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CEO, PhD in data science with 3 years solid experience in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, 10 years in IT. Konstantin is well-known as the co-founder and CEO of Changelly.com, biggest cryptocurrency instant exchange with over 2 millions active customers monthly and $0.5bln in monthly turnover. Konstantins interests are: decentralization, custody-free solutions, p2p exchangers.
Strategic Advisor and Visionary, is an American entrepreneur and bitcoin advocate. In 2011 he co-founded the now-defunct startup company BitInstant, and is a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation, formerly serving as vice chairman. The Bitcoin Foundation is a nonprofit founded in 2012 with the mission to standardize, protect and promote the use of bitcoin cryptographic money.
What is Zilliqa (ZIL)?
Since its launch and inception in 2009, Bitcoin's increased usage and popularity have caused it to experience noticeable scalability issues. Correcting these issues has been the focal point for countless forks and subsequent blockchain designs.
Even now, BTC is struggling to process the complete demand for its network services, with transaction fees having scaled rapidly in recent times. Ethereum is beginning to experience the same issue, with limited throughput meaning that certain smart contracts can become gas-intensive to facilitate and verify.
While many second and third-generation crypto assets have sought to solve the issue of scalability, however, few have tackled it as effectively as Zilliqa (ZIL). The reason for this is simple: it's the first public blockchain designed to implement sharding and allow for linear scaling as the network continues to grow in the future.
We'll touch more on sharding and its effectiveness later in the piece, but in simple terms, ZIL fundamentally changes how a blockchain reaches consensus.
As the sharding solution scales with the size of the network, there's no theoretical limit to the number of transactions Zilliqa can process per second. In practical terms, however, the blockchain could process potentially tens or hundreds of thousands of transactions per second in the near term, depending on the precise number of nodes active on the network.
In addition to this, Zilliqa also pledges to support smart contracts as it scales, although this represents a considerable technical challenge on a sharded network. More specifically, smart contracts can become a significant bottleneck for throughput on sharded networks, as each entity can only be executed on one shard at a time if a deterministic state of blockchain is to be maintained.
Zilliqa can trace its history back to 2017 when the project was founded by a group of researchers from the National University of Singapore. The leader of the group and Zilliqa CEO is Xinshu Dong, who boasts a PhD in Computer Science and is widely known as a cybersecurity expert. Other prominent team members included Yaoqi Jia, Amrit Kumar, and Prateek Saxena, the latter of which previously worked alongside the founder of the Kyber Network Loi Luu.
The ZIL token officially hit the marketplace on January 26th, 2018, six months after the company was formally launched. It opened at a competitive price of $0.1194 per token, before initially peaking at $0.1849 five months later. Currently, it's trading at $0.1355 per token, with its real-time market capitalization and daily trading volumes helping to distinguish Zilliqa as the 65th largest crypto asset in the marketplace.
What is a Zilliqa Wallet?
As with any crypto-asset, there are several types of wallet in which you can securely store your ZIL tokens. These are available across a diverse range of platforms, including iOS, Android and several hardware-based solutions.
Typically, the three major categories of wallet are hardware, software and paper wallets, but these can be broken down into more detailed descriptions to help you make an informed decision as a ZIL holder. These include:
- Hot and Cold Wallets: When distinguishing between hot and cold wallets, a viable Internet connection is a determining factor. More specifically, hot wallets are connected to the Internet, whereas cold wallets aren't, with the former less secure and only really ideal for investors who trade regularly and hold relatively small amounts of ZIL. Conversely, cold wallets are stored offline and significantly more secure, although they're not as accessible during the course of your working day.
- Hardware Wallets: The terms 'hardware wallet' and 'cold wallet' may be used interchangeably, with the former actually a standalone hardware device that often resembles a USB stick with an OLED display. This is arguably the most secure form of Zilliqa wallet, while it's also relatively user-friendly and capable of offering you reasonable amounts of control over your assets. However, you will have to pay between $70 and $150 for a hardware wallet, which represents a significant investment for casual traders.
- Paper Wallets: Next up are cold paper wallets, which usually take the form of a physically printed QR code. Of course, such wallets are incredibly easy to use and not particularly vulnerable to hacks, but they also have the disadvantage of not enabling you to send partial funds. Therefore, they cannot be reused, while the onus is also on you to store your paper wallet safely and keep your private key data secure offline.
