This Meetup, we welcome Amrit Kumar, head of research at Zilliqa as a speaker. Zilliqa is a next-generation high throughput blockchain that is the first to implement sharding. Scalability is arguably the most pressing problem faced by blockchains today. Popular blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum can only handle around 10 transactions/s which are a far cry from the 2,000 transactions/s which payment systems like Visa handle on average. Furthermore, decentralized applications (dApps) that run on blockchains are pushing the underlying protocols to their limit at a point where, a single popular dApp (e.g., CryptoKitties) can clog the entire network.
One of the most advocated solutions to the scalability problem is the idea of sharding. In this talk, we present Zilliqa --- the first blockchain with sharding built into it. Sharding in Zilliqa follows a divide and conquer approach, where the network gets divided into smaller groups each capable of processing transactions in parallel. In the most recent trial run, Zilliqa demonstrated a capacity of 2,488 transactions per second with 3,600 nodes. Zilliqa also will have its own smart contract language Scilla, an intermediate-level language for verified smart contracts.This new approach provides a clean separation between the communication aspect of smart contracts on a blockchain, and the programming component which is amenable to formal verification. Using Scilla, it will be able to prevent issues like the DAO at the language level. Amrit Kumar
Amrit is a Research Fellow (aka a post-doctoral researcher) at the National University of Singapore. He holds a PhD from Université Grenoble-Alpes, France and was hosted at Inria's Grenoble center. Prior to his PhD, he obtained an Engineer's diploma from Ecole Polytechnique, France, where he studied Computer Science and Mathematics. His research interests broadly span security, privacy and applied cryptography.