Zilliqa AMA – Session with Co-founder, Amrit Kumar

Zilliqa network reportedly pioneered the use of the Sharding concept which carries out transactions with smaller groups and they are shared between miners to ensure parallel transactional verification. The benefit of these smaller groups (in terms of transactional verification) makes it possible for the Consensus to be attained faster. Thus, making it possible to process more transactions at a time. This unique blockchain is also aimed at resolving the issues with scalability and has seen the network grow a strong community.

The CEO of Altcoin Buzz, Shashwat Gupta, anchored the AMA session in our Telegram channel with Zilliqa Co-founder, Amrit Kumar.

We will go through a recap of the AMA with Amrit Kumar, co-founder of Zilliqa to understand what Zilliqa has been up to in recent days.

Q. Where are you located? What have you been most busy with these days?

I am based in London. I would say I have been mostly busy with the bridge the last few months and also with expanding the team. We have so many ideas that we would like to implement but not enough time. That’s why we have expanded our team by quite a lot in the last year or two and are aggressively expanding this year as well. So, if anyone in the community is open for challenging business development and tech work, send us your CV. We are a very distributed team so you do not have to move anywhere and can work from home.

Q. Zilliqa had an ICO in 2017 on Bitcoin Suisse. An exciting feature was XSGD (SGD-backed) that is a real use case and it’s pretty cool. One of the challenges is that Xfers is not a crypto company and they read through compliance more strictly than a USDT. But regulations are key to the path to crypto adoption, what are your thoughts?

Yes, the interesting thing about XSGD is that even though it is SGD-backed – so in way it does not have the same exposure as a USD-backed stablecoin – it has seen quite a bit of demand in our community. It is the third-largest fiat currency to be tokenized (after USD and EUR).

Indeed, it took Xfers, and us quite a bit of time to get XSGD off the ground. I strongly believe that the two worlds are converging to some extent or at least the gap will narrow over time. We have seen AAVE applying for licenses; projects in the crypto space trying to tokenize non-crypto assets; Neo banks like Revolut offer crypto services.

Q. I think the StraitsX was a very important initiative by Xfers and Zilliqa, especially for Southeast Asia, and local currencies from Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and others. Are you aware of what is happening to it now?

They are definitely interested in launching XIDR as well which will be backed by IDR (Indonesian Rupiah). They plan to use it to allow agents in Indonesia to have XIDR on their books which will massively help with their business.

They have pretty strong roots in Indonesia. So, after Singapore, Indonesia will be their next target.

They are also coming to DeFi. This also in a way points to the direction they are heading in Indonesia – which is great.

Q. Zilliqa is almost ready to launch the ETH-ZIL Bridge. Has it launched already? I know Zilswap and Switcheo have released one.

We are about to launch an ETH-ZIL bridge that will allow users of Ethereum to be able to move ETH and other ERC20 assets over to Zilliqa and then put these assets over to ZILSwap (which is an AMM Dex on Zilliqa). The testnet version is going to go live anyday and soon after, the mainnet version, for which we are planning to have an incentive mechanism to attract assets like ETH, USDT and BTC offering an attractive APY.

Q. What are your thoughts on the current market? You think we are in for a one-three year bear market after one more bounce or the bull run is not over yet?

I won’t call myself a market expert, but I feel that there is a lot of substance today compared to what we had in 2016/17. So, even if the market may go down a bit I feel that the today’s projects are much more solid, and many have found some level of product market fit, and it is not pure hype; and this I feel is a good healthy sign.

I don’t think it is over yet maybe it is going in that direction but in either case, I believe that we have a lot to be excited about after what we saw during the DeFi summer.

Q. Zilliqa has been performing extremely well especially for people who bought in 2019. For people who are new to the crypto space and Zil, how would you say it is different from BSC, Harmony, or Solana? What is Zilliqa’s mission?

There are obviously differences at the tech level, but I firmly believe that underlying tech does not matter or will not matter in the end from a user’s perspective. A user using a certain chain does not care whether you have implemented PoS or BFT or something else as your consensus mechanism. They mainly care about UX; can the chain handle the throughput? Can it offer transactions that do not require 100 dollars of fees, and is the latency acceptable for me? Can anyone just stop the chain? Things like that.

Our goal has always been to make the chain user-friendly. Our mission simply put is to convert our token holders into actual users. This may sound very trivial but if you think about it there are hundreds of millions of token holders in the space but only a few millions of users. Many of the very popular dApps on ETH today have less than 100 DAUs and this is something that we as an industry seem to be completely ignoring. We often talk about TVL but do not talk often about the number of users of that dApp. Our mission is to change that. If you look around, all platform projects like Harmony and Solana talk about “Come and build on us” but no one says “Come and use our chain”. I strongly believe that users need to become first-class citizens.

Q. Why do you think blockchain interoperability is so crucial? Tell me something more about PolyNetwork interoperability bridge and the launch dates if possible.

Again, let’s look at it from a user’s perspective. An average user today holds 10 tokens, many own or hold over 20 tokens. A certain number of these tokens are across different chains. Some could be on Zilliqa, others on ETH, some on Cosmos, etc. This itself is quite problematic if your goal is to convert the token holders into users. It is too optimistic to expect a token holder of that kind to use all the 20 tokens on a regular basis specially when he has to download a different browser plugin for each chain, go to a different staking wallet provider, or use a different DEX for each chain. It is quite painful to say the least and this is exactly where we lose our token holders. And interoperability is a solution towards to this problem. And it’s not just about building bridges but also building wallets that can interact with multiple chains, building portfolio managers for cross-chain assets, etc.

PolyNet is like a middleware that allows Zilliqa to connect with multiple chains like BTC, ETH, Cosmos, and others. We are using PolyNet to build a bridge between Zilliqa and other chains. The testnet is going live in the next couple of days and mainnet will follow in 2 weeks’ time.

Q. What wallet and products on Zilliqa should the community check out? Which ones are exciting upcoming ones?

There are quite a few things that is being built by the Zilliqa community that I am extremely excited about. Here is a non-exhaustive list:

  1. Pillar protocol – A MakerDAO like stablecoin system.
  2. Stablecoins like USDT via the bridge.
  3. Quite a few dApps and token launches.
  4. A lending-borrowing dApp is in works as well similar to compound.
  5. Several NFT-related products like a cross-chain NFT Index Fund.
Q. Three favorite other DeFi projects?

AAVE, Synthetix, Alchemix.

Q. Two favorite other smart contract blockchains?

Cosmos and NEAR also like Zcash even though they do not offer smart contracts.

Q. Thoughts on blockchain gaming?

Play to earn is a good model.

Q. Thoughts on Altcoin Buzz?

I love you Shash.

Thereafter, the chat was opened to the community for questions.

Q. Domen T 🇸🇮: Favorite MEME coin?

I guess doge was fun.

Q. AJ: Can we have a meme coin on top of zilliqa @amkuma so that we can burn more Zil?

Haha, sure have fun!

The Altcoin Buzz community gratefully thanks Amrit Kumar for taking part in the Zilliqa AMA on 6th July in our Telegram channel.

Also, join us on Telegram to receive free trading signals.

Find out more about the blockchain and crypto space on the Altcoin Buzz YouTube channel.


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