Zel — Everything You Need To Know

The Zel Ecosystem has so many moving pieces, it can be confusing at times. This article is a digestible high-level summary of the entire project

The contents of this post will also be posted on zel.wiki

The Zel Ecosystem

The Zel Ecosystem is ZelCore (the blockchain wallet), Flux (the decentralized network & data layer), and Zel (the coin & digital ledger). All three of these projects, although being separate, play into and support each-other.

Zel (The Asset)

Zel is a cryptocurrency and blockchain that powers the entirety of the Zel Ecosystem. This asset has a supporting role in ZelCore and a fundamental role in Flux. On its surface, Zel is a mineable digital currency based on the technological foundations of the cryptocurrency ZCash, which is based on Bitcoin. Zel utilizes zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-SNARKS), a privacy protocol that was created in the 1980’s by MIT researchers. Zel is a finite asset, which is distributed via a block reward. This block reward is split between miners (keeping the blockchain moving) and node operators (Flux).

Zel’s block reward is distributed every 2 minutes to miners and node operators. The current block reward is 75 Zel, with 75% going to miners, and 25% goes to node operators. This block reward is minted and added to circulating supply. There are 2 metrics when discussing how much of the asset exists, circulating supply and total supply. Circulating supply is the supply that is currently available and can be sent in the network at the moment, whereas the total supply is the max amount of the asset that can ever exist.

ZelCore (The Blockchain Wallet)

ZelCore is a non-custodial wallet that doesn’t store or transmit any personal data or recovery seeds. This gives the user full control over their account, wallets, and private keys. ZelCore currently supports over 200 unique assets, including most of the large cryptocurrencies. It is an all-in-one solution, where users can onboard to ZelCore, and have full access to everything that this industry offers without ever having to leave the platform. We currently offer a multitude of features, such as fiat ramps, easily buy/sell assets (quick-swaps), multiple wallets, a self-sovereign identity function (Zel ID), ZelCore+, and much more.

ZelCore utilizes a unique account creation system, which mimics the traditional username/password + 2fa — in a decentralized manner. This involves the username/password being locally hashed with salts, generating a master private key for the wallet, and in turn this master key is used to generate public and private keys for all assets within ZelCore. To bring this a step further, we have built out a decentralized 2-factor authentication (d2FA) system, which is a 4–9 digit PIN that is encrypted using the same method above, then stored on the Zel blockchain. This decentralized account creation system negates commonly abused security vulnerabilities and attack vectors such as:

  • Using the same login credentials across multiple websites/services
  • Entering login credentials on a compromised or malicious website
  • SIM swap attacks and socially-engineered number ports via Telco’s
  • Data breaches and attacks on centralized infrastructure

Zel ID is our proprietary self-sovereign identity, giving each ZelCore user a pseudo-anonymous unique ID. We plan to build it out and utilize it further. Some potential use cases we have identified are:

  • Linking KYC/AML details
  • Giving permissions to users
  • Centralized exchange identification

ZelCore+ is our premium service which includes non-essential wallet functions catered towards traders and every day users. There are currently 4 plans available to use ZelCore+, a 1 month, 3 month, and 1 year subscription, each costing less than a few dollars a month each. The 4th plan available is holding 5,000 Zel in ZelCore wallet to unlock.

These additional functions that ZelCore+ unlocks are:

  • Standardized exchange integrations
  • 3 more wallet addresses
  • TradingView charting & TA tools
  • Aggregated news sources
  • Zelnode node monitoring app
  • ZCoin node monitoring app

We engineered ZelCore from the ground up to be able to support additional blockchain and app integrations without compromising speed, size and, security. With this we are able to work with more projects, and do more without fear of compromising our product. This has allowed us to target strategic partners and integrate their services, such as:

  • Coinswitch | Instaswap | Changelly | Kyber — Quickly trade funds within wallet
  • Sendwyre — Onboard fiat currencies to crypto using Credit card, Debit card, and ACH
  • WalletConnect — Connect ZelCore account to decentralized applications
  • CruxID — email-like crypto sending/receiving
  • Standardized exchange interfaces — Link your API key and trade within ZelCore to 6 centralized exchanges (Binance, Gemini, Bittrex)
  • Binance DEX — Decentralized Exchange

ZelCore currently generates revenue through listings, affiliate fees, contract work, and our premium service (ZelCore+). Projects can pay a reasonable integration fee to have their asset, custom blockchain feature, or application listed in ZelCore. The Zel team also takes affiliate fees on all fiat on-boarding and quick swap transactions.

Flux (The Network)

Flux is our decentralized computational network powered by Zelnode operators. A Zelnode operator is a third party that provides verified computational power to our network, in return for Zel (the asset). This network provides guaranteed uptime, redundancy, and verified specs, all while being operated by hundreds of users. The network currently boasts over 800 nodes providing resources to the network, with resources of over 10TB of ram, 185TB of disk space, and 3500 vCores. To host a node you must also stake a certain amount of Zel (the asset), which provides a vested interest in the well-being of the network.

Zelnode operators are third party entities which provide resources to our network in return for a portion of the Zel block reward. In addition to providing resources, they must also hold a set amount of Zel. These distributed nodes have been put together to create Flux, our computational network. This network can launch any dockerized image, in any language (which supports docker). This network also offers the ability of full support for all blockchains. We are currently using this network for:

  • Hosting ZelCore (The multi asset wallet) infrastructure (reducing ZelCore overhead costs)
  • Hosting Kadena infrastructure (a third party project)
  • Hosting Dibifetch (a market rates aggregator)
  • Hosting Folding@Home (a third party project)

This network is still new. We expect to use this network in the near future for:

  • Providing Blockchain as a service to third party projects
  • Launching apps
  • Hosting infrastructure
  • Storing data

Flux is able to incentivize node operators providing computational power by compensating them with a portion of the Zel block reward. This block reward is Zel (the asset), which is our emissions system to distribute the finite asset. Our network directly scales with the price of our asset, as when the asset price increases, the block reward subsequently increases in value. This means that our network is able to be linearly scaled. This scaling creates a feedback loop:

More use cases are brought to this network → Demand for asset increases, asset price increases → More profitable to provide computational power, network increases in size

Blog source for all things Flux, officially; from the Flux Team | https://runonflux.io | https://twitter.com/runonflux