Initiatives to Increase Participation in the Tezos Ecosystem

It’s been nearly a year since the launch of the Tezos betanet, and we’re thrilled that the network is robust and the community remains highly engaged. 82% of all tokens from the genesis block proposed by the Foundation are currently activated. One recommended allocation is activated every hour, and that number is on a trajectory to double. Approximately 87% of all rolls (1 roll is currently 10,000 XTZ) participated in the first on-chain vote and nearly 81% are baking (validating) at the present time.

To celebrate the upcoming anniversary of the betanet launch, we’re pleased to announce a number of initiatives to spur even more participation in the Tezos ecosystem.

1. The Tezos Foundation will actively support the development of more enhanced tooling and software intended to make baking more accessible to a wider audience. Baking not only helps secure the Tezos network – it also allows participants to more easily avoid token dilution through inflation that results from block rewards. Check out the resources below to learn more about baking and how to participate either directly or indirectly (via delegation).

2. One of the defining features of Tezos is that it follows a formal process to upgrade itself and more effectively evolve over time. Contributors to the Tezos Foundation’s fundraiser who activate their recommended allocations are eligible to bake and participate in Tezos governance. The Foundation will publish resources about voting, how it works, and how to participate so that token holders are equipped to take part in Tezos’ evolution. The resources below may be helpful for those looking to participate in Tezos governance.

3. To help as many fundraiser contributors as possible access their recommended allocations of Tezos tokens, the Tezos Foundation is developing a suite of tools to help fundraiser contributors more easily navigate the activation and retrieval processes (fundraiser contributors may only participate in baking and governance if they have access to their recommended allocations).

In the coming weeks, the Foundation will release an Activation Help Desk where fundraiser contributors can receive real-time assistance in activating their recommended allocations. For the few contributors who need help with password recovery, there are several tools built by community members that we will directly support in order to make them easier to use.

Fundraiser contributors can currently contact [email protected] for help. The resources below may be helpful for fundraiser contributors who have yet to activate and access their recommended allocations.

Follow us on Twitter at @TezosFoundation for updates on all of these initiatives in the weeks to come!

Tezzigator Receives Grant to Expand Cloud HSM Support for Tezos Bakers

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued a grant to Tezzigator LLC to implement Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud HSM support for Tezos bakers.

Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) are physical devices that manage cryptographic keys for greater security. They may be used by Tezos bakers for validation, however, cloud HSM support for Tezos bakers was previously only available via Amazon Web Services. With this grant, the Tezzigator team will make cloud HSMs more accessible to Tezos bakers by enabling support on Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

The repo for Microsoft Azure support is open-source and available for public use here. The repo for Google Cloud support is open-source and available for public use here.

The Tezos Foundation’s core mission is to support the long-term success of the Tezos protocol and ecosystem. By funding projects imagined by scientists, researchers, developers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts, the Foundation encourages decentralized development and robust participation.

Supporting the Development of Block Explorers and Smart Contract Languages for the Tezos Ecosystem

To increase accessibility and spur more open source innovation in the Tezos ecosystem, the Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce a new area of focus for the near future: supporting the development of additional open source block explorers and smart contract programming languages.

These tools are critical public infrastructure for those building on and using Tezos and we think they’re important to provide additional stability and product diversity for the community.

Block Explorers

In the months to come, we will fund the long-term development and maintenance of several open source block explorers, giving developers, wallet providers, and others access to a greater set of options to analyze and gather information about the Tezos blockchain.

We will encourage everyone developing these block explorers to collaborate on common standards to ensure the community has the most useful and accessible tools. This collaboration will include: API standards so bakers and other relying parties can query a block explorer and receive consistently formatted data; open source code and quality packaging to allow third parties to run their own public instances of block explorers; and operations and monitoring systems to ensure block explorers reliably provide accurate information.

The development of additional block explorers is already underway. Tezos.ID, a project from Tezos Southeast Asia, has been in operation since June 2017 and is expanding in functionality. Arronax, a project from Cryptonomic, is an analysis-focused block explorer that uses the Conseil API. We are currently in talks with OCamlPro, the developer of TzScan, to provide maintenance funding past its end-of-Q2 grant expiration. These projects, as well as new ones we will fund in the coming months, will establish a robust network of block explorers for the Tezos community to utilize.

Smart Contract Languages

Similarly, supporting the creation of new smart contract languages, which enables more developers to seamlessly build on Tezos, continues to be a primary focus of the Foundation. Our objective is to have wide language coverage, which will allow a larger audience of developers to more easily build on Tezos.

