The Tezos Dev Series: Manan Gouhari
In this first edition of the brand new ‘Tezos Dev Series’, Manan Gouhari explores the exponential rise of Tezos with commentary on recent Tezos NFT and DeFi developments.
This article has been used with Manan’s consent from his recent newsletter series, which can be found here. We thank Manan for his content and we look forward to catching up with him soon to find out what he is working on.
Tezos, What Is It?
Tezos is a long-running blockchain which without a doubt, is one of the most technologically superior; Dare I say, it’s even the pioneer of several blockchain ideas.
But, the technical details, albeit marvelous, don’t get a lot of people excited.
What’s sexy is –
- What’s happening on the blockchain?
- Who’s using this?
- How much money is there in the ecosystem?
Hence, that’s what we’ll talk about in this lengthy but heartfelt and exciting article.
Why are we talking about Tezos? Isn’t it a “ghost-chain”
Tezos used to get hurled the name of “ghost chain” because the community was building building building, but just a few applications were launched on it.
Larger real-world entities were launching niche applications on Tezos –
• STO (Security Token Offering) platforms
• Accounting application for a French government organization
• Application to distribute COVID relief funds in a Swiss city
• A voting application for eighty Universities around the world
All serious real-world applications that are at the forefront of tech innovation and blockchain adoption in the real world, but that generate a low amount of transactions at this stage.
Though, gone are the days when Tezos used to be called a “ghost chain.”
“Well, you’ve got all this great tech, but why aren’t people using it???”
That’s a question from the past.
In recent months, Tezos has exploded with traction and adoption. The ecosystem has grown, and now, it’s flourishing. Recently, Tezos even reach 25% of Ethereum’s transactions, which is a big frickin deal! Along with that, the number of smarts contract calls for the past 6 months has also risen by huge margins.
How did it all start?
Tezos’ first big spotlight moment was the rise of the NFT community on Tezos, where many artists moved from Ethereum to Tezos.
NFTs have been present as a concept in the blockchain space for quite a while – but from late 2020 and early 2021, they saw an astronomical increase in interest. As a result, NFT became the new hot topic for the internet.
That’s when the first NFT Marketplace on Tezos, Hicetnunc (“Here and Now” in Latin), came on to the scene.
Many artists were fed up with the colossal transaction fee at marketplaces on Ethereum, and Hicetnunc provided a very well-needed alternative. Apart from the fee, several artists also converted to Hicetnunc because Tezos was much more environmentally friendly than Ethereum.
This drew mass attention to Tezos; this was when Tezos’ growth spurt took its birth.
This also forced people to face some of the technical benefits Tezos has to offer: minimal fees, fast transactions, a wide range of smart contract languages and tools to build decentralized apps, constant improvements, and additions to the main protocol, and all this without compromising decentralization.
Alright, you got nice NFTs. What else?
So, NFTs is what kicked off Tezos’ journey into the big boy’s club.
It has come a long way since then, in just a few months.
A beautiful DEX(Quipuswap), Defi farms, more NFT marketplaces, a game, several collectibles, and a whole lot of experiments.
I could go on and on about all of the stuff happening on Tezos’ for paragraphs and paragraphs. But let’s focus on what’s up with Defi on Tezos now.
Yes, NFTs got many new people on Tezos, but Defi is what will make them stay.
A dive into Tezos’ Defi wormhole
The Defi ecosystem is starting to sky-rocket on Tezos just in the past month. We’ve entered a whole another level now 🚀
But it’s important to trace back this beautiful journey.
Settle in, I’m going to take you on a ride.
Earlier, all we had was Dexter. A decent decentralized exchange, but it isn’t a part of Defi on Tezos’ traction. It isn’t used much now, a new and improved DEX has taken its place. Hence, I’m not going to cover it, but just mention it for history’s sake.
Kolibri is the OG of Defi on Tezos. To my best knowledge, this little algorithmic stable coin built by Keefer Taylor is the first proper Defi app on Tezos. It launched in early February 2021.
