Zilliqa’s Latest Update: v9.3.0 Brings Desharding and EVM Enhancements


Zilliqa has witnessed a relatively underwhelming performance in the recent months. The ecosystem reflects a noticeable dormancy, with its TVL demonstrating modest growth and currently standing at ~  $3.77 million. This figure significantly lags behind the TVL recorded on other prominent layer 1 and layer 2 networks such as Ethereum, Tron, BNB Chain, Polygon, Arbitrum, and Base. This trend suggests a preference among developers for alternative blockchains when creating their decentralized applications (dApps).

Furthermore, several dApps within the Zilliqa network are facing challenges. For instance, ZilSwap, considered the primary DeFi platform in the ecosystem, has recorded only ~ 1K Unique Active Wallets (UAW) within the past 30 days and experienced a meager growth in the volume of ~ 3%. Similarly, Avely Finance witnessed a significant ~ 50% drop in volume, with a mere 310 active wallets. Other dApps like Luncrush and ZilPay Wallet are also grappling with similar setbacks, reflecting a broader struggle within the ecosystem.

 v9.3.0 Upgrade

The Zilliqa network achieved a milestone with the successful rollout of the v9.3.0 upgrade, officially implemented on the mainnet starting January 3, 2024. This significant upgrade marks a pivotal moment in Zilliqa’s journey, focused on enhancing reliability, efficiency, and functionality, aligning seamlessly with the Zilliqa 2.0 roadmap.

Zilliqa v9.3.0 brings forth a host of transformative changes, a testament to the relentless efforts of the Zilliqa infrastructure team in fortifying the blockchain’s capabilities and efficiency. These enhancements lay the groundwork for an overhauled version of the network slated for deployment later this year.

Let’s delve into the fundamental changes introduced in Zilliqa v9.3.0, shaping the network’s evolution and positioning it for a more robust future.

Active Reward Control and Desharding

One of the primary transformations brought about in the recent upgrade of the Zilliqa network involves the integration of active reward control and the process of desharding, preceding the forthcoming deployment of an upgraded sharding structure.

These enhancements were instituted subsequent to a voting procedure conducted on Zilliqa’s decentralized governance platform, where the respective proposals garnered a majority of affirmative votes from gZIL holders participating on the governance portal.

The active reward control mechanism is designed to protect ZIL holders and miners from sudden inflation fluctuations that typically accompany software upgrades on Zilliqa. Reward levels will undergo regular adjustments based on network and governance determinations, ensuring competitive industry returns for miners and stakers.

Approaching the launch of a more adaptable and efficient sharding architecture within Zilliqa 2.0, shards will undergo a temporary elimination from the network, aiming to bolster efficiency until the implementation of the updated sharding framework. This strategic maneuver is expected to decrease block time notably, thereby enhancing the overall operational efficiency and throughput of the Zilliqa network.

EVM Compatibility Enhancements

The Zilliqa infrastructure team maintains a strong emphasis on enhancing EVM compatibility, striving to bolster the blockchain’s interoperability and accessibility. This dedication aims to broaden the network’s scope, enticing a diverse global array of developers and applications within the industry.

Within Zilliqa v9.3.0, the commitment to enhancing EVM compatibility persists. The latest upgrade introduces support for Type 1 and Type 2 EVM transactions, expanding the network’s compatibility with EVM applications.

Furthermore, the upgrade incorporates a feature enabling the reflection of errors when utilizing Scilla contracts with EVM applications directly in the transaction receipt, enhancing transaction transparency and error-handling processes.

Additional improvements focused on EVM compatibility are ~ support for integer block numbers in ETH APIs and a suite of bug fixes aimed at refining the overall EVM experience within the Zilliqa ecosystem.

Efficiency Improvements and Migration to GCP

In line with the network’s consistent upgrades, Zilliqa v9.3.0 also introduces several alterations aimed at enhancing network efficiency and bolstering stability. Essential modifications entail the inclusion of header hash parameters, a measure designed to elevate mining efficiency, and refinements to CODEHASH, intending to augment contract processing performance.

Moreover, the Zilliqa team has initiated the process of migrating its operational infrastructure to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), a strategic move solidifying the collaboration established between Zilliqa and Google Cloud the previous year.

The shift to GCP signifies an advancement geared toward bolstering the efficacy of Zilliqa’s infrastructure and APIs. This transition is expected to curtail potential downtimes during future network upgrades, representing a step toward a more resilient and efficient Zilliqa ecosystem.

Closing Thoughts

Zilliqa’s recent performance, though subdued in the midst of the crypto winter, anticipates a promising turnaround with the advent of the v9.3.0 upgrade. The v9.3.0 upgrade could act as a catalyst, igniting optimism for a resurgence in Zilliqa’s appeal among developers and users. By proactively addressing existing limitations and fortifying its foundations, Zilliqa charts a course toward renewed growth and relevance within the blockchain ecosystem. These advancements, poised to instigate a revitalized era, showcase Zilliqa’s commitment to overcoming challenges and reestablishing itself as a vibrant, developer-friendly platform poised for a brighter and more dynamic future.

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