Blockchain platform Zilliqa teams up with payments startup Xfers

BLOCKCHAIN tech firm Zilliqa, which is based in Singapore and London, has partnered payment solutions provider Xfers to implement distributed ledger technology in payments processing.

Xfers, which is backed by 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, will make use of Zilliqa’s recently launched smart contracts to make payments more efficient and transparent for its 500,000 users. Smart contracts allow for automated, conditional transactions – meaning that the contract is only executed if the parties involved perform the required actions as laid out in the contract, which is underwritten in cryptographic code.

For instance, if a smart contract is developed for person A who is contracting with person B to build a website at a cost of S$500, A puts S$500 into the contract and the funds are locked. When B completes building the website, B sends a message to the contract to prompt it to unlock the funds.If A agrees that the contract is fulfilled, the funds are automatically released to B.

Zilliqa’s proprietary smart contract language, Scilla, was designed with security as a priority, the firm’s president Amrit Kumar told BT.

The startup is now exploring other ways to collaborate with Xfers, which recently received approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a holder of a Widely Accepted Stored Value Facility (WASVF). Xfers Wallet can now hold more than S$30 million of users' and merchants' stored value, which it will be fully liable for. The only other WASVFs are EZ-Link Card, NETS CashCard, NETS Flashpay and CapitaVoucher.

One potential collaboration could be in the area of remittance, Mr Kumar said. Traditional crossborder transactions could take days to weeks to complete, but blockchain technology can help make the process close to real-time, he said.

Zilliqa claims its platform can process 2,828 transactions per second. By way of comparison, Ethereum and Bitcoin handles 7 to 15 transactions per second, while Visa handles thousands of transactions per second.

On the back of its second anniversary on Tuesday, Zilliqa also announced a 12-week incubation programme to support projects building on the Zilliqa blockchain. The incubator, called ZILHive, was launched in collaboration with LongHash, a global blockchain incubator supported by the Singapore government.

Upon completion of the programme, projects will be guaranteed non-dilutive grant funding of US$20,000 and teams will pitch their product to investors for further funding.