Soon after, in the last week of February came Quipuswap – a decentralized exchange (DEX) that completely changed the game for Defi on Tezos.
Quipuswap was the first DEX on Tezos that allowed anyone to add a token and start trading. This meant that anyone now could start a project and include tokens with the actual value and trading possibilities.
A decentralized exchange is super important for the Defi ecosystem of a blockchain, it is the very app that facilitates a market for tokens.
You can launch your own tokens, buy other tokens, become a market maker for whatever token you’d like, in a completely decentralized fashion – all through a DEX.
After Quipuswap’s launch, we saw an explosion of new tokens launching on Tezos. But the one that stood out is, SalsaDAO.
SalsaDAO is the genius of a single person. It has got staking farms, a decentralized casino, and an awesome DEX called SpicySwap is coming soon.
SalsaDAO even though seems fringe, isn’t. It offered the first yield farm on Tezos.
Let me take a second to explain what a farm is.
A farm lets you lock in some amount of X token, and as a reward, you earn Y token over time. It’s used as a mechanism by different projects’ to basically distribute their token into the hands of the community, and the community has the incentive to lock their tokens to earn a decent free reward in form of a Y token.
SalsaDAO launched in early April, and a whole lot has happened since then. This ecosystem moves fast. I’m going to skip some of the timelines and jump to the last week of May.
Now, Defi on Tezos had been bubbling since February, but it hadn’t broken out yet. It hadn’t gained a lot of attention yet, it was flying under the radar.
Then, launched PlentyDefi, which is what opened up the flood gates. Plenty launched with multiple token staking farms and quickly became the darling of the Tezos Defi ecosystem.
Don’t believe me? Trust the numbers – $7M in total value locked on Plenty within the first 3 days of launch, and over $20M within the first month of launch.
But this isn’t all. After Plenty, Crunchy launched its token farms, and this marks a very significant moment in time for Tezos. Let me explain why.
Crunchy aims to provide Defi-as-a-service to other projects on Tezos, potentially democratizing the technical skill needed to build out your own token ecosystem, similar to how WordPress makes it easy to build websites.
With the full capabilities of Crunchy, anybody could launch their own farms, liquidity lockers, and much more. Crunchy launching its own farm marks the first step in that direction. And ever since Crunchy launching their farm, several more farms for different tokens have been added on the platform already.
Apart from that, in my personal opinion, the launch of Plenty and Crunchy set a higher and better standard for other Defi apps to level up their game.
Now, let’s move on to the final showdown ⚡️
I think I’ve overused the word “beautiful” throughout this article. But that’s not my fault. It’s the first word that comes to my mind when I describe the Tezos’ ecosystem.
This ecosystem feels like a family of its own. Yes, even though projects are constantly competing with each other, but there’s a certain synergy to it that I’m yet to experience in other ecosystems. Although there’s healthy competition on Tezos, projects push each other to innovate and become better.
Everybody sees Tezos differently.
A college kid sees it as the perfect place to build blockchain apps because of the low fee and easy smart contract language.
An artist finds it to be the perfect stomping grounds to express themselves through artistic and experimental NFTs.
An avid Defi user sees it as liberation from the traditional economic system.
A frickin’ city sees it as the perfect blockchain to build a DAO!!
I hope, through this article, some of my love for Tezos’ transferred over to you. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter, and I’d be more than happy to get you started in the Tezos ecosystem.
But for starters, I want to highlight a list of people in the Tezos ecosystem that I’ve got a group chat going on with, as a way of showing gratitude.
Important To Note
If you’re somebody who’s built cool stuff on Tezos, but I’ve failed to mention it in the article – that is by no means an attempt at devaluing what you’ve created for the community.
All the apps mentioned in this article are the ones I’ve personally played around with. If I haven’t mentioned your app in here, I’ve probably just not explored it yet.
Let’s keep building cool stuff!
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