7:30 PM]
I mean I've seen a lot of stuff in that discussion discussed over the past year and there still seems to be no concrete answers coming out and that is a bit of worry to me personally. It makes it look like the team doesn't even know. I think most that know of Ark understand it wants to create an easy way to deploy blockchains and work as a platform and have some inoperability options. But the fundamentals of how that work right now seems to be up in the air. In other projects I know what gives those tokens value, but in Ark I don't, so it's hard for me as an investor to really sell to someone else the benefits of the token when there is a big question mark still on it.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:33 PM]
do you know that Ark Deployer has been available for quite some time?
arigard [7:34 PM]
Yes, that doesn't really answer any questions though.
mak [7:34 PM]
Ark deployer helps the main chain's business case somehow?
arigard [7:35 PM]
What gives Ark token actual value? Like what is the reason people need to buy and hold the Ark token? That is my question.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:36 PM]
@mak what you're saying is kinda like answering you can use a hammer when asked what a nail do.
arigard [7:36 PM]
You don't need to buy the Ark token to deploy a chain. You can just do it.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:36 PM]
I mean, the Ark Deployer doesn't answer what's the Ark.
mak [7:36 PM]
@Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) my point was directed towards rob's comment. I think you misunderstood it.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:37 PM]
@mak My bad then. I apologize.
Blockhunter [7:38 PM]
:boogieark9:
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:38 PM]
" I think most that know of Ark understand it wants to create an easy way to deploy blockchains and work as a platform and have some inoperability options. But the fundamentals of how that work right now seems to be up in the air."
This is why I wrote that.. there is no mystery of how that works. You are mistaken or uninformed.
arkenstone [7:38 PM]
That's the problem here because team is programming orientated but there hasn't been alot done on business aspect of the token and marketing investor point big view
mak [7:38 PM]
That only explains the value of the ark codebase not the blockchain though
arigard [7:38 PM]
I think you seem to be trying to turn the argument in a seperate direction.
It's a simple question.
What gives the Ark token value.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:39 PM]
The market does. It's on 19 different exchanges.
arigard [7:39 PM]
Seems like you are being unhelpfully obtuse. I'll rephrase.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:39 PM]
so one thing that is clear to me is interoperability using ACES, where ARK is used as a “middleman” between two different chains, so if there’s high volume between those chains, it means the volume of ark increases as well .. what I’d like to know is how things will work with arkvm and how it will all work with sidechains (on eth, all the side chains will basically link back to the main chain which will be the one responsible for security afaik?)
arigard [7:39 PM]
What gives the Ark token value in the Ark ecosystem.
Blockhunter [7:40 PM]
Vote for Pedro he will make all your dreams come true
arigard [7:40 PM]
Eth is a gas, Waves is a gas. Ark is... what?
mak [7:40 PM]
ACES can work with any chains though. Doesn't have to be ark main chain. So I guess tomorrow persona can become the settlement layer for the Ark ecosystem and there's no incentive to stop it from happening.
arigard [7:40 PM]
^
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
Mak, correct but if there are already lots of chains connected between ARK, it will be more appealing to link it through ARK directly
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:41 PM]
As I understand it, ACES could be using any given blockchain as the middle man...
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
it doesn’t mean that it can’t be copied tho
arigard [7:41 PM]
But there are no chains connected through Ark atm
That have any real value anyway
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
eth and btc are
arigard [7:41 PM]
And they can be connected through any Ark clone.
bangomatic [7:41 PM]
I'd love to hear the Ark team chime in on this discussion
arigard [7:42 PM]
So anyone can come along and make another chain that can instantly overtake Ark at this present time if there isn't a failsafe reason for Ark to be the defacto currency.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:42 PM]
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422 you can't keep saying things like this as if they are true.
arigard
That have any real value anyway
Posted in #generalToday at 7:41 PM
Blockhunter [7:42 PM]
Interoperability to the moon
mak [7:42 PM]
"it will be more appealing to link it through ARK directly"
Currently Ark is the only mature chain because it's been around longer but the moment persona or some other bridge chain gets listed on an exchange that dynamic is no longer there. So why would you prefer Ark over persona when that happens. That's the question as far as I understand it. (edited)
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:43 PM]
Persona has other goals, not duplicating Ark goals
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:43 PM]
@bangomatic Hi!
arigard [7:43 PM]
What current sidechain of Ark has real value/position in the crypto market? Persona?
bangomatic [7:43 PM]
hey @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe)!
mak [7:43 PM]
The blockchain as a transaction medium doesn't care about secondary goals.
