Developed by researchers at the National University of Singapore, the blockchain platform has upgraded their internal testnet and successfully eclipsed 2,400 TX/s, bringing it one step closer to a public testnet and source code release.

Zilliqa, an anticipated Blockchain platform created by researchers at the National University of Singapore and based on the technology of ‘sharding,’ has announced that their internal testnet platform has reached a peak throughput of 2,488 transactions per second (TX/s), marking an important milestone in the development of the project.

To achieve this, the team used all of the available Amazon Web Services EC2 instances in Singapore within the category they required.  In total, they used 3,600 Amazon EC2 instances that acted as single nodes to test their blockchain infrastructure.

Their previous round of testing from last month reached approximately 1,400 TX/s on 2,800 nodes and these latest results show a further improvement in their transaction rate.  For perspective, with the current scaling rate, if Zilliqa were fully functional on the same number of nodes as Ethereum (~22,000) their transaction rate would be over 15,000 TX/s, nearly double the average of VISA, the largest electronic payment network in the world.

Zilliqa addresses one of the most pressing problems facing public blockchain platforms: Scalability. The ability to handle a larger number of transactions per second as a blockchain network grows has been recognized as one of the biggest problems facing existing blockchain platforms, as evidenced by the often cited example of only 7–10 transactions/second (TX/s) available in Bitcoin and Ethereum today.

The Zilliqa blockchain platform is being developed by researchers at the National University of Singapore led by Xinshu Dong and is based off of the concept of ‘sharding’ that the the team proposed in a paper back in 2015, but hasn’t yet been deployed as an open and permission-less blockchain at scale until now.  The idea is to automatically split up a large network of machines processing transactions into parallel sub-committees or “shards”. Each shard processes its own microblock in parallel with other shards, and resulting micro-blocks are merged into one final one.

Although the high-level idea of sharding appears not difficult to understand, ensuring a secure and unbiased process of sharding is highly challenging. Zilliqa develops a mechanism to dynamically elect and update a special committee of machines to ensure such properties.

For their smart contracts, Zilliqa proposes a new ‘scalability-driven’ smart contract language that is not Turing-complete, but rather scales much better for a multitude of applications that range from automated auctions, digital advertising to shared economy. The smart contract language in Zilliqa follows a dataflow programming style, where the program can be seen as a directed graph, and nodes in the graph represent computations, while arcs represent input/output.

The team plans to release their source code and a public testnet in December 2017. The public release of the Zilliqa protocol will enable the public and developers to participate in testing its functionality, performance, and robustness, and to start designing the next generation of blockchain applications that can be developed on the platform.