Tezos Mainnet Is Live

On June 30, the Tezos Foundation proposed a genesis block that became the seed of the Tezos network. For a time following the proposal, there was an expectation that, while fully operational, the network had a higher likelihood of experiencing unscheduled downtime along with maintenance and adjustments, and so we regarded the network as a betanet. Over the course of the last few months, we have been happy to see the network operating smoothly and efficiently. The community has been actively engaged, with more than 400 validators (“bakers”) scheduled for an upcoming cycle. In addition, the community has been developing an array of exciting technologies and other tools to increase community engagement, understanding of the network, and adoption.

As a result, we now consider the beta period concluded, and while active development still continues, we are pleased to regard the Tezos network as the mainnet.

Please remember that the Tezos network is a new blockchain technology. As with any new blockchain technology, unexpected issues may still impact the network. Users are solely responsible for any risks associated with usage of the Tezos network. Prospective users should do their own research to determine if Tezos is the appropriate platform for their needs before engaging. In addition, those already on the network should apply judgment and care in their network interactions.

As a general reminder, any party or software, such as a wallet, that gains knowledge of private-key information will have access to the tokens controlled by the associated public-key hash. Always think twice before entering private-key information anywhere. There is nothing that the Foundation can do if tokens are lost or stolen.

We expect that the community will, over time, bring a range of new and exciting developments to the network, and are excited to stand as a part of the community to support that progress.

Respectfully,

The Tezos Foundation

Press Release: Tezos Mainnet Is Live

Six months in: An update from Ryan Jesperson

Dear Tezos Community,

Six months ago, I became president of the Tezos Foundation and I want to share with you a few thoughts from the journey so far.

For most of that time, the Foundation was focused on the launch of the betanet. That focus was realized on June 30 when the Foundation was proud to propose a genesis block that became the seed of a Tezos betanet. The genesis block included recommended allocations for contributions to the Tezos Foundation’s fundraiser in July 2017. This fundraiser saw the creation of over 30,000 wallets, indicating the strength of this community and its belief in the project. Since that time, we have seen an explosion of bakers (network validators) come online, with more than 60% of the total baking distribution scheduled to now reside outside of the Foundation — and the number of bakers coming online continues to grow. It’s a testament to the Tezos project — the technology and the community — that together we arrived here and are thriving.

As far as network launches go, it was remarkably smooth. A development team in Paris tested and refined the codebase, working tirelessly leading up to the launch. Ultimately, the Foundation proposed a genesis block and the betanet phase of the network went live. The team’s hard work to propose this genesis block may never get its full due, but I want to thank them once again for that exceptional effort.

Once the betanet launched, the Foundation turned its attention to its long-term mission — to provide material support for the advancement of the Tezos protocol, ecosystem, and community.

To provide some perspective on this mission, let me take a moment to underscore again just what exactly the Foundation is. Tezos is not and has never been the Tezos Foundation. From the inception of Tezos as a digital commonwealth, decentralization has been the core organizing principle. Consistent with that vision, the Foundation was established as a tool to provide resources for the furtherance of the Tezos project and community. The Foundation neither seeks nor accepts the role of the project’s “official” bearer. The Foundation is one member of the larger Tezos community.

Although the role may be limited in scope, the Foundation takes its mission very seriously. We recently announced that PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) Switzerland had agreed to act as the independent external auditor for our finances and operations. The Tezos Foundation is the first large-scale blockchain organization to have one of the “Big Four” accounting firms serve as an external auditor. That is the standard of excellence that we have set for ourselves — because that is the standard that we believe best serves how we support the long-term success of the Tezos project and community.

We have also announced several grants as part of our mission to provide material support. These projects include:
• building new technologies on top of Tezos, including a smart legal contract layer, which is being developed by Clause
• funding research and innovation at leading research institutions such as Inria in France and Cornell University in New York
• forging strong communities all around the globe, including backing regional groups in Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, and the United States

Over the last six months, the Foundation has committed more than $30 million in grants over multiple years to academic institutions, development groups, and other visionaries that are supporting the protocol and related technology. We will be updating the community regularly about the status of these projects and how they help the Tezos ecosystem grow, and we encourage anyone with a thoughtful idea and strong commitment to apply for a grant.

While we have been more communicative recently, I recognize the community has for some time wanted more. I would like to put some of that silence in context now. The Foundation never sought to go quiet. The success of the Tezos project rests in the hands of the community, of which the Foundation is just one member, and open communication within the community is critical.

