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Edit: TL;DR added in the comments submitted by
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
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
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.
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
. 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
(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
, 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!
Background: What is Clubhouse? submitted by
You know all those stories of people interrupting
Zoom calls by spamming the link and getting in? What if that, as a business model.
It is still in private beta, has only 1500 users and yet somehow venture capitalists have $12 million invested at a $100 milion dollar valuation
in this. What is Away?
Hardcover suitcases that cost $225 and above.
Hipsters seem to like it
. "The brand is more than just luggage. It’s about travel." It is treated like a tech company by VCs for some godforsaken reason (it has raised $100 million at a $1.4 billion valuation), and the CEO uses a lot of Lean In
rhetoric (female led, inclusive etc.) How New York Times?
The New York Times has hired a reporter, Taylor Lorenz, specifically for "Internet Culture" i.e. HobbyDrama
reporting. (No, seriously, look at the stories she gets to write. For the NYT
!) Pre-Drama Events:
In December 2019, an elaborate investigation was posted by The Verge
(not the NYT, important) about the toxic work culture at Away, with the CEO, Steph Corey, calling workers brain dead and firing someone based on chat in an internal private Slack channel called #Hot-Topics "filled with LGBTQ folks and people of color" (from article).
Korey stepped down
as CEO in December, with another CEO to be selected. She came back
as co-CEO in January because she 'should not have fallen on the sword.' Course of the Drama:
June 30/July 1: On an Instagram AMA, returned co-CEO Korey answered a question
about "women being targeted by the media" (I presume the AMA went in that direction) by talking about media having an incentive to clickbait in the social media era that and women (like her) were targeted because women are supposed to be motherly, ambitious women like Hillary are targeted by the media, some millennial women who work in the media forgo their ethics to advance their career because old media ethics are being eroded.
The Verge investigation was done by Zoë Schiffer, a “millennial woman.”
Incensed by this, Lorenz posts the IG pics on twitter (previous link from her) and speculates that this AMA exists because of a piece on the disgracing of the “girlboss” stereotype
. To recap, neither the original story, nor the Atlantic op-ed were written by her.
Techbros start sharing the same pics of the AMA as a balanced
Until this point, #bothsides, let them fight
, etc. Enter Balaji Srinivasan
. Here is a pompous bio
He starts attacking
Lorenz (again, not the writer of any of the stories
). Lorenz says the guy has been obsessively attacking her for quite some time on Clubhouse
gussied up public Webex calls (in tweets after the linked tweet).
Then anti-Lorenz sockpuppet accounts
start being created to attack her.
An elaborate website
is linked by the accounts, specifically to attack her. (Click the link, it is deranged as all hell.)
Taylor asks Ben Horowitz (of multi-billion dollar Andreessen Horowitz, where Balaji has worked before) to get him to stop. Gets blocked
Then the Andreessen Horowitz batch have a conversation on Clubhouse
Discord without texting with Lorenz. After Taylor leaves, (this part leaked to Vice
, so you can go listen) Ben Horowitz’ wife, Felicia says that Taylor is playing the “woman card to defend herself.” Balaji implies that she may be “afraid of a brown man.”
And then the conversations ascend
”the entire tech press was complicit in covering up the threat of COVID-19,”
relying on the press is “outsourcing your information supply chain to folks who are disaligned with you,”
”Media corporations are not the free press, any more than chain restaurants are food “
“why does press have a right to investigate private companies, let the market decide, I don’t understand who gives them that right” (Note: Probably from another conversation by some CEO)
Also something about Github, VC funding and Blockchains being a better model for journalism. (Bitconeeeect!!
Then Vice reports on it.
Tech media rallies around Taylor [retweets on her twitter
]. Glenn Greenwald
pokes his nose and says otherwise, because Greenwald.
VCs support their own (along with MC Hammer??
because he’s also on Clubhouse
the conference calls you join “for fun” app? So is Oprah???), with opinions like
I’ve never met a VC more powerful than a journalist. One can block me from accessing capital. The other has controlled the narrative / perception of my entire race for decades.
And other nuclear fucking takes retweeted by Felicia Horowitz And Balaji?
