A Simple Guide to What is Tezos (XTZ) - Coindoo
What is Tezos

A Simple Guide to What is Tezos (XTZ)

Editorial Team Avatar
Nov 9, 2022
14 min reading time

There is one crypto project that draws investors’ attention, offering remarkable consistency, even when all cryptocurrencies plummet – Tezos.  

And the community expects Tezos to fight its way up and have the XTZ surpass Ripple and Ethereum

What is Tezos? 

Tezos is a smart contract and dApps platform built on an up-to-the-top original blockchain. The network uses tezzies (XTZ) to incentive bakers and runs its operations.  

It was released at the end of 2017 and had one of the most successful ICOs ever, raising $232 million.   

While there already are similar successful projects like Ethereum or EOS, Tezos aims to be the first self-­amending blockchain solution. Also, its protocol can evolve and implement innovations over time without the risk of experiencing a hard fork.   

The network uses a delegated proof-of-stake mechanism. It prioritizes security through formal verification and mathematically proves the correctness of a smart contract’s code.  

Even more, in the Tezos environment, developers can come up with propositions for protocol upgrades. The propositions are reviewed and voted on by token holders, and if implemented, the developers will be actually rewarded for their contribution.    

The idea of Tezos came to Arthur Breitman. With his wife, Kathleen Breitman, Arthur believed that the future of cryptocurrencies should be based on unity and commonwealth rather than disputes, community splits, and ever-launching coins.  

In 2015, the Breitmans tried to convince several banks to adopt Arthur’s proposed technology and raise $10 million in two or three years. It didn’t work out, but in 2016, they managed to conduct an ICO and get $612,000 from 10 early bakers.  

Arthur and Kathleen decided to hold the Tezos ICO in Zug, Switzerland. And to meet the requirements of the Swiss Civil Code, they established the Tezos Foundation, with Johann Gevers as president.   

So, in July 2017, Tezos managed to gather $232 million, but the continuation of the project and token issuance were delayed due to the falling out between the Breitmans and Gevers.  

The delay drew a series of lawsuits that got Tezos in legislative troubles with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.    

In 2018, the internal struggles were sorted out, and Gevers was dismissed. When the project was about to retake its course, it unexpectedly announced the implementation of Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering checks for contributors. The Tezos KYC was met with an adverse reaction from the community.  

But finally, the beta network was launched at the end of Q2. And even if 2018 was somewhat bearish, Tezos kept its value relatively stable and continued improving and developing. More so, in the bull from the beginning of 2020, the tezzie tripled its value. 

Tezos Amendment process 

Tezos inner core is made up of amendments. The project is structured in such a way that a roadmap is unnecessary because all information about what is coming up for Tezos can be found in its governance process and forums. However, any update to Tezos will be posted as an amendment with all its features and upgrades.   

There are ten amendments up to this point. And they are as follows:    

Athens – was the first proposed protocol adopted in February 2019 by the development team Nomadic Labs, with two main proposals: 

  • Athens A intended to increase the gas limit and decrease the roll size necessary to bake from 10K Tez to 8K Tez. 
  • Athens B sought just to increase the gas limit.  

In May 2019, Athens A was autonomously activated into the protocol. 

Babylon – the second amendment was implemented in October 2019, bringing notable changes such as a new consensus algorithm variant (Emmy+), the addition of new Michelson features to aid smart contract developers, an account rehaul that enabled clearer distinction between TZ and KT accounts, and refinements to the quorum formula and the addition of a 5% proposed quorum threshold.   

Carthage – In March 2020, a proposal was activated that includes raising the gas limit per block and operation by 30%, improving the correctness of the formula used for computing baking and endorsing incentives, and making various minor improvements to Michelson.    

Delphi – the protocol was automatically triggered in November 2020, which includes enhancing the performance of the Michelson interpreter, lowering gas prices by modifying the gas model, lowering storage costs by 4x, and a variety of other slight adjustments.    

Edo – went live in February 2021 and brought two critical capabilities to smart contracts. Sapling and BLS12-381 will collaborate to allow privacy-preserving smart contracts and tickets for native on-chain permissions and asset issuance. Edo has been changed through the Tezos amendment process by shortening the period duration to 5 cycles and adding a 5th Adoption phase.    

Florence – in May 2021, the amendment aids in optimizing gas for smart contracts and improving smart contract interoperability by switching inter-contract calls to depth-first ordering rather than breadth-first and eliminating test chain activation.    

Granada – implemented in August 2021, Granada is coming out with minimizing gas expenses, reducing tezos’ block duration from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. Also, they introduced liquidity baking, which entails utilizing a part of all XTZ block rewards to give liquidity to Tesla’s d5 protocols, and some gas improvements, resulting in dramatic gas consumption reductions.   