It still has all the capabilities that Ark has.
Colby [7:43 PM]
What has value right now? :thinking_face:
rob [ Ark Labs ]
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422 you can't keep saying things like this as if they are true.
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422
Posted in #generalToday at 7:42 PM
arigard [7:43 PM]
Ark's ecosystem at present is not big enough to be a reason not to just take the tech and start your own.
To think otherwise is ludicrous.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:44 PM]
that's a fine opinion
Jarunik [7:44 PM]
it is harder than you think :slightly_smiling_face:
arigard [7:44 PM]
We aren't Eth with multi $100mn + start ups and even if we were, what's currently to stop one of those just overtaking Ark and leaving it behind?
Jarunik [7:45 PM]
i hope some ark clones get really sucessful to be honest :slightly_smiling_face:
Colby [7:45 PM]
Same here!
Jarunik
i hope some ark clones get really sucessful to be honest :slightly_smiling_face:
Posted in #generalToday at 7:45 PM
Blockhunter [7:45 PM]
HODL ROCKET TECHNOLOGY
mak [7:45 PM]
Same here but then there's no reason to hold Ark over something else
arigard [7:45 PM]
i hope so too if there is some reason for Ark to always be there at the top considering it's the Ark platform.
Colby [7:45 PM]
But the thing is that I am wondering, if ark clones get successful, what benefits does it give back to ark
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:45 PM]
@Jarunik to create an ecosystem?
mak [7:45 PM]
Right now we have to consider Ark's value not the other bridge chains
arigard [7:45 PM]
But if there isn't a reason for Ark to exist at the top, why are we all holding it?
Colby [7:45 PM]
Haha I think we are all thinking the same :slightly_smiling_face:
arigard [7:45 PM]
It's a terrible business plan
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:46 PM]
the point of BridgeChains is to allow new projects with no access the market a path to them through Ark, and hence gain value.
Other blockchains connections are through ACES, such as BTC, LTC, ETH, and more coming..
Persona has a way to trade Ark <> Prs
arigard [7:47 PM]
What is to stop them from getting their own exchanges in the future and just using Ark as a stepping stone to becoming their own platform operator?
mak [7:47 PM]
Sure rob, but there's now 10 different projects doing the same and they are faster in development than the ark team is
arigard [7:47 PM]
^
Blockhunter [7:47 PM]
Ark is the Yoda of blockchain and they need a better catchphrase. Better than ark gives no dates or point click blockchain
arigard [7:48 PM]
This attitude seems horribly naive if this is the value proposition.
mak [7:48 PM]
All of us believe in the vision that Ark brought us but I personally am not sure if Ark is the best option to execute that vision in time
arigard [7:48 PM]
The issue is, we don't know what the value proposition is.
mak [7:48 PM]
Other projects seem much faster
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:48 PM]
if you are into speculation, which it seems you are, then on paper all of your projects with no code are better and have more value than Ark
arigard [7:48 PM]
That's not true at all. lol.
Matthew_DC [7:49 PM]
At the most base level, ARK is a common currency token that is essentially automatically compatible with every bridge chain that is built based on ARK and is optimized for transaction volume and throughput to avoid bloat of other mechanisms introduced by the other chains. That is at the most basic level. By holding the ARK token itself, you will be able to enact the functions of multiple bridged chains both issued by our team and others. You will also be able to utilize the ARK chain as a pegged token to many bridged chains but that process will be transparent to users as it will be done behind the scenes without the user needing to do any functions. To think that someone will fork the code and generate a more effective ARK main chain means you have no confidence in the ARK team as the primary developer of the technology itself. In this case, if we are not and someone pushes a better version of the network, then I would argue maybe they SHOULD be chosen. That is the point of a free and open market. Not to mention the potential for registering and providing snapshot hashes to the main ARK blockchain to provide added security measures to a bridge chain with lower security due to lower market share etc, those are just baseline reasons.