When reached for comment, Balaji claims recording it was illegal
(which, idk, haven’t seen the Terms of Service, only 1500 people can use Clubhouse
the Twitch app, but you don’t have video and chat has audio) And then he announces a $1000 bounty for memes and analysis of this event. (paid in Bitcoin, obviously, this whole scenario is a damn meme)
This gets the creator of Ruby on Rails/Basecamp to defect to the media’s side Aftermath? (This is a current story):
VCs (like Paul Graham
) declare that the media hates them because they are losing power
Media Twitter decides VC Twitter is trying to reanimate the corpse of #GamerGate
Steph Korey, the instigator of this spiraling nonsense? Away says she has decided to step down (redux)
because an employee revolt over her IG post.
(Recap: Away sells hardcases to hypebeasts. They are worth a billion because of VCs)
Balaji, rich VC guy, has memes on his timeline?
has not weighed in yet, if you are curious]
I found this article on internet. It's repost of it to help educate people about all DXDao advantages: These are positive and necessary steps for DeFi. The new governance structures are intended to help coordinate across community stakeholders and make better decisions. These dynamics are influenced by the issues covered in Dose of DeFi, but I believe they deserve their own focused analysis. Govern This aims to educate token holders and make them better voters. Emphasis will be placed on specific governance proposals and relaying community governance discussions on forums and weekly calls. Governance is a coordination technology that has helped countries and companies build more than the sum of their parts. Blockchains are also a coordination technology, but for computers, not humans
***.*** Govern This will track the development of the melding of these two over the coming years. Like governance, Govern This is a work in progress. I would appreciate any feedback on format, topics covered or any other suggestions to make the newsletter better. Just hit reply. The first issue of Govern This is below. Please click here to subscribe. Thanks for reading, Chris
dxDAO aims to power DeFi protocols through decentralized governance
Gnosis launched a long-awaited DEX last week
with batched auctions for low-liquidity trade pairs. The front-end, Mesa.Eth.Link
is owned and operated by dxDAO
, a decentralized collective that hopes to power other DeFi protocols.
While dYdX does not have any specific governance plans (yet), this tweet from dYdX founder Antonio Juliano is a common approach to governance.
📷Antonio Juliano @AntonioMJuliano3) 0x should focus less on governance in the short term. It’s way more important to first build something with a large amount of adoption that’s worth governing December 6th 2018 3 Retweets62 Likes
The tweet at the end of 2018 was in response to 0x and its native token, ZRX. The project was popular but the token had no use case outside of governance.
This governance strategy – build now, decentralize later – is widely accepted in the space and is perhaps best exemplified by the A16Z’s Jesse Walden’s
post, “Progressive Decentralization: A Playbook for Building Crypto Applications
”, which the A16Z-backed Compound has essentially implemented (more in the section below).
dxDAO, on the other hand, maintains that decentralization must come at the beginning or else the core team and investors will have an outsized influence on the project in formal (token voting) or informal ways (dictators for life).
dxDAO was launched in May 2019, spun out of a collaboration between Gnosis
over managing the DutchX platform. dxDAO’s key governance design is separating financial rights to the DAO (DXD) from voting power over the DAO (Reputation).
It used an Edgeware-style lock drop
to distribute reputation to stakeholders in May of last year. Any user could lock up ETH or an accepted ERC-20 for a month and receive Reputation, which are voting rights in dxDAO, even though it is not a token and cannot be transferred.
Over 400 unique Ethereum addresses participated in the distribution scheme. Gnosis went through a pretty extensive process in July 2019
to “step back” from its involvement in the DAO, and since then, the community and dxDAO have aligned behind a mission of “putting the ‘De’ in Decentralized Finance”.
Following on last week’s launch of Mesa.ETH.Link, dxDAO is conducting a fundraiser or (“DAICO”?
) to help fund its new slate of DeFi products, including a prediction market platform (Omen) and a privacy-centric DeFi dashboard (Mix).
Project launch is typically when a project is most centralized. Execution is hard and direction and accountability are important. dxDAO’s approach will be an interesting counterexample to the “decentralize later” trend and may provide insight into new governance strategies. Click here for more information about the dxDAO fundraiser
Here’s what is on the dxDAO docket this week:
Compound governance goes live, has it found Market-Protocol-Fit?