Hangzhou – appeared in 2021, providing security against transaction failure, enhanced smart contract interoperability, improved blockchain storage, lower gas expenses, and increased liquidity banking.    

Ithaca – was implemented in April 2022, an amendment that XTZ holders voted for. Ithaca includes essential enhancements, such as updating Tezos’s consensus algorithm to offer quick finality to Tesla’s blockchain. This means that Tezos transactions will be confirmed practically quickly rather than waiting x number of blocks before being deemed irrevocable.    

Tender Bake is a new consensus mechanism introduced by Ithaca that will speed up exchange deposits and withdrawals of XTZ. Ithaca will also abandon Tezos’ role-based paradigm, which is now employed for both staking and governance, in favor of regular proportional staking, and a token equals one vote quorum.    

In addition, the minimum XTZ a baker must place in the oven will be decreased from 8K to 6K, and delegates will be obliged to lock up at least 10% of their assigned XTZ for the same 14-day period as bakers.  

Jakarta – the most current amendment that XTZ holders have voted for was implemented. The Jakarta upgrade will introduce the first scaling solutions on Tezos to boost transaction speed and finality on the blockchain. Also, the Jakarta protocol proposal includes, among others, Transaction Optimistic Rollups, fixes for Sapling integration, and a Liquidity Baking toggle. 

Is it mineable? Tezos staking 

As mentioned above, Tezos has a delegated proof-of-stake (DPOS) consensus mechanism. It means people can stake their tezzies to earn more tokens.   

In Tezos, staking is called “baking” as a metaphor for creating new blocks.  

The creation of a new block requires one baker and 32 endorsers. The baker is the one who is actually chosen to create the block and will receive a 16 XTZ reward for completing the task. On the other hand, the endorsers are the accounts chosen to verify if the block was baked correctly, and for completing the task, each baker gets 2 XTZ.  

Whether you want to bake or endorse, you must set up a baking node. To set up a Tezos baking node, you will need at least one roll consisting of an 8,000 XTZ minimum stake.   

The more XTZ, a baker, is staking, the more chances he has to create and endorse new blocks.  

If you do not want to set up a node or don’t own enough tezzies, you can delegate your XTZ to a baker.   

Most Tezos wallets support delegating, so to start earning more tezzies, you only need to transfer your funds to a wallet and delegate to a baker. You can find a list of delegates on mytezosbaker.com.    

The first thing you need to know about delegating is that most delegates require a fee. Also, the efficiency differs from one baker to another, and the annual yield is around 5-7%.  

Giving my funds to some stranger so he can stake? Too risky… Not happening!” or so you may think. The good thing about Tezos DPOS is that Delegation is non-custodial. Thus, the baker cannot use or steal the XTZ you delegated, and you can retract your funds safely. The downside is that the delegate controls profits, and if he’s a crook, he may steal the earnings.  

That’s why it’s essential to research before choosing a baker. Additionally, on MyTezosBaker, you can find a list of blacklisted bakers.  

Furthermore, you can delegate directly through some trusted exchanges (Coinbase, KuCoin, or Binance). 

Tezos dApps and smart contracts 

Before everything else, Tezos is a platform for dApps and smart contracts, which can be compared in several aspects to Ethereum. It is meant to host assets and applications backed by a global community of validators, researchers, and builders.  

Tezos comes to satisfy the demand for a blockchain platform suitable for security tokens based on real-world assets such as real estate, equity, or bonds. Automation is supposed to bring improved cross-border settlements with reduced counterparty risks and liquefy assets in real time.  

Some of the most successful STOs deployed on Tezos are tZero, Alliance Investments, Elevated Returns, and Securitize.  

The smart contracts on Tezos can be written in six native smart contracts languages: Michelson, SmartPy, LIGO, Morley Framework, Archetype, and Formal Verification.    

Michelson is stack-based, with high-level data types and primitives and strict static type checking. It allows users to confirm the properties of a smart contract through a formal verification process.   

SmartPy is a full toolset for creating Tezos blockchain smart contracts. SmartPy is an integrated Domain Specific Language (DSL) in Python that allows users to develop and execute test scenarios to validate their smart contracts. Python is utilized in this example to produce programs in SmartML, an imperative language.   

LIGO is a more straightforward smart contract language developed for creating more-complex contracts than those written with Michelson. Initially, it was meant to be a language for developing Marigold on top of a hacky framework called Meta-Michelson. However, due to the attention received by the Tezos community, LIGO is now a standalone language being developed to support Tezos directly. Because it’s implemented for the Tezos blockchain, LIGO compiles to Michelson.    

Morley Framework is a set of initiatives that build on and complement one another, including Morley, Lorentz, Indigo, and Cleveland.    