Some of this has already started. In addition to several open source high-level language projects, like SmartPy and fi, that have already received funding from the Foundation, Nomadic Labs will continue to work on Michelson, a domain-specific language for writing smart contracts on Tezos, as well as an additional low-level language, Albert, which will serve as a compilation target for other high-level languages. The development team behind LIGO, a simple language designed for relatively large smart contracts, recently announced that the LIGO compiler is equipped to integrate additional syntaxes for LIGO. Currently supported syntaxes are Pascaligo (Pascal-like syntax) and Cameligo (OCaml-like syntax).

Criteria for projects focused on building block explorers and languages to receive funding from the Foundation will be announced in the coming weeks. A full list of those selected as grant recipients for these projects (for both first time and repeat grants) will be announced. Stay tuned for more information.

An Update from the Tezos Foundation Council

Today, the Tezos Foundation announces that its charter has been modified to improve the Foundation’s internal governance. It is now required that the Foundation have at least five council members at any given time, rather than three as was previously required.

The Foundation has also established a technical advisory committee, chaired by Tezos Foundation council member Michel Mauny, to advise the Foundation on technical matters. This committee will include external members from throughout the Tezos ecosystem and is primarily concerned with long-term technical strategy around research, development, and engineering tools.

Additionally, the Foundation announces that Olaf Carlson-Wee and Pascal Cléré have not presented themselves for re-election to its Council. Carlson-Wee prefers to no longer have a governance position at the Foundation and instead plans to become more heavily involved in the Tezos ecosystem in a commercial capacity. Cléré is moving on to pursue other business interests. Lily Liu, who has been an advisor to the Council since the end of 2018, will work more closely with the Foundation on strategic matters.

“We are thankful for both Olaf and Pascal’s support and guidance through the launch of the first ever Liquid Proof of Stake (LPoS) network. It has been an eventful and productive year for the Tezos network and ecosystem as it continues to grow, and we are grateful for the help of both Olaf and Pascal during these monumental first steps. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.” says Ryan Jesperson, President of the Tezos Foundation.

“Though I will no longer sit on the Council, I remain an active community member and huge supporter of Tezos,” said Olaf Carlson-Wee, Founder of Polychain Capital. “Polychain is one of the largest tokenholders in the Tezos network and runs the largest staking node. We are excited to support the Tezos network in the coming months and years.”

The Tezos Foundation will have five council members with significant governance, financial, and industry-specific experience coming from a broad set of industries. The Foundation will consider adding additional capabilities to its Council when opportune.

Throughout the first quarter of 2019, the Tezos ecosystem has seen accelerating progress and growth. Tezos is receiving increased recognition for its Liquid Proof of Stake (LPoS) consensus algorithm, which allows all stakeholders to participate in securing the network. In February, the first proposals, submitted by Nomadic Labs, to amend the Tezos mainnet via the Tezos governance mechanism were proposed. The Foundation also filed its 2017 statutory audit report with the Swiss Federal Supervisory Authority for Foundations, and is continuing to work with PwC, its independent external auditor, on the 2018 audit.

The Tezos Foundation’s core mission is to support the long-term success of the Tezos protocol and ecosystem. Through its various strategic efforts, the Foundation positions itself to more effectively achieve this goal. The Foundation is inspired by the achievements of the Tezos community over the past year and looks forward to further supporting the ecosystem to continue to advance the Tezos project.

Tezos Foundation Supports Tezos Riot Forum

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued a grant to New Vector Limited, the company behind Riot.im.

The Tezos Riot forum is one of the most active online forums for the Tezos community. New Vector Limited, the company behind the Tezos Riot forum, has received this grant to establish and manage a server dedicated specifically for the Tezos Riot forum, which will greatly improve the experience for its users.

One reason why the Tezos Riot forum is so popular within the Tezos ecosystem is because of the alignment between Matrix, an open-source protocol for secure communication, and the Tezos community’s value of decentralization. In addition to the dedicated server, New Vector Limited will add a custom Tezos brand for the Tezos Riot forum and implement antispam, anti-phishing, and antivirus functionalities.

The Tezos Foundation’s core mission is to support the long-term success of the Tezos protocol and ecosystem. By funding projects created by scientists, researchers, developers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts, the Foundation encourages decentralized development and robust participation.

Statement on 2017 Statutory Audit Completed by PwC Switzerland

In July of 2018, the Tezos Foundation announced the appointment of PwC Switzerland as its independent external financial auditor. The Foundation is the first large-scale blockchain organization to be accepted as an audit client of one of the “Big Four.”

We are glad to announce that the 2017 statutory audit is now complete. As customary and mandated by Swiss law, the audit report has been filed with the Swiss Federal Supervisory Authority for Foundations. The 2018 financial audit, which is also being conducted by PwC Switzerland, is underway and we will issue a statement when it is complete.

