Blockchain project Zilliqa (ZIL) has launched its mainnet, heralded the first ever successful implementation of a scaling technology called sharding on a blockchain.
“Today, we are taking a leap towards our vision of enabling innovative blockchain-powered solutions to real-world problems,” Zilliqa CEO and co-founder Xinshu Dong wrote in a blog post. “With this launch, Zilliqa is now the first public blockchain platform to successfully implement sharding, to address one of the biggest challenges to mainstream blockchain adoption – scalability.”
The launch of the Zilliqa mainnet means that sharding is possible in reality. This is also important for projects such as Ethereum, which is looking into sharding as one of the possible solutions to its scaling debate, although it is not expected on the Ethereum mainnet before 2020. With Zilliqa’s mainnet up and running, they may be lighting the way for other projects to implement this solution without forgoing security and decentralization while gaining scalability.
Although there are many features that set Zilliqa apart from similar projects, sharding is considered by far the most important one, as the first live implementation of the technology. In general, sharding is a type of database partitioning that separates very large databases into smaller, faster, more easily managed parts called data shards.
In blockchain, sharding splits the work that the network has to do into smaller groups, called shards. Participants in the network (nodes) then establish consensus in those smaller groups, which makes transactions faster and cheaper than if they were processed by the entire network. In effect, it is a way of distributing the workload so that not every node has to do every task, like it happens with Bitcoin.
Blockchain enthusiasts and developers can track the operations of the network via Zilliqa Explorer.
However, the ZIL coin dropped sharply after the mainnet launch announcement, from around USD 0.018 before the news, to USD 0.017 after them. The price has recovered in the meantime, with a net decrease of around 0.9% in the past 24 hours (UTC 2:00 PM.) The coin is currently ranked 32nd by market capitalization.