Morley is a Haskell-based meta-programming framework for Michelson smart contracts. In Haskell, Lorentz is a Michelson-compliant stack-based embedded Domain Specific Language (eDSL). Indigo is an eDSL high-level language used to create Michelson contracts. It, like Lorentz, fully utilizes Haskell’s type system to assure safety, expressiveness, and reusability. Cleveland is a Haskell package that is used to test Michelson contracts. Cleveland makes it simple to load a contract from a disk, initiate it, transmit XTZ, verify its storage/balance, call its entry points, and determine whether it failed with a specific fault, among other things.   

Archetype ‘s 5th language is a Tezos DSL (domain-specific language) that promotes formal verification and transcodes contracts to SmartPy and LIGO.    

And formal verification is described as utilizing legal definitions to ensure that a program meets particular requirements. On the other hand, programmers build unit tests to confirm that software adheres to specified specifications. However, the unit test technique may not cover all conceivable inputs (or edge cases), resulting in software failure. The answer to this difficulty is formal verification, which entails creating mathematical definitions of the program.   

Tezos vs Ethereum 

Regarding smart contracts and dApps, Ethereum is the market leader. But the Dao incident and the millions of dollars lost in transactions because of faulty programming inside ERC smart contracts inspired Arthur Breitman to push forward with Tezos.   

Updating Ethereum also takes a hard fork, which puts a strain on the community by switching from the old version to the new version. So, Breitman proposes a platform with on-chain governance via the self-amending mechanism.   

Also, mining for Ether became extraordinarily difficult, with a cost for energy consumption that surpasses the possible profits. Therefore, in the past years, there has been a takeover of proof-of-work mining and a switch to the proof-of-stake that is mainly monopolized by big Ethereum pools. That’s why the delegated proof of stake baking system was essential to Tezos. 

Ethereum vs Tezos – Comparison Table 

 Ethereum Tezos 
Token (at the time the article was written) ETH = $1,480.76  XTZ = $1.28 
Market Cap $180.8B $1.16B 
Max supply Not fixed Not fixed 
Objective Decentralized super-computer for dApps Self-amending smart contracts platform 
Consensus Mechanism POS DPOS 
Transactions per second 100,000 tps 1000 tps 

On the other hand, Ethereum rolled out a substantial update in 2022, and on September 15, a historical event happened: the Beacon Chain merged into the Ethereum mainnet. And between many new features, the Merge comes out with Shard Chains and a complete switch to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. 

Tezos vs Ripple 

But before challenging Ethereum’s token, Tezos would first tackle Ripple’s XRP.  

Ripple is an unusual case in the cryptocurrency community. The company’s objective is to solve the issue of expensive and long-lasting cross-border payments, especially for the enterprise sector.  

XRP doesn’t use blockchain, but a distributed consensus ledger operated by a network of validating servers called Gateways. 

Sidenote. XRP Ledger Gateways are businesses that provide a way for money and other forms of value to move in and out of the XRP Ledger network. Gateways can be banks, money service businesses, currency exchanges, or other financial institutions. 

Ripple vs Tezos – Comparison Table 

 Ripple Tezos 
Token (at the time the article was written) XRP = $0.44 XTZ = $1.28 
Market Cap $22.05B $1.16B 
Max supply 100,000,000,000 XRP Not fixed 
Objective Efficient settlement option for financial institutions and liquidity providers Self-amending smart contracts platform 
Consensus Mechanism XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol DPOS 
Transactions per second 1500 or more tps 1000 tps 

Looking at numbers, it’s easy to deduce that Ripple holds quite a consistent payment solution, far superior to what Tezos has. It only remains to see what updates Tezos will roll out in the payments area. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Tezos is a smart contract and dApps platform. It uses the delegated proof of stake mechanism and incentivizes its miners with tezzies (XTZ).  
  • Tezos does not have a roadmap, and each update is an amendment. There are now ten amendments, with more to come.  
  • Every amendment brings new features and updates and makes the Tezos more innovative.  
  • In Tezos, miners are called bakers and can be chosen to create new blocks or endorse completed ones.   
  • Baking requires at least one roll with an 8000 XTZ minimum stake. People that don’t want to open a node can delegate their XTZs to existing bakers.  
  • Tezos comes to satisfy the demand for a blockchain platform suitable for STOs based on assets like real estate, equity, or bonds.   
  • Users can write smart contracts in the Tezos environment using the Michelson, SmartPy, LIGO, Morley Framework, Archetype, and Formal Verification.  
  • Tezos makes up for the shortcomings of the current version of Ethereum, but Merge changed Ethereum’s roadmap. 
  • As a payment solution, Ripple is superior to Tezos, and it’s hard to say if the XTZ will surpass XRP. 
* The information in this article and the links provided are for general information purposes only and should not constitute any financial or investment advice. We advise you to do your own research or consult a professional before making financial decisions. Please acknowledge that we are not responsible for any loss caused by any information present on this website.
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