As I mentioned the other day, at face value, consider this. What brings value to Litecoin or Bitcoin or Doge? In essence, ARK is a more effective currency and base network than all of these aforementioned networks with all of the added benefits being added for additional use cases.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:50 PM]
will ark based chains be bridged via arkvm?
goldenpepe [7:50 PM]
They cant be
You'd need the VM on both sides
Matthew_DC [7:50 PM]
I am currently on a conference call and have a lot going on so I can't respond too much.
goldenpepe [7:50 PM]
You can use AIP11's new tx types to do a sort of escrow between chains though i think
mak [7:50 PM]
@Matthew_DC Are you saying that the bridgechains deployed by ark-deployer don't have the same features?
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:50 PM]
ArkVM is not for bridging chains
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
It can be
Coinme [7:51 PM]
And ICO's that will join Ark in the future will use it for buying their token.
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
But both chains will need to be running the VM
Matthew_DC [7:51 PM]
The ARK main chain will have specific methods of allowing token transfer and utilization between chains to include quasi-centralized methods through aces, decentralized aces based intermediary networks, Time locked transfers, among custom built smart contract like logic built into the core technology itself that doesn't make the network susceptible to the bloat and mis-utilization an vulnerabilities of full VM use.
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
(which the main ark chain wont be)
mak [7:51 PM]
"ICO's that will join Ark in the future will use it for buying their token"
Or any other bridgechain that's listed on exchanges
@Matthew_DC So will all of the bridgechains, no? I could start an ACES node today for persona and it will have no difference from what you describe.
Matthew_DC [7:52 PM]
@mak no, we promised ARK would be open source and everything we build for the core ARK blockchain will be open source.
arigard [7:53 PM]
You can be open source and still protect your value..
Matthew_DC [7:54 PM]
The point of ARK from day 1 has been to create a better base layer blockchain technology and protocol for everyone everywhere to be able to use to create anything they can dream up.
The ARK token is a core payment layer for the ecosystem including any applications we build ourselves, sponsor, partner with, or support.
mak [7:54 PM]
It seems like the team's vision for Ark is as a software product only and there's no business plan for the main chain. Which is fine but it's not explained as such. (edited)
Blockhunter [7:55 PM]
Great to see such active discussions
goldenpepe [7:55 PM]
I think what Matt is trying to portray is this:
A single universal Ark Ecosystem wallet holding ARK that has a nice UI with a list of dapps in the ecosystem
You select a dapp
You send a tx from the wallet using Ark
----------------Everything below this line is transparent to the user-----------------
The Ark transaction has instructions in the smartbridge field
The Ark gets converted to dappCoin via an intermediary like ACES (trustful) or a trustless escrow smart contract
The intermediary received Ark and uses the dappCoin on the dapp chain to do whatever it is the user wanted to do using the instructions in the smartbridge field
The dappchain responds to the request to the intermediary
Intermediary sends an Ark tx with the results of the dapp computation/action in the smartbridge field
---------------Everything above this line is transparent to the user-------------------
After 8+ seconds, user's wallet shows them the result of their interaction with the dapp bridgechain
That's where the value of Ark will come from
The Ark coin will be a universal "omni-coin"
Matthew_DC [7:56 PM]
:this: This
goldenpepe [7:56 PM]
That will instantly shapeshift into bridgechain coins to interact with the bridgechain dapp
mak [7:58 PM]
I understand what your point is and I agree it will work but only as long as none of the bridge chains are on an exchange
when for example persona gets listed on binance the scenario changes
and now either chain can become the backbone of the ark ecosystem
arigard [7:58 PM]
Yes. We see that. But hypothetically what is to stop a bridged Ark chain from becoming bigger than Ark and then going on to become that gateway? At this point it just seems to be hopium that the Ark network will always be the one people look to. But in one year, or two, or five, it might not be the case. What is to stop Ark being just sidelined if another team come along with develop on what Ark has built and propel it forward and take the mantle?
goldenpepe [7:58 PM]
What you say will be a problem only if the utility of the dapp coin is greater than the utility of the ark omnicoin
Would you rather hold a coin that can do one thing and is forever tied to a single chain
arigard [7:59 PM]
But in other crypto's an app becoming sucessfull is a benefit. In Ark's network it could be a negative.
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
Or would you rather hold a coin that can interact with that single chain and 3232523432 others
arigard [7:59 PM]
But why can't another coin become an omnicoin?
