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Zilliqa (ZIL)

High-throughput smart contract processing platform

KEY METRICS [as at 15 May 2019]
Price$0.0188 (236 sats)
24H Mkt. Cap ($MM)$144.76 MM
30 Day Avg. Mkt. Cap ($MM)$163.50 MM
24H Volume ($MM)$25.03 MM
30 Day Avg. Volume ($MM)$14.33 MM
Circ. Supply8,687,360,058 ZIL (41.37%)
Total Supply20,999,982,720 ZIL
All-time High USD$0.18 (10 May 18)
All-time High BTC2,039 sats (10 May 18)
Project Website


  • Raised ~$18.3MM (43,942 ETH) via private token sales in December 2017
  • Launched mainnet on 31 January 2019
  • Utilizes sharding technology to achieve scaling without sacrificing security and decentralization
  • Implements PoW consensus for node identification, and pBFT for processing transactions


  • May 2019: Introduction of the ZIL Cashflow Smart Contract Analyser
  • Apr 2019: Implemented support for external libraries in Scilla
  • Apr 2019: Release of Moonlet Wallet on Chrome Extension
  • Feb 2019: Zilliqa announced its Bug Bounty Program
  • Jan 2019: Mainnet launch
  • Nov 2018: Testnet v3.0 release: Mao Shan Wang
  • Jun 2018: Testnet v2.0 release: D24


Zilliqa (or the "Project") is a public blockchain platform that is designed to scale financial transactions. Zilliqa utilizes sharding technology which enables increased transaction rates as the network expands. The team states the latest experimental results demonstrate a throughput of more than 2,800 transactions per second. In addition to scalability, Zilliqa aims to provide a secure and efficient smart contract layer to enable security-by-design smart contract programming and verification.

Zilliqa’s mission is to create a network that is scalable and functional, while staying true to blockchain security principles.

Key Features of the Zilliqa Network

  • Two-layer blockchain structure: Directory Service ("DS") blockchain stores the identities of the nodes in the network, while the Transaction ("TX") blockchain stores information on the transactions validated by the network.
  • Scilla: the Zilliqa team has proposed a new smart contract language, Scilla, which scales better for applications such as automated auctions, shared economy, and financial modelling.
  • Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (“pBFT”): Zilliqa uses an improved version of pBFT to achieve a more even payout for each node, lower communication overhead, and instant block finality to eliminate the need for block confirmations.


Token Name ZIL
Token Type ERC-20 at TGE
Private Sale Allocation 27.3% of Total Supply
Private Token Sale Date 1 Oct 2017 to 20 Dec 2017
Private Token Sale Price $0.0032
Amount Raised in Private Sale ~$18.3MM (43,942 ETH)
Public Sale Allocation 2.7% of Total Supply
Public Token Sale Date 27 Dec 2017 to 4 Jan 2018
Public Token Sale Price $0.0038
Amount Raised in Public Sale ~$2.2MM (4,947 ETH)
Circulating Supply 12,013,965,609 (41.7%)

Token Supply Distribution:

  • Private sale tokens make up 27.3% of total token supply.
  • Public sale tokens make up 2.7% of total token supply.
  • Team is allocated 5.0% of total token supply (unlocked in Jan 2019).
  • Advisors received 2.1% of total token supply.
  • Strategic sale tokens make up 10.0% of total token supply.
  • Token treasury constitutes 12.0% of total token supply.
  • One-time advisors receives 0.9% of total token supply.
  • Mining is allocated 40% of total token supply.

Private Token Sale:

  • Conducted from 1 October 2017 to 20 December 2017 for 5,725,875,682 ZIL at a rate of 130,305 ZIL = 1 ETH and raised a total of 43,942 ETH (~$18.3MM) at ~$0.0032 per token, selling 27.3% of total token supply.

Public Token Sale:

  • Conducted on 27 December 2017 to 4 January 2018 for 574,107,038 ZIL at a rate of 116,052 ZIL = 1 ETH and raised a total of 4,947 ETH (~$2.2MM) at ~$0.0038 per token, selling 2.7% of total token supply.

Token Governance & Use of Funds

The Zilliqa team lists its use of sales proceeds as the following:

  • 4.5% to Key Partnerships
  • 13.6% to Marketing
  • 5% to Founding Team
  • 24.6% to Development
  • 4.5% to Community Engagement and Bounty Programmes
  • 5.5% to Compliance, Legal and Finance
  • 13.6% to Cloud Hosting, Operations, Equipment
  • 15% to Anquan Capital, which funds new ventures like Anqlave (secure chips) to support Zilliqa's infrastructure
  • 13.7% to Research

Zilliqa holds its funds in cold storage with multi-signature wallets provided by Coinbase Custody. The keys are held by 3 different persons, whose identity the team chose not to disclose for security purposes. 2 out of 3 signatures are required to unlock the multi-sig wallet.

