Blockchain technology is currently hindered by a major roadblock: scalability. Current blockchain platforms are not able to scale as more computers join.
That’s where Zilliqa comes in, as the Singapore-based fintech releases its public testnet results.
The firm’s aim is to provide a platform to run highly scalable computations in a multitude of fields such as data mining, machine learning and financial modeling.
This platform is based on the technology of sharding, which has been proposed by many projects, including Ethereum, as a solution to the issues of scalability of blockchain platforms. It’s a framework in which different components that make up the network and its functions are divided into smaller consensus groups known as shards.
This enables transactions, and smart contracts to be confirmed in parallel, without the risk of double-spending.
Today, Zilliqa has announced the first live, working blockchain that is built around the technology of sharding, which could potentially solve the scalability issues of public blockchain platforms.
It also marks a technological milestone as the first ever implementation of sharding used in a public, permissionless blockchain, opening the possibility of transaction rates that could match VISA, the largest payment processor in the world.
Initially, the platform has been launched in a ‘scaled down’ state using less than 1,000 nodes that are actually Amazon AWS Virtual Computers Instances. During stress testing the testnet showed speeds of up to 2,000 transactions per second.
In private internal tests in November 2017, the Zilliqa team saw speeds of 2,488 transactions per second using 3,600 Amazon EC2 instances to serve as nodes.
Notably, as the number of nodes on the network increased, the number of transactions per second also increased, showing an almost linear scalability of the system as it gets larger and more computers join the network.
For perspective, once scaled up to a similar number of participating computers, Zilliqa’s high throughput blockchain will perform up to 1,000 times faster than Ethereum.
Xinshu Dong, CEO of Zilliqa, said in a statement: “It is incredibly challenging to create a high transaction rate blockchain while maintaining the security and decentralization of the system, but we feel we have made a breakthrough with what we have achieved.”
He added: “The team behind Zilliqa is made up of some of the brightest minds in blockchain, business, and finance, and what we have built is extraordinary, but it is just a small step compared with the potential our technology has.”
In addition, the company has announced the creation of a new, more secure, intermediate smart contract language called Scilla that will be used to run applications on Zilliqa and other blockchains and will help ensure the security of the system.