Zilliqa is a blockchain protocol that powers smart contracts and decentralized applications, with a focus on achieving scalability through 'sharding'. Sharding is an experimental methodology where groups of nodes handle verifying different blocks of transactions, allowing the network's throughput to scale as the number of nodes scales. Smart contracts are self-executing programs that facilitate an exchange of value (e.g., money, content, property, shares) when specific conditions are met without an intermediary. Smart contracts run exactly as programmed without censorship, downtime, fraud or third-party intervention. Smart contracts for Zilliqa are written in Scilla, a functional language which allows for formal verification and aims to reduce security vulnerabilities.