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FAQ

Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get. If you have a question that's not answered here, please ask them on our Discord! Our team and ecosystem is always online and ready to discuss new ideas and questions.

General

What is ZetaChain?

ZetaChain is the world’s first and only blockchain that connects everything. It facilitates cross-chain and cross-layer value transfer, message delivery, and smart contract calls — thus enabling for the first time omnichain dApps (odApps) which can leverage liquidity on multiple networks and read and update states on all connected networks.

Read more about ZetaChain here.

Why is ZETA used as an intermediary token? Are intermediary tokens “bad”?

ZETA is used for many aspects of the network, including as an intermediary token in the case of cross-chain value transfer. The coin is used as gas for the network, just as ETH is used on Ethereum, as well as for maintaining and incentivizing decentralization in the network — staking, bonding, slashing, and so on. These properties provably provide a sustainable foundation to the ZetaChain network’s security, longevity, and scalability, especially when compared to many other existing interoperability solutions which can be centralized, poorly incentivized, and unsustainable long-term. Any asset or data can still be transacted across any connected chain. Having ZETA as the denomination of value moving cross-chain also provides ZetaChain an extremely minimized attack surface that is not vulnerable to many of the exploits that many projects in the interoperability space are susceptible to.

Read more about the ZETA token here.

What is ZETA?

ZETA is ZetaChain's native coin, one of the first coins that is natively issued across many chains. ZETA is used for many aspects of the network, including as an intermediary token in the case of cross-chain value transfer. The coin is used as gas for the network, just as ETH is used on Ethereum, as well as for maintaining and incentivizing decentralization in the network — staking, bonding, slashing, and so on. These properties provably provide a sustainable foundation to the ZetaChain network’s security, longevity, and scalability, especially when compared to many other existing interoperability solutions which can be centralized, poorly incentivized, and unsustainable long-term. Any asset or data can still be transacted across any connected chain. Having ZETA as the denomination of value moving cross-chain also provides ZetaChain an extremely minimized attack surface that is not vulnerable to many of the exploits that many projects in the interoperability space are susceptible to.

How do fees work on ZetaChain?

A user pays for all fees within a single transaction when performing cross-chain actions through ZetaChain. All fees (ZetaChain network fees, destination gas fees) are bundled in a single transaction.

What is an omnichain dApp?

An omnichain dApp is a decentralized application that functions seamlessly across blockchains and layers through ZetaChain. This can take the form of smart contracts deployed on various chains which interact by passing messages and value through ZetaChain, smart contracts deployed directly on ZetaChain which manage assets on any or all connected chains, or some combination thereof.

Is ZetaChain a "sidechain"?

No, ZetaChain is an L1 smart-contract-enabled blockchain that has chain-agnostic interoperability built in. It is not a sidechain, rollup, or bridge.

How does ZetaChain compare to other solutions?

ZetaChain is, at the time of writing, unique in its support for chain-agnostiic omnichain dApps. No other blockchain enables fully interoperable smart contracts. This feature allows an unbounded platform to build omnichain and cross-chain applications that function as if everything lived on a single chain. Although some systems like Cosmos offer interoperability within the IBC ecosystem, ZetaChain brings seamless interoperabiliy to all chains, including non-smart-contract chains like Bitcoin and Dogecoin. As a blockchain and smart contract platform, ZetaChain provides a fully public, transparent, decentralized interoperability solution that supports both omnichain messaging and smart contracts. Developers on ZetaChain only need to implement their dApp logic, while ZetaChain handles the transaction of data and value across chains in a trust-minimized way. Rather than outsourcing security to third-party oracle and relay like LayerZero to transfer data/value across chains -- which requires full trust from the users in the applications and relayer + oracle -- ZetaChain provides a simpler and more robust trust model to transact across chains where a developer and user alike need only trust the network for the delivery of their data and value. Read more about other interoperability solutions and how they compare to ZetaChain in the whitepaper.

How do I develop on ZetaChain?

You can start building now, and add powerful cross-chain capabilities to your dApp using ZetaChain's Connector.

Stay tuned on our Twitter and Discord for the latest updates in our protocol.

Is ZetaChain a bridge? How is it different from a bridge?

ZetaChain is not a bridge. At its core, ZetaChain is a blockchain and interoperability smart contract and messaging platform. One can build need-specific bridges through ZetaChain, although ZetaChain has omnichain value transfer built-in. Transferring value through ZetaChain also does not require wrapping of assets. Wrapped assets and centralized vaults are often the points of failure or expoits that result in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars that are not uncommon (Wormhole hack, Poly Network hack). With ZetaChain, all funds at rest are not at risk, because there is no interdependency via wrapping/locking.

What’s the difference between ZetaChain messaging and smart contracts?

Messaging allows a developer to send data and value between smart contracts, whether they are on ZetaChain or on external chains. One can deploy smart contracts on external chains and just pass messages between them through ZetaChain in a similar manner to other interoperability messaging protocols like LayerZero, but ZetaChain’s interoperable smart contracts let developers maintain omnichain logic within a single place, reducing overhead and enabling smart contract logic to control even non-smart-contract chains like Bitcoin and Dogecoin.

Security

How many block confirmations are needed on a source chain transaction before ZetaChain observes and processes it?

You can configure it by passing a parameter to ZetaChain's Connector.

How does ZetaChain handle a case where a source TX is reverted (e. g. on a PoW chain due to an attack)?

Upon detection of the very deep re-organization, ZetaChain will halt and the recovery would be a social process between various stakeholders including ZetaChain validators and team, dApps developers, and end users. The dApps developers should build in the capability to resolve inconsistent states due to the very deep re-organization. The dApps should also configure the confirmation count accordingly to strike balance between transaction speed and finality---for example, a multi-chain NFT dApp should use a high confirmation number (such as 30 confirmation on Ethereum), whereas a cross-chain DEX could use a smaller value (such as 12 confirmations on Ethereum) because DEX deals with fungible tokens therefore the loss can be socialized.

What happens if a TX on the destination chain doesn't have enough gas?

Same answer as above. The transaction is reverted and funds are returned to the sender if the destination transaction is unable to successfully send. dApps can handle reverts easily with the Connector docs.

Is there an interface where we can run a PoS validator?

We'll provide more details for node operators soon.

Testnet and Mainnet

When will mainnet be released?

We will be releasing a full schedule for the launch of our Athens (testnet) and ZetaChain Mainnet soon. Stay tuned on our Twitter, Discord, and Telegram for updates. The current Athens Devnet is live, and you can develop dApps with that -- get started here.

Will there be an airdrop?

There are no plans for an airdrop, and performing test transactions or acquiring testnet ZETA will not translate to any sort of monetary incentive.

How do I get ZETA?

You can request testnet ZETA in the #zeta-faucet channel on our discord. This testnet ZETA does not and will never have any monetary value. It is solely for testing purposes, so that people can experience the use and power of ZetaChain.

Does testnet ZETA have any value?

No, testnet ZETA does not have any value, and will never have any monetary value. Performing transactions or acquiring ZETA on testnet networks is purely for testing purposes and will not translate to any monetary rewards or gain.