For much of the last six months, we have been focused on redressing the situation that the Foundation fell into shortly after the fundraiser. There was a tremendous amount of work to do so that the Foundation could succeed in its mandate. We installed a new board of experienced professionals, which now includes Olaf Carlson-Wee, Michel Mauny, Lars Haussmann, Pascal Clere, Marylène Micheloud, and Hubertus Thonhauser, to provide the proper governance. We released a strategy statement on June 25 that spelled out how the Foundation viewed its role — acting as a member of the Tezos community rather than as an authority — to establish expectations around its operations. And perhaps most importantly, we made sure that the development team in Paris had the resources that it needed to ready the codebase for launch.

The turnaround was complex, occurred at high velocity, and had us all intensely focused on success. To its credit, the entire team worked through the turmoil and produced exceptional work.

Now that we have turned a corner and mainnet is approaching, I want to reiterate the Foundation’s commitment to communicating with the community. As I have said, the Foundation does not seek to be, nor attempt to serve as, some kind of central authority with regard to Tezos. But know that we are committed to communicating more openly about the Foundation’s role and our efforts to support this vibrant and strong community.

Thank you again to everyone who has given their time, patience, resources, hope, belief, and intellect to making Tezos a reality. We look forward to seeing what you build.

Respectfully,
Ryan Jesperson
President of the Tezos Foundation

Press Release: Six months in: An update from Ryan Jesperson

Tezos Foundation to Support Stephen Andrews’ Development Studio

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it will issue a grant to Stephen Andrews to establish TezTech, a global Tezos software development studio.

Stephen is a widely respected contributor to the Tezos ecosystem. Some of his work includes TezBox, a multi-platform, dApp friendly wallet for Tezos, and BakeChain, a service that allows its users to bake (“validate”) on the Tezos network without having to install and maintain a full node. In addition to these two projects, the TezTech team will continue to work on:

  • eztz.js – a Javascript library for interacting with the Tezos blockchain.
  • fi – a high-level smart contract language for Tezos that compiles to Michelson.
  • tzToken – a sub-token standard for Tezos.
  • TezRPC – an RPC API that offers free access to the Tezos blockchain by providing infrastructure for developers and users.
  • Velos – a proposed off-chain, trustless scaling method for Tezos.

This grant also supports TezTech’s initial research and development of “Sona,” a decentralized identity protocol on Tezos. Sona will allow users to maintain control over their identities and seeks to be extremely modular as a way to provide value-added services to end users.

The TezTech team’s mission is to provide tools, applications, and services that empower the Tezos ecosystem. The Foundation is thrilled to support this development studio as it works to advance the Tezos project.

Press Release: Tezos Foundation to Support Stephen Andrews’ Development Studio

Tezos Foundation to Support Southeast Asia Community Organization

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it will issue a grant to support the establishment of Tezos Southeast Asia (“TSA”).

Based in Singapore, TSA will play an active role in the growth of the Tezos ecosystem by educating individuals and groups throughout Southeast Asia about Tezos and its technology. TSA will host meetups, sponsor educational programs, and support other initiatives to further develop a vibrant and empowered Tezos community in Southeast Asia and advance the project overall.

This grant is the most recent of the Foundation’s efforts to support regional community organizations all over the world. The Tezos Foundation previously announced its support of the Tezos Commons Foundation, Tezos Korea Foundation, and Tezos Japan Foundation. Community organizations in need of immediate consideration for a grant from the Foundation are invited to submit grant proposals and help grow the Tezos ecosystem.

Press Release: Tezos Foundation to Support Southeast Asia Community Organization

Tezos Foundation to Support Clause Inc. to Create Smart Legal Contract Layer on Tezos

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it will issue a grant to Clause Inc. to develop a smart legal contract layer on top of the Tezos blockchain.

Clause is a US-based startup that enables its users to negotiate, execute, and monitor the performance of smart legal contracts that connect to web services, enterprise software, and blockchain systems using its platform. Clause uses technology developed by the Accord Project, an open-source software initiative it established composed of 40+ leading law firms, IBM, R3, and others that are building tools for legally enforceable smart contracts in an effort to institute common specifications.

