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What Is ZetaChain (ZETA)?

ZetaChain is a novel L1 that has chain-agnostic interoperability built-in (EVM-compatible, Cosmos/IBC, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Tron, etc.). Developers currently use ZetaChain’s messaging capabilities to send data and native value (without wrapping assets) between any chains.

ZetaChain will also support native smart contracts, which let developers build omnichain dApps that orchestrate funds across chains from a single contract.

Who Are the Founders of ZetaChain?

ZetaChain’s founder was an early Coinbase employee and one of the creators of Basic Attention Token (BAT). Investors include all major market makers, top exchanges, early Coinbase and Binance employees including Dan Romero, Sam Rosenblum, and John Yi, as well as major contributors to some of the industry’s most widely adopted protocols and well known funds, including Polygon’s JD Kanani.

Advisors to the project include Coinbase’s first Head of People Nathalie McGrath who scaled the industry leading exchange from 10 employees to over 800, and Juan Suarez, who served as in-house counsel at Coinbase from 2013 to 2022.

What Makes ZetaChain Unique?

ZetaChain is a blockchain that connects everything. It enables interoperability between any blockchains or layers by providing cross-chain value transfer and message delivery, as well as native omnichain smart contract support. Applications built on ZetaChain — omnichain dApps (odApps) — can leverage liquidity and data on multiple networks and read and update state on all connected networks.

ZetaChain’s native omnichain smart contract platform lets developers deploy contracts with the same ease as developing dApps for a single network like Ethereum, that orchestrate data and value across many or all chains. ZetaChain’s connectivity is chain-agnostic and can connect to and bring smart contract capabilities to even non-smart-contract chains like Bitcoin and Dogecoin.

The ZETA coin powers ZetaChain, facilitating cross-chain value transfer, securing the blockchain through slashing/bonding/staking, paying for gas fees, processing transactions, and storing data. Through ZETA, users are able to safely transfer native value across chains without the common risks of bridging or wrapping assets.

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How Is the ZETA Network Secured?

ZetaChain is a Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain built on Cosmos SDK and Tendermint consensus, which can connect to external blockchains (e.g., Ethereum, BSC, Solana, Avalanche, Terra, Bitcoin) and layers (e.g., Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum) in a decentralized (without a single point of failure, trustless, permissionless), transparent, and efficient way.

The ZetaChain architecture consists of validators, observers, and signers. Validators participate in block production and receive rewards proportional to their bonded staking coins, observers reach consensus on external chain events and states, and signers, in a distributed fashion, hold standard ECDSA/EdDSA keys to sign messages on behalf of ZetaChain. ZetaChain utilizes GG20 leaderless Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS), which does distributed key generation and key signing. No single ZetaChain node or other individual has access to the complete private key at any point in time. All the inbound/outbound transactions and decisions made (through state change) are recorded in the ZetaChain blocks, which are available, immutable, verifiable, and completely transparent.

The only native value that can go cross-chain is the ZETA coin. The mechanism is a one way peg (i.e. burning X amount on chain A and then minting X amount on chain B). This value-transfer architecture reduces the attack surface substantially, resulting in an easier to understand audit and superior security compared to approaches that involve bridging and wrapping, which put users’ assets at risk when trading between chains. For example, total supply checks may be implemented directly at the contract mint site.