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An Introduction To Tezos

“Three years ago, I published ‘An Introduction to Tezos‘. Since then, so much has changed that it’s time for a new edition. With 12 completed on-chain protocol upgrades, Tezos evolves at incredible speed.”

Disclaimer

Not Financial Advice: No content on this website constitutes investment, financial, legal, or tax advice. Users should not construe any such information as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any investment or security or to pursue any particular investment strategy.

Read our full disclaimer here.

An Introduction To Tezos 2.0

Tezos is an independent layer 1 (L1) blockchain which means that it runs independently.

Tezos is built from the ground up and is designed during a period in which people started to realize that blockchain faced some big challenges.

The founders of Tezos were not only true visionaries, but also managed to surround themselves with the right people and companies to successfully build the most advanced blockchain in the industry.

Tezos solves issues like governance, user control, self-sustainability, privacy, and scaling without compromising decentralization.

Tezos offers secure smart contracts which can facilitate formal verification.

Built to last

One of the main advantages of Tezos, is on-chain governance. This means that the core protocol can be upgraded through a democratic process, which is integrated in the blockchain code itself.

On-chain governance allows for regular fork-less upgrades without the need for complex consensus and politics.

Once a proposal is injected, voting is done on-chain and anyone that owns XTZ has voting power. After a majority vote, the protocol automatically implements the upgrade without the interference of a third party.

This feature allows Tezos to anticipate market demands and evolve swiftly.

The 12 upgrades in the past 4 years since the launch of the Tezos blockchain showcase the incredible speed in which Tezos evolves.

Several solutions have been derived from other blockchains.

The phrase “Your blockchain is our testnet” is not a jest, but is actually put into practice:

ZCash’s Sapling added optional privacy-preserving smart contracts for dApps.

A variation of Cosmos’ Tendermint called “Tenderbake”, introduced transaction finality, halved block time and scaled the number of transactions per second over the 1,000 threshold making Tezos one of the fastest decentralized blockchains in the industry.

Last but most definitely not “least”, a variation of Ethereum’s planned scaling solution “Rollups” has already been introduced through a series of upgrades, from which the latest upgrade called “Mumbai”, will allow an incredible 1,000,000 tps while simultaneously halving block time (again).

In a few months from now, Tezos will be the fastest, most advanced decentralized blockchain in the industry.

“This is the biggest upgrade yet, and one of the most transformative for Tezos. Smart Rollups enable unprecedented scalability, backed by the core protocol, and fully customizable app chains. Several additional improvements also help solidify Tezos’ technical leadership.”

– Arthur Breitman

Tezos main points

I know not everyone likes a long read, so I’ll start with a shorter tldr section that summarizes the strong points of the Tezos blockchain. Later I’ll elaborate on those same points in more detail:

  1. A new blockchain built from the ground up
  2. Built by industry professionals
  3. High level of decentralization
  4. On-chain governance
  5. Tezos upgrade protocol prevents harmful chain splits. (Forkless upgrades) 
  6. Liquid PoS, not to be confused with DPoS
  7. Low energy consumption
  8. Institutional-grade smart contracts
  9. Multiple smart contract languages 
  10. Funding system 
  11. Privacy  and private transactions 
  12. Low transaction fees
  13. High L1 network capacity: 1,000 Transactions Per Second
  14. Optimistic Rollup (trx & s-c) enabled 1,000,000tps in Q2 2023
  15. Ultimate scalable decentralized blockchain
  16. Rollups + Privacy
  17. No inflation
  18. High dev interest
  19. On-chain activity growth (Both transactions and developers activity)
  20. Current most outstanding use-cases
    A. Onboarding of new users
    B. Top NFT markets
    C. High-profile Games
    D. Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
    E. Real-life Use Cases

1. A new blockchain built from the ground up
Tezos is not a Bitcoin or Ethereum clone with some tweaks. Tezos is built from the ground up with a deliberate and accurate planned design. This resulted in a strong, secure, yet flexible foundation for a fast-evolving blockchain.

