For blockchain platforms, maintaining a stable network is a very demanding task and looking particularly at the blockchain gaming industry this is the reason why game developers still face the main issues of slow transaction times and increases in gas price with their blockchain games. Cryptokitties were the first game game to experience these bottleneck issues on the Ethereum blockchain and just recently Etheremon went through the same thing. However, Etheremon took one step further in finding a solution and decided to try the Zilliqa blockchain to handle some of their in-games transactions. Why was Zilliqa the alternative of choice among other blockchain platforms? We were able to gain a better understanding into this by interviewing Mr.Xinshu Dong.
1) Hello Mr.Xinshu Dong please tell us about your background and what was the main driving force for your team and you to develop Zilliqa?
- My background is in making software systems more secure against attacks. I started to work on making web browsers and applications more secure during my PhD research and then moved on to securing software components that control larger-scale systems, such as smart grid and transportation systems.
- To us, developing Zilliqa is about building a more viable platform for decentralized applications. For that, we try to address two critical challenges facing blockchain today: scalability and security. We want to get these issues sorted and bring more interesting dApps to blockchain.
2) Zilliqa offers to eliminate the primary problems that most other public blockchain platforms have such as low scalability, high transaction costs & security issues. Please tell us in detail how you are able to achieve each of these.
- We use network sharding to achieve 200x or more higher throughput than Ethereum today, which can even grow further as the size of the blockchain network grows. The high level idea is to divide and conquer so as to achieve parallel processing for better performance. Of course, the details are critical here in how to make sure the sharding process remains decentralized and secure.
- Also, within each shard, we use a significantly enhanced version of practical byzantine fault tolerance (PBFT) to achieve immediate finality of the consensus as well as high performance and security.
- In addition, we have designed a new smart contract language Scilla, which provides much stronger security compared to today’s smart contract languages. It has a more secure structure to avoid many security issues and at the same time makes it feasible to write mathematical proofs to show certain properties always hold when the contracts are executed.
3) Has your platform solved the way in achieving the balance between “decentralization” and “performance”? Please explain.
- I wouldn’t assume there’s only one solution to that balance and everyone is going to find *the* solution. Instead, I think Zilliqa has achieved a much finer balance than many of today’s blockchains in that it yields a huge boost in terms of performance while maintaining strong decentralization.
- The essence of it is that we make sure the entire Zilliqa blockchain protocol involves a significantly large number of nodes for each step. For instance, we leverage a special committee comprising of a large number (at least 600) of fairly elected nodes to decide which node goes to which shard. The consensus in one shard also requires hundreds of nodes to approve the transactions to be accepted.
4) We would say that the most popular blockchains that game developers currently use are Ethereum,LOOM and NEO. Comparing to each one how would Zilliqa be more advantageous to use for developing dApp games?
- Zilliqa is quite different from these projects in that it provides on-chain scalability. That means transactions are getting processed hundreds of times faster on the blockchain itself with Zilliqa. When considering the tradeoffs between on-chain and off-chain solutions, Zilliqa will have the advantages in terms of security and transparency while still providing high performance.
- On the other hand, Zilliqa has developed a new secure-by-design smart contract Scilla, which provides high assurance that smart contracts are correct in any defined sense. That can be something very desirable for games that involve valuable virtual items.
5) What benefits can blockchain game developers achieve using Zilliqa’s sharding technology and Scilla language?
- High throughput to support a large volume of in-game transactions, such as trading of virtual items, change of status of players, etc.
- Low gas fee for all game-related transactions on the blockchain
- Secure trading of virtual items against malicious users
6) How is the growth of your dApps ecosystem? Which dApp industry or market do you think will have the fastest development and be the most stable?
- We have started the process of onboarding the first batch of dApps on our testnet for their development. This includes more business oriented dApps, such as the trial project with Mindshare for digital advertising, as well as decentralized games, such as that with the Etheremon team.
- We are at the early stage of this process, but so far we have received very positive response from our community. Through the ecosystem grant programme, we are engaging quite a number of teams building developer tools and dApps. Via direct collaboration, we are also helping several companies develop blockchain-based solutions to better scale up their business use cases.
- I guess it’s still too early to tell which industry will see the fastest or the most stable dApp development as the industry is still nascent.
7) Were you surprised that Etheremon reached out and wanted to use your platform as the alternative choice among other public blockchains? Because of this will you now focus some more attention onto the crypto gaming sector and possibly develop specific Zilliqa tools for game devs?
- We have been looking at the gaming industry for some time and we are very glad to be able to demonstrate how Zilliqa’s high throughput can help dApps facing performance bottlenecks.
8) Is there any upcoming news or surprises with your platform that you can share with us now that will excite all dApp developers?
- We are fully committed to technical development of the platform as well as driving greater adoption of it. We will have new exciting news to share with everyone along these lines in the next 1-2 months.
9) Do you think blockchain is headed to be the “new internet” and how will Ziliqa fit in?
- The booming of blockchain is probably no less important than that of the Internet. We do see a clear role that Zilliqa will play here, in providing a highly scalable platform with very strong security guarantees. Such characteristics may not be required for 100% of dApps, but they will be desirable for many dApps, particularly those that deal with transactions of value. A viable platform to power the next-gen dApps is the objective of the Zilliqa project.
We’d like to thank Mr.Xinshu Dong very much for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with us for this exclusive interview.
To find out more about their blockchain technology, click on any of the links below.
Zilliqa Website: https://zilliqa.com/
Zilliqa Telegram: https://t.me/zilliqachat