Since its founding in 2017, Compound has executed with an almost flawless record: no bugs/hacks, a major protocol upgrade and a big name fundraise (twice).
But all of that has been because Compound, the company, has executed well, but can protocol development and the growth of the platform be sustained with community management? We shall see.
Compound’s governance system could not be simpler. Anyone with at least 1% of COMP can submit a proposal of executable code. COMP holders have a 3 day voting period; the proposal passes with a majority of token votes AND a 4% quorum of all COMP tokens.
The 1% minimum for proposal submission is a good anti-Sybil mechanism but it greatly limits participation by small users. There is delegation, so you could imagine a “proposal petition” where you would delegate your COMP to a proposal instead of signing your name.
Compound is clearly taking the “less governance is the best governance” approach. This has worked surprisingly well with Bitcoin and Ethereum, which of course, do not have any formal governance, but those communities clearly have informal governance systems that make decisions.
The biggest governance question for Compound: who is the community?
Market-Protocol-Fit Other Internet
has an intriguing essay on the emergent order from new blockchain tokens and their communities
. It is worth a read. It discusses the emergent iteration that blockchains – as a technology and a community – go through to find a niche, both in culture and product.
While it focuses on base-layer blockchains that launch with a token, the essay underscores the most underrated governance element: token distribution. It quotes an insightful tweet from Eric Wall
📷Eric Wall @ercwlA question that keeps me up at night: Is it possible to create a rubbish coin based on advanced bullshit, build a community of misguided fans nevertheless, run it centralized for 5 yrs, hardfork-copy the design of a real working project, keep the community and become a success? keysheet @keysheet @ErcWll was one of the first vocal critics of IOTA back in 2017, shortly before the project hit a market cap of $15B. https://t.co/2267e8LEpl Today, the project is down 99% and appears to be brutally falling apart. A thread: February 13th 2020 17 Retweets163 Likes
Before Bitcoin could harden its code and find ‘Digital Gold’ and before Ethereum found ‘DeFi’ and ships ETH2.0, both needed to find a “a strong community of believers” in order to create a “virtuous cycle between headless brands and infrastructural build-out to progressively realize [their] initial promise.”
Communities are connected through a wide spread token distribution, Bitcoin through cypherpunks and online drugs and Ethereum through a global ICO (what Teo Leibowitz called “The Immaculate ICO
The biggest “news” has been details about $COMP distribution
- 24% - Compound Labs shareholders
- 26% - Founders, current and future team
- 50% - Compound Protocol users
There are no explicit plans yet, but the widely held assumption is that the COMP distribution will be determined by the interest earned and paid by users on the protocol since its inception. This is a clever way that only incentivizes more use of the protocol and is hard to game because interests accrues over time.
But the question still remains, what will the COMP community look like and what values will it espouse? Can emergent cultures
arise out of Silicon Valley too?
Here’s what is on the Compound docket this week:
- Governance AMA with Compound CEO Robert Leshner - Robert answered a variety of questions on ETH2.0 (staking yield is of great interest), Chainlink (Compound’s oracle system is better), contentious forks (Compound would signal a preference on chain) and how Covid-19 changed his mind about remote work. They also announced…
- Proposal: Add USDT Support – announced on the AMA, USDT was approved by Compound users in a poll last September but had yet to be included. The proposal to add the largest stablecoin in the world is the first test for the new governance portal. (Very) notably, the proposal does not allow USDT to be used as collateral, as Compound currently does with wBTC. It’s not clear if Compound wants to be in the largest stablecoin market or not and underscores the governance challenges of straddling both worlds.
Maker and wBTC, a test case for the MIP process
While Maker had planned to spend Q2 moving forward with their upgraded governance process, most of its focus has been on restoring the Dai peg
For more on how the Maker governance process has expanded outside the core community, check out the previous edition of Govern This
Here’s what is on the Maker docket this week: Governance and Risk meeting (April 23)
Single Collateral Dai shutdown
- Head of Community Rich started off with a new meme for governance: the path from intent to implementation, discussing how forums, polls and other initiatives are designed to capture the intent of the community, and then “empowered people” are tasked with implementing that, foreshadowing upcoming changes.