2. Built by industry professionals

Tezos is built by professionals from within the blockchain industry. Through temporary partnerships, more specialized teams are involved on a project basis.

To give an example: French Government entity CEA List, which is part of the CEA, otherwise known as the French Alternative Energies And Atomic Energy Commission has participated in the research and development of the Tezos core protocol.

Other teams include members of Université Paris-Saclay amongst others.

3. High level of decentralization

– The Tezos blockchain is truly decentralized and anyone can run a node. The amount of nodes is unlimited.
– There are no centralized backdoors like node control, admin dev keys, or centrally controlled parameters.
– Tezos does not depend on a single development team.
– Financially, Tezos does not depend on human funding: the protocol can automatically pay invoices that are attached to an upgrade.
– XTZ holders determine through on-chain governance whether or not upgrades are implemented and invoices are paid.

4. On-chain governance

Holders of XTZ vote for or against proposed upgrades. No CEO, company, foundation, or developers team needs to execute the outcome of the governance process. It is a truly trustless, decentralized democratic process.

This has proven to be a golden formula: Tezos is the fastest-evolving decentralized blockchain in the industry.

5. Tezos upgrade protocol helps to avoid harmful chain splits. (Forkless upgrades) 

Tezos’ automated on-chain upgrade protocol helps to solve another issue: hard- and soft forks.

The risk of a fork, is that anything that was stored on the original chain, is stored in duplicate on two chains, including assets that should not be duplicated. Think of Security Tokens (STO’s), One-of NFTs, fiat-backed stablecoins, etc.

6. Liquid PoS, not to be confused with DPoS.

Instead of Proof of Work (PoW), Tezos uses Proof of Stake (PoS) as a consensus mechanism. Tezos’ variation of PoS is called Liquid Proof of Stake (LPoS).

Anyone that holds XTZ, can stake or delegate and earn staking rewards. Delegators don’t need to lock their XTZ for any period, and can start and stop delegating at any time. Delegating XTZ is a very simple process and is done in a few clicks.

LPoS allows for DeFi solutions that include staking rewards in their interest model.

7. Low energy consumption

The Tezos blockchain is highly energy efficient unlike for example Bitcoin. Making a transaction on Tezos costs as much energy as sending a Tweet.

8. Institutional-grade smart contracts

There are several programming languages that developers can use to build dApps on Tezos. One of these languages is Michelson. Michelson allows formal verification of smart contracts.

This means that you can prove that the code behaves as it was intended to, even before you deploy the smart contract. This is very useful to help prevent security risks.

This methodology is also used to ensure safety in mission-critical settings, such as in aerospace technologies and the $500 billion semiconductor industry.

9. Multiple smart contract languages 

There are several languages available to write smart contracts on Tezos: Michelson, SmartPy, LIGO, Archetype.

10. Funding system

Tezos allows developers to utilize on-chain funding. Developers can add an invoice during the on-chain upgrading process which is automatically paid out in XTZ by the protocol if the upgrade passes the on-chain governance process.

11. Privacy and private transactions

Private transactions on Tezos are not set by default and can only be done through dApps with that feature enabled. This means that the Tezos blockchain can not be seen as a privacy chain, which excludes banning by regulators for that reason.

12. Low transaction fees

Transaction fees on Tezos are low (currently 0.0004 USD for a basic transaction). Tezos scales fast which means congestion issues should not be a problem.

Additionally, transaction fees on Tezos can be adjusted with every protocol upgrade. This way Tezos fees serve both users and bakers optimally no matter which way the market swings.

13. High L1 network capacity: 1,000 Transactions Per Second

The Tezos network capacity is currently around 1,000 Transactions Per Second. This is high-end for a decentralized blockchain.