Zilliqa Token Release Schedule

The following chart represents the number and breakdown of all ZIL tokens that are to be released into circulation on a monthly basis.

Note: It is estimated that the remaining tokens allocated to mining will continue to be released till 2040.
However this rate can change as the number of Guard Nodes decrease.

ZIL Token Overview & Use Cases

ZIL is the core utility token of the Zilliqa network. A few examples of the use cases of the ZIL token include:

  • Incentive for PoW mining
  • Payment as gas fees for smart contract execution
  • Tender for transaction fees


Zilliqa has been on time for most communicated milestones. The Project communicates with the community via biweekly project updates. All blog updates can be found here.

Original Roadmap & Achievements
2017: Q3 Technical Whitepaper released 2017: Q3 On time N/A
2018: Q1 Scilla design document 2018: Q1 On time Github
2018: Q1 Zilliqa source code released 2018: Q1 On time Github
2019: Q1 Bootstrap Phase ends 2019: Q2 Late Medium
2018: Q2 Testnet v1.0 release: Red Prawn 2018: Q2 On time Medium
2018: Q2 Testnet v2.0 release: D24 2018: Q2 On time Medium
2018: Q4 Testnet v3.0 release: Mao Shan Wang 2018: Q4 On time Medium
2018: Q4 Mainnet launch 2019: Q1 Late Medium
2019: Q2 Token Swap ends N/A N/A N/A
2018: Q3 Zilliqa Core Protocol enhancements N/A N/A N/A
2018: Q4 Core protocol refactoring and Scilla enhancements N/A N/A N/A
2018: Q4 Support for higher-level languages N/A N/A N/A

Commercial Partnerships and Business Development Progress

The Project lists 3 verticals in which they pursue constantly:

Digital Advertising (with Mindshare)

  • Programmatic advertising suffers from ad frauds and too many intermediaries that reduce the value that the advertisers get for their money. Mindshare is using Zilliqa’s blockchain to tackle these issues within Project Proton.
  • For more information on Project Proton, see here.

Financial service (with Hg Exchange)

  • Security Token Offerings ("STO") present a new way to tokenize esoteric asset-backed securities like a fleet of aircraft, or patents and licensing agreements for example, which are harder to securitize with traditional methods. This offers greater flexibility to investors by enabling fractional ownership at lower costs, making it more accessible to new investors seeking to enter the space.
  • Hg Exchange is a joint venture between Maicoin and Zilliqa, with Phillip Securities, PrimePartners, RHT Capital and Fundnel as the first members of this exchange platform. Hg Exchange aims to be the first compliant STO platform in Southeast Asia and is currently applying for the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") fintech regulatory sandbox.
  • For more information on the Hg exchange, see here.

Gaming (with Krypton)

  • Blockchains provide a useful tool for gamers for various reasons including decentralized asset exchanges, verifiable scarcity of virtual objects and collectibles, fast and secure payment networks, and an ability for developers to properly monetize their creations.
  • The most popular implementation of blockchain technology for gaming is with non-fungible assets. In gaming, these assets can be anything from game skins to virtual cards part of a specific game that are verifiably scarce. The authenticity of individual virtual items is guaranteed using smart contract standards such as the ERC-721 non-fungible token standard and the newer ERC-1155 reference implementation on top of Ethereum network.
  • Zilliqa and Krypton are currently working together to create non-fungible token templates and gaming SDKs for gaming studios around the world to launch their blockchain games on top of the Zilliqa network.


  • Amrit Kumar

    Former CTO of Zilliqa, Research Fellow at National University of Singapore, Visiting Research Scholar at University of Calgary

  • Yaoqi Jia
    Chief Technology Officer

    Former Researcher and Computer Science PhD candidate at National University of Singapore

  • Max Kantelia
    Chief Evangelist

    CEO & Co-Founder at Anquan Capital, a group of deep tech companies which includes Zilliqa and Anqlave

  • Addison Huegel
    Head of Communications at Zilliqa

    Principle at BlockGroup, Media Director and Communication Director at Elevator Communications, LLC

  • Juzar Motiwalla
    Chief Strategist

    Co-Founder at Anquan Capital, former Director at AssetVantage, SoftDel

  • Prateek Saxena
    Chief Scientific Advisor

    Co-founder of Anquan Capital, Assistant Professer at National University of Singapore

