ZIL is the Zilliqa network’s native cryptocurrency, it is used to execute programs, send transactions, and incentivize actors that support the network.
A brief history
The Zilliqa project was founded in 2017 by a group of researchers from the National University of Singapore. Zilliqa distinguishes itself by introducing a sharding architecture which aims to address the limitations of scalability seen in some other blockchains. The sharded nature of its design allows congruent chains to execute transactions in parallel, increasing the capacity of the network. By allowing for a large number of transactions per second, sharding also keeps the cost of each transaction low. Zilliqa is also unique in that it supports smart contract creation by way of its native programming language, Scilla.
ZIL in practice
Central to Zilliqa is its consensus mechanism that combines proof-of-work (PoW) and the Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (pBFT) mechanism that keeps the distributed network of computers in sync. Users can stake ZIL in order to power nodes on the blockchain and vote on changes, meaning anyone who owns ZIL can operate the network. Using pBFT, all nodes assigned to specific shards must agree before a transaction is finalized, ensuring security as the only way to create a fraudulent transaction would be to simultaneously control all the nodes. Every node involved in the unanimous decision gets a small share of the block reward- meaning that even lower-powered hardware can get a portion of the block reward. This makes mining ZIL more accessible because each node can share in the block rewards.