If there are no limitations against it
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
Why can't another coin become ethereum?
mak [7:59 PM]
"What you say will be a problem only if the utility of the dapp coin is greater than the utility of the ark omnicoin"
Or if it gives out better staking returns etc like persona because of higher inflation rate
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
if there are no limitations against it
You can literally go on AWS right now and deploy an ethereum clone chain
arigard [7:59 PM]
It can, but an ETH token can't oust ETH
That's the difference. We are giving people an easy route here.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:59 PM]
do you often think your children should not surpass you? Or is that the hope?
Matthew_DC [8:00 PM]
Well it's about security, trust, potential vulnerabilities due to added functionality, the ability of the bridgechain team to create interactions and focus on use cases for their token outside of their core use, etc.
But that's the point of open and free markets
goldenpepe [8:00 PM]
There is a solution to your concern @arigard
Matthew_DC [8:00 PM]
What is to stop someone from being better than Bitcoin?
arigard [8:01 PM]
I think all these strawman arguments are fun, but they still aren't adressing the issuel
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
Instead of having Ark Deployer literally cloning the ark codebase, have it be a turnkey solution to run a layer 2 chain
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
You could go fork Ethereum right now and have an exact copy of the capability of the main Eth chain.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
bridgechain dapps can be "colored coins"
that are forever tied to the main chain
arigard [8:01 PM]
Yeah but you wouldn't have those businesses on the chain.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
but that would introduce bloat
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
So you are saying the utility of Ethereum is adoption.
arigard [8:01 PM]
And those businesses won't have the potential to become the main ETH.
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
Which is the case for the value of any token.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
@arigard It sounds like you want ark to become Ethereum Plasma
arigard [8:02 PM]
I just want an answer.
Matthew_DC [8:02 PM]
How many companies are pulling their ERC20 tokens off of Ethereum because of the issues?
Colby [8:02 PM]
Yeah but correct me if im wrong
goldenpepe [8:02 PM]
There is no answer that will satisfy what you are asking
arigard [8:02 PM]
And i keep getting strawmanned.
Colby [8:02 PM]
Ethereum projects NEED eth for gas
Matthew_DC [8:02 PM]
We talk to people almost every day that are looking to leave Ethereum.
Colby [8:02 PM]
Ark is needed for?
arigard [8:02 PM]
^
Colby [8:02 PM]
This is all I am wondering, where does the ark coin fit into it
I love the idea
goldenpepe [8:02 PM]
@arigard You want ark-based coins to rely on Ark
The team wants the Ark chain to not be bloated
The solution to this is unironically ethereum plasma and sharding
Colby [8:02 PM]
but have been waiting for a while to know how the Ark coin will actually be used
goldenpepe [8:03 PM]
Shards in ethereum are basically "bridgechains"
arigard [8:03 PM]
Ok, and those teams might be big enough and clued up enough to eventually knock Ark from being the de facto omni coin. That's the worry.
If this is in fact the possibility.
Then it should be clear.
mak [8:03 PM]
"You could go fork Ethereum right now and have an exact copy of the capability of the main Eth chain."
@Matthew_DC Ethereum has value because all the dapps live on it which is not true for ark
arigard [8:03 PM]
Because as an investor it worries me, a lot.
I don't know where the value of Ark as an investment is 100% right now.
Jarunik [8:03 PM]
Ark is basically the inverse approach to Ethereum. Eth goes for big one-fits all first and tries to shard ... Ark is creating shards and then combines them
goldenpepe [8:03 PM]
There is no solution to what @arigard and @mak are saying right now
Literally no existing solution
Only proposals like sharding
arigard [8:04 PM]
And all this noise about defensiveness doesn't help. These are legit concerns.
Matthew_DC [8:04 PM]
When was it not clear that if a company comes along and builds a better more used product it could potentially take over market share?
That's how all free markets work.
You can't believe in open source and build and open source product without that risk.
arigard [8:04 PM]
But that isn't the same thing. Ark is literally building THE tools for people to then do that.
mak [8:04 PM]
@Matthew_DC Just to clarify I appreciate the work you guys are doing but I want to make an informed investment decision about holding the ark token
arigard [8:04 PM]
As a platform.
Jarunik [8:04 PM]
yes ... that is the idea how to grow
arigard [8:04 PM]
if you cloned Bitcoin back in the day you were a seperate currency.
Jarunik [8:04 PM]
provide good tools for others to create chains
arigard [8:04 PM]
This is a platform, its totally different.