- Desktop and Mobile Wallets: Desktop and mobile wallets are relatively self-explanatory terms, with these distinguished by their unique operating systems and the range of devices on which they can be downloaded. While both of these wallet types are incredibly accessible and easy to use, they're also vulnerable to malware attacks and online hacking.
Make no mistake; choosing the right and most suitable ZIL wallet is an important consideration and one that must be based on factors such as the size of your holding and the frequency with which you complete transactions.
Remember, your wallet will comprise pairs of private and public key information, which generate alphanumeric identifiers that can verify individual transactions. So, although your wallet's address can be shared securely to receive funds, your private key information should never leave your device.
Otherwise, you'll potentially lose control of your funds and run the risk of having your hard-earned ZIL tokens removed from the wallet.
Zilliqa Wallet Features
Interestingly, Atomic Wallet offers the best of both worlds to ZIL holders, as it's a custodial, decentralised entity that offers comprehensive exchange and staking platforms.
Thanks to its unique nature, Atomic Wallet doesn't store your private keys on a centralised exchange or server. Instead, your private keys are encrypted and stored directly on your device, ensuring that you never lose control of your funds or privacy.
Within the wallet's decentralised exchange, you can also swap more than 60 crypto pairs in complete anonymity, earning valuable cashback in some instances. Your privacy is guaranteed by the fact that you won't have to verify your identity when swapping tokens on the exchange, negating the need for intrusive KYC procedures.
Overall, more than 500 crypto tokens are supported by Atomic Wallet, including ZIL, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP). What's more, Atomic Wallet is uniquely compatible with multiple operating systems, namely macOS, Android, iOS and Windows.
While you're currently unable to buy ZIL tokens directly through the site, the coin is featured as part of Atomic Wallet's staking program. Staking refers to the process of actively participating in transaction validation on a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, in exchange for cashback determined by an annual ROI.
We'll touch more on staking Zilliqa through Atomic Wallet below, but at present, this is one of more than a dozen tokens that can be staked in exchange for rewards on the platform.
On a final note, you can also participate in Atomic Wallet's membership and reward scheme as a ZIL holder. To join in, you'll just have to buy in at the minimum requirement of 100 AWC (which is Atomic Wallet's native token).
Then, just exchange this with BNB on Binance Dex, at which stage you can exchange your tokens with ZIL and earn distributed rewards on a monthly basis.
How to Store ZIL Safely?
As we've already touched on, storing your ZIL tokens safely requires you to identify and access the right type of wallet. Even then, however, there are instances in which your private keys and tokens may become vulnerable to thieves and hackers, so we'd recommend that you take additional steps to safeguard your assets effectively.
With Atomic Wallet, you'll be able to encrypt and store your 256-bit private key on your desktop or smartphone device. However, you can protect this further by storing it in a password-protected file, as this creates an additional layer of security that may be welcome regardless of how many ZIL coins you hold.
If you do utilise a desktop or a mobile wallet, it's also important that you update your OS software on a regular basis. This includes both scheduled and unscheduled updates, not only those that are promoted by Android or iOS as and when required. You should definitely run such updates as quickly as possible, as they're likely to include pivotal security upgrades that prevent your ZIL wallet from becoming an easy target for hackers.
On a final note, you should take the proactive step of backing up your unique wallet.dat files every week or so. This will ensure that your data and currency holdings can be restored up to a previous point in time, in instances where information is lost following a hardware failure. The key is to back your files up regularly in a secure, physical location, like a standalone hard drive or a USB stick.
Can you stake ZIL on Atomic Wallet?
We spoke earlier about staking Zilliqa, which is currently available through the Atomic Wallet platform. But what can you expect when staking ZIL through the platform? Well, you can now stake your Zilliqa holdings and earn rewards at an annual rate of 15%, within a period of between one day and 12 months.
Your rewards will be determined by the size of your holding and the duration of your staking agreement. So, let's say that you stake a holding of 10,000.00 ZIL tokens, with the asset currently valued at $0.14 per coin. If you choose to stake this for a period of a year, you'll earn a reward of 1,500.00 ZIL, which in turn will translate into a cash return of $203.30. Just note that you'll have to stake all of your holdings to participate, while your returns will diminish if you choose to commit your assets for a shorter period of time.
