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Bitcoin parallel financial blockchain Zen Protocol seeking beta testers

After a year in stealth mode, Zen Protocol opens early access to the new smart contract platform, integrated with Bitcoin and secured by formally verified proofs.

Zen Protocol, a blockchain built for finance today announced its testnet launch and the beginning of onboarding beta users. Zen’s goal is making secure, peer to peer finance possible on a public blockchain, removing the need for intermediaries such as banks and brokers.

Zen allows anyone to create and trade financial products, anytime, anywhere on a platform secured with a proof-of-work blockchain. Zen provides users with an open marketplace for options, futures, digital currencies, ETFs, exotics, and many other types of financial instruments.

Built to support a comprehensive financial system, Zen is open, frictionless, and completely decentralized. The Zen Protocol’s reference implementation uses the .NET stack and the F* functional programming language, developed by Inria and Microsoft Research, to power contracts that are provably correct, and that never exhaust network resources.

Zen makes it possible to build smart contracts with real utility, making it viable for them to use real-world data and work without any intermediaries or central control. All assets on Zen are created by contracts, making possible decentralized, automated escrow—meaning that traders on Zen no longer need trusted counter-parties.

Parallel to Bitcoin

The Zen blockchain is parallel to Bitcoin with its own POW scheme but incorporates commitments to the state of Bitcoin’s blockchain. Every fully verifying Zen node is also a Bitcoin node.

This close connection to Bitcoin makes it possible for contracts to sell assets on the Zen blockchain for bitcoins, for users to create pegged Bitcoin assets on Zen, and for the Zen Protocol itself to use any future sidechain support in the Bitcoin protocol.

Zen miners can verify how much computation each contract requires, before ever running it. This allows Zen—unlike competing smart contract platforms—to work without a virtual machine or a resource counter, making contracts in the Zen Protocol as fast to execute as compiled system code.

Additionally, Zen has first class tokens, assets that can be held and transferred without running their issuing contracts. This is a step forward in usability and compatibility from platforms which implement tokens as a second-layer protocol. With Zen, new assets are always usable by any existing or future contract.

Zen Protocol offers:

  1. Scalability: Off-chain transactions and an active contract set makes the Zen Protocol highly scalable.
  2. Resilient incentive alignment: The Zen blockchain is secured by multiple proof-of-work algorithms, with token-holder voting on the balance between them. This creates robust incentives for miners to deliver efficient, reliable security.
  3. Useful real-world data: A cornerstone of any valuable use-case is connecting to real events and external sources of information. Zen’s solution allows for commercially viable data feeds.
  4. Security: Zen contracts come with proofs, written in F*, that demonstrate they are free of errors and security vulnerabilities.
  5. Bounded contracts: Miners know the cost of executing contracts before running them, enabling compiled contracts and a guarantee that transactions only enter the blockchain when contracts fully, successfully execute.

Adam Perlow, CEO of Zen Protocol Development said:

“Tokens are the incentive for mining. We believe in Bitcoin’s model of bootstrapping security via inflation, when the costs would otherwise be carried by the user base. We are focused on creating a fully decentralized finance platform that offers secure, scalable transactions.”

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20 Sep 2017 - 10 Jan 2018

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