Cryptium Labs Receives Grant to Develop Protocol Improvements

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that Cryptium Labs has received an additional grant to develop baking and consensus improvements that may be implemented to the Tezos core protocol. With this grant, Cryptium Labs will build a new account system which, if implemented via the Tezos amendment process, will allow bakers to define their baking operations through Michelson smart contracts.

Cryptium Labs is a Switzerland-based, blockchain-agnostic staking services and protocol development company that has actively contributed to the Tezos ecosystem since the launch of the Tezos network in June 2018. The Cryptium Labs team is led by Adrian Brink, Awa Sun Yin, and Christopher Goes. All three have extensive experience as protocol researchers and engineers, notably with the Cosmos project and Tendermint Core.

The purpose of Cryptium Labs’ development efforts is to provide Tezos bakers with greater flexibility by increasing the degrees of freedom regarding operational security and to enable bakers to engineer more advanced products around baking. Cryptium Labs will also collaborate with Nomadic Labs on various initiatives regarding the Tezos core protocol and other development efforts. For example, the Cryptium Labs team is already working with Nomadic and others on a variant of Tendermint consensus, a mechanism inspired by classical BFT research in distributed systems, to add finality to Tezos.

The Tezos Foundation’s core mission is to support the long-term success of the Tezos protocol and ecosystem. By funding projects created by scientists, researchers, developers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts, the Foundation encourages decentralized development and robust participation.

Least Authority Performs 5 Security Audits Covering the Tezos Protocol and Surrounding Tools

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce the completion of five security audits covering the Tezos core protocol, the Tezos Foundation’s vesting smart contracts, the Galleon and TezBox wallets, and Obsidian Systems’ Ledger Applications. These security audits were conducted by Least Authority, a leading software auditor.

We approached Least Authority with these security audit requests, of which the results are available in full via the links below, to further our efforts of improving the security of the Tezos core protocol and greater ecosystem.

All five audits were performed in 2018 and focused primarily on code quality, security of the implementation, issues and vulnerabilities that appeared to be a threat, and suggestions and areas for further discussion as it pertains to security best practices. Least Authority’s statement regarding the audits may be found in this post.

We intend to continue working with Least Authority and other third-party auditors to implement security best practices and minimize the risk of serious threats and vulnerabilities for the Tezos protocol and greater ecosystem.

The Foundation, alongside Least Authority, will participate in a Reddit AMA on the Tezos Reddit forum on Tuesday, March 26th at 12 pm EDT to discuss the results of the audits, should you have any additional questions.

Below are the links to the audit reports and our responses:

Tezos Foundation Issues Grant to MyTezosBaker

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued an additional grant to MyTezosBaker, a popular curator of Tezos delegation services.

MyTezosBaker is an online database that currently lists more than 100 delegation services from over 30 countries across 6 continents. The service launched shortly after the launch of the Tezos network in June 2018 and is a popular resource for Tezos community members to conduct research on various Tezos delegation services. With this grant, the MyTezosBaker team will add more advanced features to its offering, such as:

  • an account-based forum to allow for verified reviews, testimonials, and discussions
  • APIs to provide data about Tezos delegation services to wallet providers and other services
  • iOS and Android applications for mobile users
  • additional features such as upvote/downvote ratings

The Tezos Foundation’s core mission is to support the long-term success of the Tezos protocol and ecosystem. By funding projects imagined by scientists, researchers, developers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts, the Foundation encourages decentralized development and robust participation.

Update on the first on-chain proposals for Tezos

We are excited to see the first active Proposal Period nearing completion. As communicated near the beginning of the Proposal Period, the Tezos Foundation decided to remain neutral by not upvoting any proposals.

Next is the Exploration Vote Period (or “Testing_vote period”), another 8 cycles (~22.8 days) during which time bakers can vote “Yea”, “Nay”, or “Pass” (where “Pass” means explicitly abstaining) on the most upvoted proposal from the Proposal Period. All three types of votes (“Yea”,”Nay”, “Pass”) count towards the quorum in the Exploration Vote Period.

To remain neutral during this Exploration Vote Period (which begins at block 360449) as well, the Foundation will vote “Pass”. As noted, this contributes to the required quorum and further elevates the voices of other members of the Tezos community in this historic first vote.

We again encourage the community to get involved:

  • Learn about the Tezos Athens proposals: 1) Nomadic Labs’ overview of the Athens proposals; and 2) An overview on Medium
  • If delegating, check with your delegate to learn their policy regarding how they intend to vote on protocol upgrades
  • Follow along on TzScan or Kukai’s voting dashboard.

Happy voting!