- Half of the call was devoted to the addition of WBTC as collateral with representatives from WBTC, Bitgo and CoinList in attendance. CoinList’s WBTC announcement gives WBTC the type of liquidity needed for Maker’s auctions (“can redeem WBTC in less than 2 minutes and burn less than that”). Most of the discussion revolved around the circular loop from BTC->DAI in times of high volatility. While there was some concern that WBTC liquidity was dependent on acceptance as Maker collateral, most on the call seemed to support the addition. The strongest support seemed to come from the Maker Foundation’s market making team, who is reportedly the largest market maker for WBTC. There’s more in the Maker forum thread.
- State of the peg – Vishesh’s overview (graphs can be seen here) showed that the peg had come down to $1.01x area but most of the discussion was around the debt ceiling. At the time of the call it was 4 million away from its 90m debt ceiling. Vishesh advocated for a more programmatic lifting of the debt ceiling. Update: Dai hit the 90m debt ceiling Friday evening ET. Should help the peg.
– the process has begun. A poll passed with May 12
as the official SCD shutdown. Just yesterday, an executive just passed yesterday
to make the MKR oracle fee-less, which will help with migration. Many in the community think the migration of debt from SCD will do more than enough to restore the peg. 13 MIPs and 2 sub proposals
– Core to the new Maker governance process is the “Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs), which are modeled off of BIPs (for Bitcoin) and EIPs (for Ethereum). The two sub-proposals are to appoint the Smart Contracts Team and assign Charles St. Louis as the MIP editor.
The 13 MIPs are listed below:
- MIP1 (Maker Governance Paradigms)- MIP2 (Launch Period)- MIP3 (Governance Cycle)- MIP4 (MIP Amendment and Removal Process)- MIP5 (Emergency Voting System)- MIP6 (Collateral Onboarding Form/Forum Template)- MIP7 (Onboarding and Offboarding Domain Teams for Collateral Onboarding)- MIP8 (Domain Greenlight)- MIP9 (Community Greenlight)- MIP10 (Oracle Management)- MIP11 (Collateral Onboarding General Risk Model Management)- MIP12 (Collateral and Risk Parameter Management)
By and large, the MIPs codify many of the informal Maker governance processes. There is currently a request for comments period (MIP forum
) and there will be an informal poll on Monday, April 27 on whether to proceed with the 13 MIPs and 2 sub proposals. If it’s a “Yes”, than an executive for an official ratification vote would start on May 1 and lasts for 4 days. If it passes, the official governance cycle will begin and the rest of the MIPs will likely be approved from May 4 – 6.
Other Governing Things
- Synthetix trials incentivzation program to encourage ETH shorts to balance debt position Link
- PieDAO community call on audit and post imBTC actions Link
- Coinbase Custody double downs on DeFi governance Link
- Terra considers punishing validators that don’t vote Link
- 0x governance proposal to decrease epoch length to 7 days Link
- The case for DeFi Rate governance Link
That’s it! Feedback definitely
appreciated. Just hit reply. Written in Brooklyn where it rained all day. No euchre today, but yesterday was epic. Govern This is written by Chris Powers. Opinions expressed are my own. All content is for informational purposes and is not intended as investment advice.
Hackers appeared to rake in at least about $119,000 worth of bitcoin after they took over more than a dozen high-profile Twitter accounts Wednesday.. One digital wallet linked to the unprecedented Twitter suffered a major security breach on Wednesday that saw hackers take control of the accounts of major public figures and corporations, including Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Twitter on Wednesday posted a job listing saying that it is building a subscription platform codenamed "Gryhpon."; Shares of the company surged nearly 12% on Wednesday. "This is a first for Twitter Hack Snags Obama, Biden, Gates Accounts in Bitcoin Scam. Discovering the perpetrators could still take time and prove challenging. “It depends on what they do next, it depends on how Unidentified hackers broke into the Twitter accounts of technology moguls, politicians, celebrities and major companies Wednesday in an apparent Bitcoin scam. The ruse included bogus tweets from former President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a
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