14. Optimistic Rollup (trx & s-c) to be enabled 1,000,000tps in Q2 2023

A variation of Ethereum’s planned scaling solution (native) “Rollups” has already been introduced through a series of upgrades, from which the current upgrade called “Mumbai”, will allow an incredible 1,000,000 tps.

15. Ultimate scalable decentralized blockchain

1,000,000 tps is not the final frontier for Tezos. Tezos will go beyond that milestone even.

“Note that the million TPS goal is one we have set for ourselves for the short term. In the long term, due to the combination of horizontal and vertical scaling, there is virtually no limit to the scaling potential of Tezos Rollups.” – Nomadic Lab

16. Rollups + Privacy

As you know by now, Tezos also offers optional privacy for smart contracts. Tezos wouldn’t be Tezos if this function wouldn’t scale too through the “Epoxi” implementation.

17. No inflation

As an incentive for people to run a node and secure and decentralize the network, the Tezos protocol creates new XTZ every block. This is common practice for many other blockchains including BTC and ETH.

This causes inflation, but because of the fact that anyone can stake their XTZ within a few clicks, anyone can receive that XTZ and earn ~equal to the inflation rate, which cancels out inflation. Tezos truly is the people’s chain.

18. High dev interest

Tezos has seen high developer interest for a few years by now. Tezos hackathons are always popular and well attended. The smaller hackathons usually have around 500 registered developers, while the bigger hackathons have a participation rate of several thousands. So far TezAsia has set the record with over 5,000 participating developers

Tezos currently ranks 10th in the number of full-time developers of all blockchains. But if we look at actual activity, we see that Tezos is ranked 3rd by all-time GitHub and GitLab repo’s as reported by Electric Capital.

If we look at all-time GitHub and GitLab code lines, Tezos ranks 3rd too.

The 2021 Digital Assets Primer of Bank Of America, ranked Tezos second by developer interest in the industry.

If we look at all-time GitHub and GitLab repos as reported by Electric Capital, we see that Tezos is ranked 3rd. 

Ethereum = 3751 repos

solana 2827 repos

tezos = 2386 repos

Polygon 1651 repos

Cosmos 1200 repos

Bitcoin = 1036 repos

Cardano = 874 repos

If we look at all-time GitHub and GitLab code lines, Tezos ranks 3rd too.

Ethereum: 12310 lines (8557 sloc)

Solana: 8729 lines (5900 sloc)

Tezos: 7278 lines (4890 sloc)

Polygon: 5167 lines (3514 sloc)

Cosmos: 3766 lines (2564 sloc)

Bitcoin: 3209 lines (2170 sloc) 

Bnb chain: 2827 lines (1982 sloc)

Cardano: 2652 lines (1776 sloc)

19. On-chain activity growth (Both transactions and developers activity)

On a daily basis, Tezos processes around 200,000 transactions per day. (~ 6 million transactions per month.) which is about 20% of the amount that Ethereum handles on a daily basis (~1,000,000).

If we’re looking at smart contract developer activity, we see 5,000 new contract deployments per month on mainnet. That is a lot of building and experimenting by dApp developers.

On testnets this is a lot higher: 37,000 on Limanet in the current month (January 2023).

20. Current most outstanding use-case

A. Onboarding of new users

Tezos has some super user-friendly wallets that make it really simple to get into the Tezos ecosystem and participate in all that Tezos has to offer. From delegating to minting and trading NFTs, to DeFi and gaming.

And did you know that you can send XTZ, NFTs, and any Tezos-based token to Twitter-, Facebook-, G-mail- and Reddit accounts without needing to connect a Tezos account in advance.

Kukai wallet

Kukai wallet allows you to use your Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or Google account to create a Tezos wallet and log in with these accounts within seconds.

Naan wallet
On the Naan wallet you can buy XTZ with Apple pay, log in with fingerprint, face ID, or social media accounts, storing and viewing your NFT collection, and much more.

Temple Wallet and Galleon wallet
If you prefer more traditional crypto wallets, you could use Temple Wallet which is similar to MetaMask. Or Galleon as a desktop wallet.

