Tezos is defined as a decentralized blockchain platform, governing itself by establishing a mathematical technique for proving the correctness of transactions governed by code and boosting the security of the most delicate smart contracts.
The platform was created in early 2014 and has recently received financial and vocal support from long-time Bitcoin aficionado and famous billionaire venture capitalist, Tim Draper.
The team behind Tezos features a solid list of advisors, including renowned names like Emin Gun Sirer, Zooko Wilcox, and Andrew Miller. Notably, Wilcox and Gun Sirer are devs behind Zcash, sparking claims about that cryptocurrency’s future downfall.
The Breitman couple – Arthur and Kathleen – are at the helm of the Tezos team and possibly its weakest link. Arthur has a background in finance (notably “Goldman Sachs” and “Morgan Stanley”) and Kathleen is a philosophy graduate, known for her work with the blockchain consortium R3.
The rest of the team includes Vincent Bernardoff, Bozman Cagdas, Benjamin Canou, Pierre Chambart, Gregoire Henry, Mohamed Iguernlala, Fabrice Le Fessant, Guillem Rieu, and Alain Mebsout. Most of the company devs have also worked for OCalmpro, the official partner of the Tezos ledger. The team is primarily stationed in Paris, France.
About The Project
We have two key players with Tezos, Dynamic Ledger Solutions, Inc. (DLS) and The Tezos Foundation. The former is founded and controlled by Arthur and Kathleen Breitman. It owns everything related to the Tezos name. The latter is a Swiss foundation, located in Zug and led by Johann Gevers, Guido Schmitz-Krummacher, and Diego Ponz.
The Tezos Foundation will acquire DLS and their standing business relations, simultaneously releasing their IP under an MIT license. Being an earnout structure, the Tezos ICO will bring the following payments to DLS shareholders:
- 8.5% of the contributions
- 10% token allocation in the genesis block
Although fabled as the potential “Ethereum killer,” Tezos’ development process aims to solve the following Bitcoin problems:
- The problem of the “hard fork,” manifested by the inability of Bitcoin to introduce innovations dynamically due to coordination issues;
- Cost and centralization problems, stemming from Bitcoin’s POW system;
- The finite expressiveness of the language behind Bitcoin transactions, pushing the smart contracts onto different chains;
- Security matters regarding cryptocurrency implementation.
The implementation of Tezos was done in OCaml, a programming language developed by INRIA in 1996. The language is following a modular architecture and allows Tezos to call Context and represent the current blockchain “state.”
With that in mind, the protocol description comes down to a couple of functions:
- Apply – The function takes a block and a Context and returns either an invalid result (due to an invalid block) or a valid Context;
- Score – This function allows for a comparison between different blockchain branches, determining the canonical one. It takes a Context, returning a score.
The mentioned functions can implement any crypto-ledger based on the blockchain. Once we attach them to the Context, though, the following two functions can be added to the protocol:
- Set test protocol – This function replaces the test-net protocol, typically with one adopted via stakeholder voter;
- Promote test protocol – The function replaces the ongoing protocol with the currently tested one.
Translated to practice, this means that Tezos ledger rules are “governing themselves.” They control the transactional validity, but also the set of rules for their own evolution.
The three factors unique to Tezos stem from this simple yet powerful idea:
- Decentralized, automated upgrades – Tezos managed to decentralize the upgrades of its blockchain protocol;
- Upgrades without hard forks – Stakeholder consensus, following the clear-cut, programmatically enforced set of governance rules, is how upgrades are decided within Tezos;
- Funding innovation – A feature implemented to combat the usual staleness of existing systems, compared to the lightning pace of blockchain innovations.
Why Choose Tezos
Here is our list of the most compelling reasons to give Tezos a shot:
- Blockchain technology – As we’ve already mentioned in this Tezos review, Tezos incorporates a ledger approach;
- OCaml – We’ve already talked about the functional programming language behind Tezos. It is rather “underground,” but still a very stable and solid option;
- Smart contracts – If you’re interested in Michelson, the stack based language behind the Tezos smart contracts, you can read an entire expose on their website. We’ll just say that it’s an amalgamation of ML, Cat, Scheme, and Forth, with already proven correctness in Coq (multisig contract included);
- Consensus on upgrades onchain – The protocol is incomparably harder to attack with consensus shifts due to proprietary cryptoledger and the ability of stakeholders to coordinate on forks. This makes forks invalid unless endogenous;
- POS – Tezos enters its launching date with a relegated POS consensus algorithm. This makes it “malleable” by the stakeholders on-chain. The POW node also demands more operational security as the blocks are signed with a personal key on a machine with Internet connection. That’s where components like Ledger Nano S or Trezor come into play.
Note that Tezos cannot be mined due to their POS approach. However, token holders will receive “participation rewards” for the POS consensus mechanism.
The Tezos ICO began on the 1st of July at 6:00 AM UTC and is scheduled to last for 2 weeks or until 2,000 Bitcoin blocks are collected. The token distributed by the company is named Tez (XTZ) and the plural is Tezzies.
Every contribution of 1 XBT leads to the allocation of 5,000 XTZ + time dependent bonus. The bonus started at 20%, making the starting allocation for 1 XBT equal 5,000 x (1 + 20%) = 6,000 XTZ. The time bonus will progressively decrease, reaching 0% throughout five 400B-periods.
Note that the crowdfunding page is static, so you can complete all of the tasks offline, using a new USB stick and an air-gapped laptop or Chromebook. If you decide to go with the online option, it is recommended to do so in incognito mode, with disabled browser plugins. The ICO is uncapped, which is a giant red flag for us, threatening to dilute the overall profit of the investors.
How To Contribute
During the fundraiser, you’re able to contribute through the official ICO page, ShapeShift, and even offline. There are comprehensive tutorials on the site for each of the mentioned options. The minimum contribution for Tezos ICO is 0.1 BTC or an equivalent in other cryptocurrencies. Tezos is also accepting ETH and other altcoins through ShapeShift.
You can perform a transaction from an exchange, but you’ll also have to send data if you’re contributing with ETH. So, make sure your wallet/exchange can do that.
Tezos is a decentralized blockchain aiming to establish a true digital commonwealth as a means of self-governance. The team promises a fully decentralized platform with automated upgrades and systems to combat the usual staleness of existing programs. You can also learn all about their plans for updates without hard forks in these additional resources:
- This extensive Tezos review by Satoshi Fund, a reputable company that has been investing in blockchain assets for three years now, provides details about the platform, the benefits it offers to users, the Tezos ICO and token distribution, etc. It also elaborates on the strengths and weaknesses of the project.
- Tezos YouTube review by Crypto Coins explains how the platform will be used, offers additional information about its tokens and their allocation, and provides ICO details.
- Picolo Research’s detailed review of Tezos presents the company and its project, covering everything you need to know about the people behind the project, the Tezos crowdsale, and its tokens, as well as predictions about its future.
- A unique and potentially profitable concept
- The team holds highly experienced veteran devs
- Smart contracts
- Solves a number of Bitcoin/Ethereum problems
- Onchain upgrades achieved through consensus
- POS consensus algorithm
- Time-based ICO bonuses
- Uncapped ICO
- Untradeable tokens until the blockchain is up (several months)
- No business support
- Weak managerial team
- Unrealistic roadmap scope
- No public test-net prior to launch