  • Jasmine Song
    Finance and Operations Executive

  • Ada Tan
    Operations Executive

  • Deli Gong
    Infrastructure Lead

  • Edison Lim
    Application Lead

  • Ilya Sergey
    Lead Language Designer

  • Sophia Fang
    Business Development

  • Anton Trunov
    Research Engineer

  • Antonio Nicolas Nunez
    Core Developer

  • Aparna Narayan
    Communications Manager

  • Haichuan Liu
    Core Developer

  • Han Wen Chua
    Grant Manager

  • Ian Tan
    Full Stack Developer

  • Jacob Johannsen
    Compiler Developer

  • Jun Hao Tan
    Core Developer

  • Kaustubh Shamshery
    Core Developer

  • Saiba Kataruka
    Developer Marketing

  • Sandip Bhoir
    Core Developer

  • Sheng Guang Xiao
    Core Developer

  • Vaivaswatha Nagaraj
    Compiler Developer



The ZIL token is listed on more than 40 exchanges, according to CoinMarketCap. Core crypto trading pairs include ZIL/BTC, ZIL/USDT, and ZIL/ETH. Core fiat trading pairs include ZIL/KRW and ZIL/USD. Below is the breakdown of ZIL's volume by its top trading pairs.


Github Overview

Zilliqa has 17 public repositories. The team decided not to share the private repositories at this time.

Top Public Github Repositories


Zilliqa is a high-throughput public blockchain platform - designed to scale to thousands of transactions per second.

36 Contributors   7,228 Commits  

Scilla - A Smart Contract Intermediate Level Language

14 Contributors   909 Commits  
Nucleus Wallet

Nucleus Wallet is a free, open-source, Zilliqa Test Net Wallet.

2 Contributors   144 Commits  

JavaScript library for Zilliqa blockchain

11 Contributors   496 Commits  

RPC Server for Zilliqa

5 Contributors   325 Commits  


Network Overview

Zilliqa’s network consists of several group of nodes, and each of them is called a shard. A special shard among these is referred to as Directory Service ("DS") committee. The DS committee acts as a supervisory shard and helps in the formation of shards and aggregate transaction validation results from each shard among others.

Zilliqa leverages on the shards for parallel processing of transactions. Each shard and the DS committee run an optimized pBFT for consensus on valid transactions. In pBFT, there is deterministic finality of blocks, unlike the probabilistic finality in Nakamoto consensus (in BTC, ETH). Therefore, there is no need for several block confirmation, the latest state of the latest block is the “truth” of the chain.

Blockchains in Zilliqa

There are two blockchains in Zilliqa’s architecture: the DS blockchain and TX blockchain. The DS blockchain stores the identities of the nodes in the network, while the TX blockchain stores information on the transactions validated by the network.

Time for each blockchain epoch are:

  • TX block epochs are dynamic (1-2 mins).
  • DS block epochs are dynamic and dependent on TX epochs (1-2 hours).

Transaction Model

Zilliqa uses an account-based model, similar to Ethereum’s. The network currently supports account-to-account and account-to-contract transactions. Batch transactions will be supported in later versions.

Transaction Types in Zilliqa

There are 3 different types of transactions in the Zilliqa network:

  • Type I - User account to user account transactions
  • Type II - Simple user account to contract transactions
  • Type III - Complicated user account to contract transactions

Transactions are allocated to each shard based on the last few bits of the sender’s and the recipient’s addresses. Hence:

1. All Type I and most Type II transactions are handled within a shard and
2. Some Type II transactions and all Type III transactions that require cross-shard communications are handled by the DS Committee.

The transactions made in point 2 as stated above are only processed after shards have finished processing the transactions in point 1. This eliminates the case in which conflicting transactions get handled in parallel.

Node Types in Zilliqa

There are 5 types of nodes on the Zilliqa network:

  • The shard nodes handle the Type I and Type II intra-shard transactions, and submit a micro TX-block signed. They get rewarded based on the number of signatures produced during this DS epoch.
  • The DS nodes handle the assembling of micro TX-blocks submitted by the shards. They also process Type II and Type III transactions that are cross-shard transactions. They are also rewarded based on the number of signatures produced during this DS epoch.
  • The lookup nodes handle the dispatching of transactions to the correct shard and assist seed nodes in fetching states and transaction history. They earn 5% of the transaction fees and coinbase reward.
  • The seed nodes help to forward transactions to lookup nodes, assist new validating nodes in joining the network by providing the DS-blocks history, and expose transactional APIs to allow explorer/wallets to send transactions and fetch historical transaction data. They share the rewards earned by lookup nodes.
  • The archival storage fetches historical data including transactions and blocks from seed nodes every DS epoch and store them in LevelDB. They also provide the historical data for new seed nodes that are joining.

MB4 and SD4 are for the Type II and Type III cross-shard transactions as discussed earlier, and they will be handled and processed by the DS committee. After MB4 and SD4, all MBs and SDs will be aggregated into FB and FSD respectively.

