.zil Deploy Update
Jul 22, 2019
We had a huge backlog of transactions when we launched .zil on the blockchain. This was because Zilliqa nodes were unable to process our transactions quickly enough. Claims peaked at 500 per hour, but are now only at 1,000 per day. We do not expect those levels to increase until updates are made to increase claim speed. Below are the major upcoming updates that are being worked on.
Speed updates for .zil
Map I/O updates to smart contracts (2–4 weeks) — This involves splitting the state size of the contract calls to the Zilliqa network so that the average time for Zilliqa nodes to process transactions decreases by a factor of 7x. This update is not technically necessary assuming proper implementation of map IO updates to the Scilla interpreter, but is an interim solution to speed up claiming until that update is pushed. Once this is complete, you will be able to manage your domain (add cryptocurrency addresses) and use it for payments.
Map I/O updates to the Scillia Interpreter (2 months) — This will effectively remove the bottleneck for nodes reading the transaction by significantly reducing the state size needed to process the transaction by up to 100x on large maps (with 100k+ entries). Zilliqa will be making these updates to how their nodes handle IO for maps on smart contracts over the next 2 months. Once complete, this will enable claims to increase to the max speed on Zilliqa, estimated at 200 smart contract calls per block (~220,000 transactions per day).
Bloom filters (2–4 months) — Next on the roadmap for the Zilliqa team is to increase the speed of reads for contracts on Zilliqa. This will help address future potential bottlenecks around lookups for cryptocurrency addresses associated with domains.
Finally, block size may be increased over time to provide even more capacity, depending on network demand.
What does this mean for right now?
Management Portal — We have completed the UI for management, but we will not deploy it because of the transaction backlog. If even 1,000 people were to try and add addresses to their domain, we expect only 1% of transactions would get through before map I/O updates to the smart contract. We could expose this UI, but updates would still be subject to the backlog for claiming names.
Ongoing claims — Claims will continue at the current rate for the next 2–3 weeks. You are free to claim whenever you’d like, but the bulk of transactions will not go through until the speed has been increased by the updates we are making in the next couple of weeks. You can learn how to claim your domains here.
Why did this happen?
Because of the way Zilliqa nodes read the state of the state of the smart contract in order to verify transactions, they are processing unnecessary state information when doing an insert update. There were edge cases here that had not been run into before and are now in the process of being accounted for. The updates that Zilliqa is making to Map I/O will correct this unnecessary calculation for nodes, resulting in logarithmic speedups for contract updates as contract size increases.
Zilliqa built the only live implementation of a sharded blockchain — and it just went live on June 10th. They are the pioneers of blockchain scaling technology, but it’s still very new. They’ve been laser focused on the throughput of the blockchain, and they are a highly technical team. They have a clear roadmap for improving these issues as well as a strong history of delivering on their promises. We believe we are in good hands.
Knowing what we know now, we would have been able to make things better, but only slightly. We still need Zilliqa to make updates to their platform. Ultimately, we are only a few Zilliqa updates away from high throughput smart contracts on a sharded blockchain — we are close.
Will this shift any future deadlines?
We will work to complete the above as quickly as possible so that claiming and domain management will work quickly and smoothly.
Listing service — Still aiming for August 7th. However, we’d like to leave an additional week or two as a cushion for testing and user education.
Auction— Same schedule, August 22nd.
This technology is still very early — and the potential is very big. Our goal for ourselves is to continue to get better at delivery and better at communication. Both are critical for success. And if we need to make any further updates to the system, we will be sure to keep everyone informed. We take our responsibility to deliver a great product very seriously. We’re on the right track. As always, we’re in Telegram and ready to answer any questions.
Co-founders Matt and Brad discuss a wide range of topics including our current deployment, wallet integrations, the listing service, websites and more!
This AMA was recorded July 15th.
Thanks again for being on the ground floor with us!
The Unstoppable Team