Zen Protocol Unveils Testnet To Decentralize Finance

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.

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Zen Protocol, a Blockchain built for finance, is announcing its testnet and starting to on–board beta testers. Zen is making secure, peer to peer finance possible on a public Blockchain, removing the need for intermediaries such as banks and brokers.

Current financial systems are centralized, complex, and difficult to access. While established and experienced players can usually deal with the paperwork and bureaucracy, many businesses  and individuals find the barriers to entry impossible to overcome.

Potential trades and deals are lost, as these participants in finance are forced to use intermediaries to gain limited access to the system, without the ability to issue assets or even to trade in some asset classes.

Zen allows anyone to create and trade financial products, anytime, anywhere in the world, 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.

Unlike other platforms, 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 counterparties.

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.

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 Protocol offers:

  • Scalability: Off-chain transactions and an active contract set makes the Zen Protocol highly scalable.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Security: Zen contracts come with proofs, written in F*, that demonstrate they are free of errors and security vulnerabilities.
  • 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

“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,” said Adam Perlow, CEO of Zen Protocol Development. “We are focused on creating a fully decentralized finance platform that offers secure, scalable transactions.”

Learn more by joining the conversation on Telegram: https://t.me/zenprotocol

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) - Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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