Zilliqa and EVM - Expanding The Ecosystem


May 19, 2023

4 min read

Zilliqa and EVM - Expanding The Ecosystem

Enhancing scalability, interoperability, and developer adoption that's what it's currently all about in the blockchain space. Therefore, it is no surprise that Zilliqa, a high-performance blockchain platform, has recently introduced a groundbreaking upgrade by integrating the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) onto its mainnet. The upgrade illustrates a significant milestone for Zilliqa and its ecosystem, opening up new opportunities for developers and connecting with a new array of Decentralized Applications (dApps).

What is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)?

Before we continue to discuss all the details of Zilliqa's integration of the EVM, it's essential to understand what EVM is. The EVM is a runtime environment that enables the execution of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. It is a virtual machine that operates on the principle of decentralized execution, providing a platform for developers to write and deploy smart contracts using Solidity, Ethereum's native programming language.

The EVM has played a pivotal role in the growth and adoption of Ethereum, facilitating the creation of various dApps and powering a thriving ecosystem of tokens, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

You've probably heard of EVM if you've recently been around the blockchain space. Before we continue, however, please note that there's a difference between EVM-compatible blockchains and EVM-equivalent blockchains.

EVM-compatible and EVM-equivalent blockchains represent different levels of adherence to the Ethereum protocol. While many blockchains achieve EVM compatibility, only a few achieve EVM equivalency, demonstrating full compliance with the formal specifications of the Ethereum protocol. EVM-equivalent chains, often operating as Layer-2 solutions, take a step further by directly copying and pasting the entire EVM code into their Layer-2 infrastructure.

The key distinction between the Ethereum mainnet and Layer-2 solutions lies in how transactions are handled. Layer-2s bundle multiple transactions together, effectively moving a significant portion of computation off-chain. This architectural design enables EVM-compatible and EVM-equivalent Layer-2s to achieve higher transactions per second (TPS) rates and substantially lower gas fees than the Ethereum mainnet.

Zilliqa Head of Distributed System Engineering Valeriy Zamaraiev explained in the initial announcement of EVM coming to Zilliqa that the way EVM compatibility has been implemented on Zilliqa is done in such a way that tokens can be transferred natively without a complex and extraneous conversion process.

This is a full, complete implementation of EVM compatibility with all the APIs, and most of the dApps will not require any adaptation at all. We have a better implementation than many layer-2 blockchains because one of the things that we've decided is to make EVM native to the Zilliqa ecosystem” - Valerly.

Because of its native implementation, Zilliqa holders can use wallets like MetaMask on different blockchains without having to worry about address space incompatibilities or converting ZIL tokens. In the next paragraph, you’ll find out more about Zilliqa’s EVM.

Zilliqa's Integration of the EVM

Zilliqa's decision to integrate the EVM onto its mainnet marks a significant step forward in expanding its ecosystem and attracting Ethereum developers. By incorporating the EVM, Zilliqa can leverage the extensive infrastructure, tooling, and developer community that has evolved around Ethereum. The integration is possible by utilizing the "Ethereum Bridge", which establishes a secure and seamless connection between the Zilliqa blockchain and the Ethereum network. This bridge allows developers to deploy existing Ethereum-based smart contracts directly onto the Zilliqa mainnet, eliminating the need for rewriting or modifying contracts to work on the new platform. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for developers, enabling them to leverage the benefits of Zilliqa's high throughput and low transaction fees while maintaining compatibility with the Ethereum ecosystem.

The integration of the EVM onto Zilliqa's mainnet offers several advantages for developers and the broader blockchain community:

  • Enhanced Scalability: Zilliqa's blockchain protocol, powered by sharding, enables high throughput and scalability. By combining these features with the EVM, developers can benefit from increased transaction processing capabilities without sacrificing the security and decentralization provided by Ethereum.
  • Reduced Transaction Fees: One of Zilliqa's key strengths is its low transaction fees. By leveraging the EVM, developers can enjoy the cost-efficient environment of Zilliqa while maintaining compatibility with existing Ethereum-based contracts.
  • Access to Zilliqa's Features: Zilliqa brings unique features, such as its secure-by-design smart contract language, Scilla, and ability to perform sharding for increased network efficiency. With the EVM integration, developers can tap into these features and explore new possibilities for building decentralized applications.
  • Interoperability: The integration of the EVM allows for seamless interoperability between Zilliqa and Ethereum. Developers can leverage cross-chain capabilities, enabling the transfer of assets and data between the two platforms and expanding the reach and usability of their applications.

Zilliqa's integration of the EVM is a strategic move aimed at attracting Ethereum developers to explore and build on its platform. By reducing the barriers to entry and offering a familiar development environment, Zilliqa provides an enticing proposition for developers seeking alternatives to Ethereum's scalability challenges. Additionally, Zilliqa has established programs and initiatives to support developers transitioning from Ethereum. These include grants, hackathons, and educational resources to facilitate onboarding and foster innovation within the Zilliqa ecosystem.

Final Thoughts

Integrating the EVM onto Zilliqa's mainnet represents a significant development for both Zilliqa and Ethereum. By merging the scalability and low transaction fees of Zilliqa with the extensive developer community and infrastructure of Ethereum, this integration opens up a world of possibilities for developers and strengthens the overall blockchain ecosystem.

As Zilliqa continues attracting Ethereum developers, we expect to see a proliferation of innovative dApps, DeFi protocols, and NFT projects on the Zilliqa platform. The convergence of different blockchain ecosystems ultimately benefits the entire industry, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and driving mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

DISCLAIMER: This is not financial advice. Staking, delegation, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk, and there is always the possibility of loss, including the failure of all staked digital assets. Additionally, delegators are at risk of slashing in case of security or liveness faults on some protocols. We advise you to do your due diligence before choosing a validator.

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