And what we are discuswsing here is who runs that platform.
Matthew_DC [8:05 PM]
If someone launched an Ethereum chain right now and gained adoption there is a huge potential that all tokens decide to move their ERC20 tokens to the new chain and it becomes the new Ethereum and you have in essence lost all value because Ethereum is not capable of being used on the bridge chain as a currency.
ARK maintains it's value if for no other reason than the pegged value to any chain we personally create to include VM chain, token issuance chain, etc.
arigard [8:05 PM]
If it's built by Ark, does Ark always retain control? if not, why? What happens if Ark ends up building tools for a subsidary project that propels itself above them. Investors will just move to that coin.
Matthew_DC [8:05 PM]
Because it's an open decentralized system.
The problem is people don't actually believe in decentralization if it possibly harms their potential for monetary gain.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [8:06 PM]
we hope bridgechains get popular because that also means more for Ark in many ways.
arigard [8:06 PM]
You can be decentralized without being 100% altruistic. It's not mutually exclusive.
mak [8:06 PM]
@goldenpepe Since you guys claim that there's no solution for this how about I present one which @Matthew_DC can decide if it's useful or not. Make delegate voting for the ArkVM happen on the main chain. So anyone who wants to become a delegate for the VM needs to hold money on the main chain.
arigard [8:07 PM]
It just seems people are being dogmatic about this.
And if this isn't about investment. Why have an ICO?
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
Ethereum being the core chain for all ERC20 token based businesses centralizes the industry in a massive way. Not only is Ethereum itself centralized in the way it's mining structure was developed, but it also is centralized in that if the Ethereum network is compromised, thousands of companies assets and business are now compromised.
We don't believe that is the future.
mak [8:07 PM]
I'm not saying that this should be done for all sidechains. Just for the VM and it will be a special case.
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
We believe in a different business model.
That has been at the core of every description and explanation I have given from day 1.
arigard [8:07 PM]
Ok and that's fine, but my point is this should be made very clear if it's the case.
From the team officially.
goldenpepe [8:07 PM]
@mak now you're strawmanning me
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
Where is it not clear?
goldenpepe [8:08 PM]
I was addressing the fact that the idea that bridgechains shouldnt be independent and should be tied to Ark being in conflict with the Ark team's idea that the main chain should not be bloated with dapps
The only plausible solution to that right now
is Ethereum Plasma
Sharding
yokoama (thefoundry Delegate) [8:09 PM]
Sharting
mak [8:09 PM]
"We believe in a different business model."
I respect that. But it changes the ark's value proposition to just being a source of funding to the ark team and a means of speculation.
goldenpepe [8:09 PM]
Shards in ethereum are like bridgechains but the coins are all erc20s that rely on ethereum
Matthew_DC [8:09 PM]
People said ARK's DPoS mechanism would be a failure when we changed the voting structure because they said it wouldn't be secure enough. It has turned out to be massively secure compared to the centralized cartel run solutions of other DPoS chains. This is another fundamental issue where we believe we have a model that will work and will create value and thousands of use cases for the ARK token in a seamless way for the average user.
goldenpepe [8:09 PM]
and the shard blocks dont interfere or bloat up the "main" eth chain
mak [8:09 PM]
@goldenpepe I'm not suggesting deploying dapps on main chain. Just that the voting should take place there so there is always incentive to keep money on the main chain.
Matthew_DC [8:10 PM]
At no point did we say ARK was gas and have constantly made sure to outline the differences between ARK and Ethereum.
I believe the Eth model is flawed.
goldenpepe [8:11 PM]
The current ethereum model is flawed
If sharding works then it's going to solve a lot of its issues
(i dont hold any ethereum btw)
arigard [8:12 PM]
At no point have we actually had an updated white paper discussing this question in detail, clearly. It's not on the website and if it is it's buried somewhere in a blog post. The fact these discussions keep cropping up is proof of this.
nukacolaplease [8:12 PM]
I think we don't understand clearly what makes Ark important after the launch of the sidechains, Ark will be only an "exchange token"? The sidechain doesn't need Ark for operating
goldenpepe [8:12 PM]
+1 on needing a new whitepaper
Matthew_DC [8:12 PM]
replied to a thread:
This is a means of centralization of the network. Instead, by utilizing a form of pegged bridge chains, we can maintain a similar effect without creating centralization and reliance on 1 chain for others to properly function.
