Zilliqa is among the top 70 cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation and also a Singapore-based start-up backed by some big-name corporates. Since launching in 2017, Zilliqa has gained recognition for its blockchain solution implementing sharding technology to resolve the scalability, speed and cost problems of transactions. It was also one of the better performing altcoins during the 2017-2018 alt season, giving those who participated in the ICO a handsome return.

Earlier this year, Zilliqa completed its migration from the Ethereum-based ERC-20 chain to its native Mainnet chain. Closer to the day, there was much hype that Zilliqa would be announcing a partnership with a big name corporate (read: Facebook). I decided to attend the annual Zilliqa Day event on June 18 to find out what was in the pipeline.

1. Presentation and language skills go a long way

Perhaps it is a problem unique to the crypto space, but I couldn’t help observing that the hosts and presenters were awkward and unpolished on stage. One particular presenter was downright incomprehensible. As much as I believe that first impressions should not affect one’s judgment of the content, his presentation really pushed the limit. Hiring professional emcees and getting a translator (while doing away with refreshments) could have helped make the event a far more pleasant experience for attendees.

2. The “big-name” partner is xfers

Many endured the excruciating presentation because they were looking forward to the highlight announcement at the end of the session. The emcees had teased a surprise guest speaker from their most recent partnership. This turned out to be xfers, a payments infrastructure platform for businesses and individuals. Though somewhat underwhelming, xfers has proved to be aggressive and competitive in the crowded fintech space (e.g. it is Binance SG’s payments partner). If xfers runs on Zilliqa’s blockchain, Zilliqa will stand to benefit from xfers business growth.

3. Zilliqa is building an ecosystem

Blockchains and cryptocurrencies live and die by usage, traffic and volume. You can have the best blockchain, but if there is no usage, it’s as good as dead. It was thus encouraging to hear about the promising projects and partnerships that Zilliqa had supported or secured. While many projects focus on developing technical solutions, Zilliqa is going a step further to build an ecosystem of dApps and front-end products using its platform. By offering grants and building an intelligent self-checking programming language (Scilla), they have made it attractive and easy for start-ups to build on and for their blockchain. Some partnerships that stood out for me were Unstoppable Domains (a bit.ly/tiny.url equivalent for blockchain addresses), Hg Exchange (a platform to improve securities trading) and Mindshare (a global media and marketing agency).

What does this mean?

Since the event, Zilliqa tokens have collapsed in price to just above $0.016 USD as the expectations that Libra (Facebook’s cryptocurrency) was going to run on ZIL’s network were dashed. There’s always going to be a faster, cheaper, more secure, user-friendly blockchain solution (Elrond and Kadena are 2 that come to mind). Rather than focusing on beating the competition, Zilliqa is creating its own demand, traffic and usage to ensure longevity for its blockchain. Painful presentations and awkwardness aside, ZIL’s approach to ensure usage of its blockchain is a long-term strategy that could bear fruit in future.