Atomex
For cross-chain swaps you could use Atomex.

The complete list can be found here.

B.Top NFT Markets

OBJKT.com

Tezos’ biggest NFT marketplace Objkt.com has the 4th highest transaction volume according to dappradar.com. Only AtomicHub (on WAX), NBA Top Shot (on FLow) and OpenSea (on Ethereum) have a higher weekly transaction volume.

FXHash

FXHash is another popular NFT platform on Tezos. FXHash offers great tools for the creation of generative art.

Hicetnunc
HicEtNunc (HEN) is the original NFT platform that attracted thousands of digital artists worldwide and drew them into Tezos.

OneOf
OneOf is an NFT platform that is specialized in Music Icons and provides the NFT drops for the Grammy Awards.

OneOf is known for its extra perks that NFTs give owners. VIP treatment at concerts, meet-and-greets, masterclasses, and much more.

A full list of Tezos-based NFT platforms can be found at Tezos.art. 

C. Decentralized Finance
First off: DeFi is usually high-risk. Make sure you understand the platforms, concepts, and risks before you interact. Do some serious research before you jump into the DeFi pool.

Youves

Youves. Here you can use several Tezos-based assets as collateral to increase your exposure and earn YOU tokens and extra interest in uUSD.

Yupana.Finance 

Decentralized borrowing and lending platform Yupana.Finance.

SpicySwap 

SpicySwap is a next-generation DEX built by Genius Contracts specifically for token-to-token swaps on Tezos. SpicySwap is governed by SalsaDAO.

Plenty Network

Plenty Network is an extensive DeFi platform that includes an advanced DEX, a cross-chain bridge (Tezos-Ethereum-Polygon),

QuipuSwap 

QuipuSwap is the DEX that kickstarted DeFi on Tezos at the beginning of 2021.

Liquidity Baking (Sirius token)

Simply put, Liquidity Baking is a single pair DEX on protocol level (XTZ – tzBTC). When providing liquidity, users receive $SIRS LP tokens.

These tokens are also listed on Bittrex and can be used to redeem for XTZ – tzBTC, or used in DeFi applications such as Youves.

To buy tzBTC, the best option is simply to use the Liquidity Baking DEX pair on tzkt.io or Mavryk and buy tzBTC with XTZ. If you already own BTC, you can simply swap your BTC for tzBTC on Atomex.

Crunchy Network

Crunchy hosts the “CoinMarketCap of Tezos” page where users can view current prices of Tezos tokens and check out price history charts.

Users can also trade Tezos-based tokens on the DEX feature on the Crunchy platform.

This is a  cross-DEX aggregator, which means it finds you the best trades with low slippage in one click via the biggest DEXes on Tezos: Quipuswap, Plenty, Youves, SpicySwap, Vortex, and the tzBTC liquidity pool.

Crunchy also provides DeFi services and solutions on Tezos for projects, developers, and end users such as farming, deep freezing, fractionalizing NFTs (soon) and more.

Crunchy is a DeFi-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform. Crunchy is maintained by independent developers and is governed by CrDAO holders.

Kord.Fi 

Decentralized borrowing and lending platform Kord.Fi is specifically designed around Liquidity Baking.

3Route 

3Route is another cross-DEX aggregator which gives you the best DEX trading rate and low slippages with no service fee!

Kolibri Finance

Kolibri Finance is a Tezos based stablecoin.

For all DeFi applications and more, check out https://tezos.com/ecosystem

D. High-profile Games
Gaming giant Ubisoft has been exploring Tezos for a while and launched NFTs on-chain, runs a Tezos node and developed in cooperation with Aleph.im a decentralized NFT smart contracts for Tezos which include decentralized metadata storage. This way the NFTs will not depend on any centralized entity to survive the ages.
These are the most anticipated games that are developed on Tezos:

Tezotopia

Tezotopia is a Tezos-based Real-Time Strategy (RTS) gaming platform that allows players to acquire land, items, and resource utilities. These resources can be used to build more items and utilities, or they can be traded.