The really good news is that you'll retain full access to your ZIL holdings while they're being staked, so you can continue to send, exchange, and receive tokens as normal. Of course, this will impact your earnings, as rewards are continually calculated based on your real-time balance, so it's worth keeping this in mind when staking!
Interestingly, Atomic Wallet also allows you to unstake your ZIL holdings at any time, without the application of a network fee. The only caveat is that you won't be able to do this immediately, as your funds will be locked for approximately one day after they've been delegated.
You'll also still be able to claim the rewards that you've earned up to the point that you unstake your assets, which is a relatively unusual practice in the marketplace.
What is Sharding and How Does it Solve Scalability?
While Zilliqa is one of the few blockchain technologies to feature a sharded architecture, this principle is well known and one that transcends the world of crypto assets.
In simple terms, sharding is also referred to as horizontal partitioning, which is a core database design principle that separates relevant servers to spread the load accordingly.
But how does it work in relation to blockchain? Well, when sharding is implemented within a blockchain, the network begins to separate into different shards or 'teams'. Each individual shard is capable of processing transactions in parallel, creating a scenario where a larger number of transactions can be completed simultaneously.
To put this into context, a network that contains 1,000 nodes can theoretically divide into 10 individual shards. Each of the 10 shards will subsequently feature 100 nodes, potentially increasing processing speeds 10-fold and boosting latency significantly.
Furthermore, Zilliqa has stated its intention to become the first sharded blockchain to build a network size of at least 10,000 nodes.
This would fundamentally tackle blockchain's long-standing scalability issues, while potentially creating a network processing speed that would match VISA and MasterCard (with the advantage of lower and nominal transaction fees).
Of course, there are challenges to overcome, particularly from the perspective of facilitating smart contracts through the Zilliqa blockchain. This is because the essence of each shard is effectively a small blockchain, and smart contracts can only be executed on one shard at a time through the network.
Zilliqa price and price history
We spoke earlier about the ZIL price, which opened at $0.1194 at the beginning of 2018 before reaching an initial peak of $0.1849 in May of that year.
However, the ZIL price plunged as low as $0.01301 on December 16th, 2018, while largely maintaining this value through November 2020.
At this time, however, Zilliqa became caught up in the latest crypto bull run, which was driven by BTC's substantial gains and the establishment of various cryptocurrencies as relative safe-haven assets. Subsequently, the ZIL price increased to $0.2263 on May 7th, 2021, before settling marginally lower at $0.1372 just two weeks later.
While some may argue that its Q1 gain was relatively modest (especially with a further decline projected for the next month or so), Zilliqa definitely boasts long-term potential as a market-leading De-Fi cryptocurrency.
To this end, a projected price high of $0.30 by the end of 2021 seems more than reasonable, while sustained adoption and further scaling could ultimately see the asset valued at $1.338 or higher by the end of 2025.
Top 5 things to know about Zilliqa (ZIL)
- At present, there are thought to be 8,238,440,891 ZIL tokens in circulation. The maximum supply is thought to be in the region of 21,000,000,000.
- Zilliqa's market cap value has increased incrementally over time, from $178,093,001 on January 22nd, 2019 to $1,528,571,013.22 as of May 21st, 2021.
- In late 2017, the burgeoning Zilliqa announced an exclusive partnership with global media agency Mindshare. This long-standing collaboration has helped ZIL to test and provide its capabilities as an industry leader, with the Mindshare brand recording more than $30m in revenue annually.
- Interestingly, Zilliqa only requires proof-of-work (PoW) consensus for every 100 blocks. The reason for this is simple; the system utilises PoW simply to prevent Sybil attacks and generate node identities, rather than to reach a consensus like BTC.
- According to research and testing, Zilliqa requires shards to hold approximately 600+ plus nodes to function correctly. This is central to the network's increased processing speeds and its ability to tackle scalability issues in a sustainable manner.
Zilliqa is undoubtedly a unique and cutting-edge network, and one that has pledged to tackle long-standing scalability issues and deliver on the premise of third-generation blockchains across the board. It's well-placed to achieve this too, with its unique architecture successfully offsetting its difficulty in facilitating smart contracts and the relative lack of value surrounding the ZIL token.
Zilliqa also holds huge potential from the perspective of staking, with Atomic Wallet users able to bank annual returns of 15% on holdings of up to 100,000 ZIL tokens. This could translate into a cash return of $518.43 in just 12 months, with this made all the more accessible by the affordable nature of ZIL.