Unit Accounting

Zilliqa has its base unit, Zil. However, Zilliqa supports up to 12 decimal placing of its base unit.

1 Zil1 Zil
0.1 Zil-
0.01 Zil-
0.001 Zil-
0.0001 Zil-
0.00001 Zil-
0.000001 Zil1 Li
0.0000001 Zil-
0.00000001 Zil-
0.000000001 Zil-
0.0000000001 Zil-
0.00000000001 Zil-
0.00000000001 Zil1 Qa

Gas Accounting

The gas accounting in Zilliqa has the same format as that of Ethereum. There is a gas limit that is set based on the complexity of the computation involved in processing a transaction, and there is a gas price (in the denomination Li) that is set by the free market.

The initial gas price will be set at 1,000 Li at the bootstrap phase. A simple account-to-account transaction costs 1,000 Li as well.

Smart Contracts in Zilliqa

Zilliqa Research created a domain-specific functional programming language called Scilla to power its high throughput smart contract platform safely. Scilla, short for Smart Contract Intermediate Level Language, is designed as a principled language with smart contract safety in mind.

Scilla imposes a structure on smart contracts that will make applications running on Zilliqa less vulnerable to attacks by eliminating certain known vulnerabilities directly at the language-level. Furthermore, the principled structure of Scilla will make applications inherently more secure.

A more detailed explanation of Scilla can be found here.

Zilliqa uses JSON-RPC protocol to broadcast transactions in the network. Sending of ZILs and deploying/calling of contracts are all done via JSON-RPC methods. Several SDKs in different programming languages are made available for developers to choose from in order to ease their dApp development process.


Social Community Overview & Strategy

On community building, the team states that they “believe in information exchange & providing regular updates, proactive communication on roadblocks and opportunities, timely responses to all possible queries and urgent issues, as well as collaborative problem-solving." Moving forward, the team looks to further engaging both its technical and non-technical community in creative and educational ways, focusing heavily on industry awareness and general blockchain knowledge.

The team cites education as the most important community interaction. As part of this, Zilliqa organised the Blockchain A-Z Workshop at King’s College London (in collaboration with the KCL Blockchain Society). Additionally, Zilliqa was recently a partner of the Future of Blockchain hackathon, educating student developers from Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, LSE, UCL, and KCL.

Zilliqa also regularly engage its developer and miner communities via its Ecosystem Grant programme. As of writing, Zilliqa has engaged 40 different teams from 19 different countries and the team states they look to expanding this engagement with the help of a new streaming system that further streamlines the grant application and development process.

Community and Social Channels

  • Telegram (English) | 26K Members
  • Twitter (English) | 60.8K Followers
  • Slack (English) | 6.5K Members
  • Gitter | 620 Members
  • Reddit | 10K Subscribers


Zilliqa competes with current smart contract processing platforms, such as Ethereum, EOS, Hashgraph, and NEO. The team provides the following comments regarding each of these competing projects:

CompetitorGoalsDrawbacksZilliqa's Approach
  • Achieve scalability by implementing state sharding
  • The Validator Manager Contract (“VMC”) might become a single point of failure
  • Phase 1 of Ethereum 2.0 does not provide finality
  • Phase 1 of Ethereum 2.0 does not involve cross-shard communication
  • Zilliqa currently utilizes network sharding to achieve scalability, but will implement state sharding in the future
  • Zilliqa does not rely any central entity or contract
  • Zilliqa provides finality to the state through its pBFT Protocol
  • Achieve scalability using dPoS consensus mechanism
  • The small number of delegates are relatively easy to pin point and brings security risks
  • However increasing the number of delegates will also increase latency, thus throughput will drop
  • dPoS does not guarantee finality
  • Zilliqa's pBFT offers finality
  • The consensus in Zilliqa is run in parallel within a set of around 600 nodes, whose size is large enough to make centralisation risk low
  • Achieve security and scalability by abandoning blockchain and using a gossip protocol instead
  • Hashgraph is currently a private ledger, it has yet to come up with technical details for its deployment as a public ledger
  • Zilliqa has already utilized a hybrid mode with pBFT for consensus and PoW for preventing sybril attacks
  • NEO uses dBFT consensus to achieve scalability
  • If the number of bookkeeping nodes is large, the collateral locks away liquidity from the market
  • If the number of bookkeeping nodes is small, then it brings centralization risks
  • Zilliqa uses standard (practical) BFT protocol and requires the protocol be run with a sufficiently large number of nodes
  • The nodes however are not required to put up collateral and hence the market liquidity is not affected
  • Sharding technology enables the throughput to increase linearly with the number of nodes


  • Zilliqa Design Story (Part 1)
  • Zilliqa Design Story (Part 2)
  • Zilliqa Design Story (Part 3)
  • Scilla Design Story (Part 1)

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