arkenstone [8:12 PM]
I think these things should be clearly written in a new WB and officially made public and promoted
goldenpepe [8:12 PM]
A new whitepaper would clear up so much FUD
pieface [8:13 PM]
Yeah I think a new WP is needed for sure
arigard [8:13 PM]
So don't start going "Oh everybody knows this, it's clear" Show me where on the front page of the website it tells you how the token mechanics will work in the ecosystem? It's not good it being on some powerpoint on a google drive, or hidden in comments in the slack.
mak [8:13 PM]
I though there wasn't going to be a new whitepaper.
arigard [8:13 PM]
It needs to be clear to investors how it works, exactly.
goldenpepe [8:13 PM]
I agree with arigard here
I only know what I know because I live on slack
Matthew_DC [8:13 PM]
The solutions are still in development and there are always opportunities to continue to adapt the model, that's why I have these conversations and ask for feedback regularly, but the core fundamental belief of how open and free decentralized markets should work most likely won't change.
arkenstone [8:13 PM]
Same here
goldenpepe [8:14 PM]
The vast majority of ark holders have no idea
they just bought bc of the cool red triangle
arigard [8:14 PM]
Stop playing cute, this is people's money you are asking for. So at least give them the benefit of being honest that there is no inherent business model reason why Ark will be necessary in the future.
And let them make their decisions.
roks0n (deadlock) [8:14 PM]
I agree, it took me months of following discussion on slack and digging around reddit to get information
arigard [8:14 PM]
With proper information.
mak [8:14 PM]
replied to a thread:
It's centralizing value onto one chain but doesn't bottleneck the ecosystem so I don't see anything being wrong with that.
Matthew_DC [8:15 PM]
replied to a thread:
I'm not arguing with you and I made a clear post here within the last 2 days that our website messaging is shit and needs completely redone.
If the ARK network is compromised or the consensus mechanism of the ARK main net is compromised then all subsequent networks reliant on that consensus would be compromised as well.
mad4thrash [8:15 PM]
In my opinion Ark's value come from (in the future) the fact that by holding one coin I can interact with every bridgechain plus any ACES services
Matthew_DC [8:16 PM]
So what I am saying is that we have to be cautious of these kinds of decisions and ensure that we aren't inadvertently creating attack vectors to take down partners, businesses, and other industries using the technology.
I'm sorry guys, I have to go, but I would love to continue this conversation on Reddit or here at a later time.
mak [8:16 PM]
"all subsequent networks reliant on that consensus would be compromised as well"
^ Correction: only the VM chain will be compromised since I'm not advocating that all bridgechains should vote on the main chain.
Matthew_DC [8:19 PM]
In an isolated case, if we can map it out and vet the concept, I'm more than happy to hear it out and have the conversation.
Solowatch [8:19 PM]
So I think we can all agree an updated Whitepaper is due
Matthew_DC [8:20 PM]
This is a community project and we are shaping pieces of it together as we continue to build. We have already made changes based on community feedback on many occasions.
So I would love to see someone post a proposal to reddit or even as an AIP at some point that we could discuss.
Jarunik [8:20 PM]
If you write a white paper it will be outdated soon :smile:
Solowatch [8:21 PM]
Well a V2 whitepaper shouldn’t be outdated soon
I don’t care about a V1 or V1.5 whitepaper lol
I want a whitepaper for V2 that’s clearly explaining all these concerns that the community has
arkenstone [8:22 PM]
:this:
Solowatch [8:23 PM]
I wrote a few questions down that I’ll post in here later today that @rob [ Ark Labs ] asked for. Please add to it if I missed anything once I do.
arkenstone [8:23 PM]
And I think now it's the time do it. Present it with full package on mainet launch.. (edited)
Solowatch [8:23 PM]
Or PM and I’ll add them before posting
mak [8:25 PM]
Anyways thanks for listening and responding @Matthew_DC. Some of us have been trying to discuss this with the ark team but didn't get much feedback until today.
arigard [8:25 PM]
Yeah +1
arkenstone [8:28 PM]
Alot of early investors are getting worried
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Rushing To Buy Bitcoin, Binance Vs Ethereum, Libra Kitties, Bitcoin DeFi & BTC Oil Company

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