You can also enter the battle arena and battle against other players to win loot boxes stacked with various prizes such as Unobtanium, Rare Artifacts, and Collectibles. Here you use your army of battle bots, vehicles, Air units, and Artillery units.

Tezotopia is currently live.

Dogami

Dogami is a game where players can collect, play, earn, and socialize. Dogami has it all: collectibles, a competitive aspect, yield farming aspects, a social aspect and a great and intuitive user interface.

Dogami secured $6 million in funding from several early investors including Ubisoft.

Dogami also partnered with iconic fashion brand Gap to bring individual style to the Petaverse.

Dogami is currently testing the closed alpha mobile app.

Emergents

Emergents is a Trading Card Game (TCG) that aims to compete with current popular Trading Card Games such as Magic The Gathering and Hearthstone which are played by millions of fans worldwide.

The Emergents TCG team consists of TCG all-starts, hall-of-famers, and developers. Also included are writers and creators of Marvel Comics and organizers of TCG tournaments.

Your gaming achievements are stored on your NFT playing cards. Additionally, through quests, achievements can be registered which unlock cosmetic features that increase rarity.

Emergents is expected to go live in Q1 this year (2023).

Matterlight

Matterlight is a Collectible Card Game. Matterlight cards have attack points, defense points, special powers, and playing a card costs a specified amount of moves. Goal of the game: bring down the number of lives of your opponent to zero.

Mattelight is fun and slightly addictive.

Matterlight is also expected to go live in Q1 this year.

E. Real-life use cases (Voting in France, COVID relief funds distribution in Swiss, United Nations, and more)

Although rarely mentioned by the bigger crypto media platforms, some interesting real-life use cases are deployed on Tezos. In these cases, blockchain technology is applied in real-life applications. Often without users knowing they use blockchain technology.

Voting in three organizations of the United Nations

Electis is also used by three organizations of the United Nations. YOUNGO: The official children and youth constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). SDG7 Youth Constituency, is a means for youth to have their voices heard in the energy sector, more specifically on renewable energy sources.

The Women and Gender Constituency (WGC), a coalition of 28 NGOs established in 2009 and recognized as official observer by the UNFCCC Secretariat in 2011.

Distribution of COVID relief funds in Switzerland

Tezos-based Ecoo has been used to distribute COVID relief funds in two cities in Switzerland. Vouchers of 100 francs were made available through the app for residents. The funds could be spent in local shops.

Swiss insurance group CSS launched a voucher program using CSS tokens

Last year, Swiss Insurance group CSS with over 1.6 million customers launched CSS coin on Tezos using the Ecoo App.

The coins can be redeemed at companies that are part of the CSS partner network and are intended to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Digital identity solution Gravity (UNDP, Red Cross, Save the Children)

Gravity provides a decentralized solution to create trusted digital identities for real-life use, that are private, portable, and persistent.

Gravity has projects with: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Norwegian Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Save the Children.

UN Migration Agency uses Tezos-based application ‘eMin’ in anti-slavery and human trafficking prevention program

Using the Tezos-based supply chain application eMin, which is developed by Diginex, the UN Agency ‘International Organization for Migration (IOM)’ collected information on the recruitment and employment experiences of Myanmar migrant workers.

Voting in France

Electis is a digital voting solution built on the Tezos blockchain. Electis is used in Neuilly-sur-Seine, an inner suburb of Paris, France.

It was used for the 2022-2024 Municipal Youth Council elections of Neuilly-sur-Seine. After a successful vote, Neuilly-sur-Seine is exploring ways to scale upwards.

Disclaimer

Not Financial Advice: No content on this website constitutes investment, financial, legal, or tax advice. Users should not construe any such information as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any investment or security or to pursue any particular investment strategy.

Read our full disclaimer here.

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