With this grant, the Clause team will develop an Ergo to Michelson compiler to enable a smart legal contract layer on Tezos. Ergo is a domain-specific language that captures the execution logic of legal contracts, and Michelson is a language used to write smart contracts on Tezos. Such technology will enable Tezos to support commercial transactions and practices that are legally enforceable. Jerome Simeon, Chief Scientist at Clause, stated: “We are very excited to be developing a legal layer for Tezos. Compiling Ergo to Michelson will allow users to transparently and safely deploy legal contracts from Clause onto the Tezos blockchain.”

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. Projects in need of immediate consideration for a grant from the Foundation are invited to submit grant proposals and contribute to Tezos.

Press release: Tezos Foundation to Support Clause Inc. to Create Smart Legal Contract Layer on Tezos

Tezos Foundation Issues Four More Grants

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it will issue grants to support the expansion of international baker (“validator”) communities, the development of tools and services related to baking, the integration of Trezor hardware wallets with Tezos, and the creation of a universal mobile wallet featuring secure multi-party computation. These grants will be issued to Cryptium Labs, MyTezosBaker, Simple Staking, and KZen Networks, respectively.

Cryptium Labs is a Switzerland-based company that was established to offer secure and reliable block validation services for proof-of-stake networks. Led by Adrian Brink, Awa Sun Yin, and Christopher Goes, the Cryptium Labs team will continue to publish content for the Tezos community, develop tools related to baking (such as key management systems), and conduct further research related to the Tezos protocol. Cryptium Labs will also use its initial grant from the Foundation to support the Chinese and Spanish-speaking Tezos communities by localizing content and hosting meetups.

In an effort to foster a dynamic community of bakers, the Tezos Foundation is also providing a grant to MyTezosBaker. In its current form, MyTezosBaker displays a curated list of current and potential bakers for Tezos token holders to research and delegate to. This grant will allow the team, led by Shazaf Burki, to scale up operations, automate the listing process as much as possible, and add more advanced features.

Founded by Juraj Selep, Simple Staking is a company working to integrate Tezos with the Trezor hardware wallet. Trezor support will give Tezos token holders an additional hardware wallet option. Furthermore, the Simple Staking team will work to allow developers to integrate Trezor wallets into their Tezos applications.

The KZen Networks team is developing “Codename:Django.” With this grant, KZen Networks, led by Ouriel Ohayon, will continue its work on a universal mobile wallet. The wallet will enable Tezos token holders to conduct multi-signature (“multi-sig”) transactions using secure multi-party computation. In the future, the KZen Networks team plans to offer Tezos bakers multi-sig support and mobile access to baking and voting.

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. Projects in need of immediate consideration for a grant from the Foundation are invited to submit grant proposals and contribute to Tezos.

Press release: Tezos Foundation Issues Four More Grants

Tezos Foundation Issues Grants to Four Leading Research Institutions

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued grants to Cornell University (Emin Gün Sirer), the University of Beira Interior, Decet Consulting, and France-IOI.

The team at Cornell University, led by Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts (“IC3”) Emin Gün Sirer, will begin a two-year research effort on consensus algorithms, particularly focusing on sharding in blockchain protocols. Sharding is a potential scaling solution whereby parts of a blockchain’s state are split among validator sets so that each set only has to validate a subset of the transactions in a network. Following its research, the Cornell team will develop protocols that may be applied to Tezos.

The University of Beira Interior, a premier research institution based in Portugal, will receive a grant from the Tezos Foundation to support two projects. The first project, which will fund two master’s theses, will involve research on the implementation of Tezos for event logging of robots in factory environments. The second project, which will include two Ph.D. theses, will explore tools for the static analysis of smart contracts in programming languages such as Michelson, as well as focus on formal verification techniques and support for machine-checked smart contracts using proof assistants like Why3 and Coq.

Decentralized Et Consulting, LLC. (“Decet”) is a research institution founded by Gordon Speagle of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017 to actively research new methods for decentralization and provide blockchain solutions for such opportunities. With this two-year grant, the Decet team will build a robust, clear, and accessible online developer documentation resource for the Tezos ecosystem. This documentation will include technical specifications, tutorials, and instructional guides for both developers and non-developers to better understand Tezos and how to build on top of it.

In an additional effort to empower the Tezos community, France-IOI, in partnership with the Institut Mines-Télécom, the Blaise Pascal Foundation, and others will develop educational tools, content, and activities to help a growing number of students learn about programming, high-level algorithmics, and the technology underpinning Tezos. Both the Decet and France-IOI grants will support the education and training of current and future Tezos developers.

The grants described above reinforce the Foundation’s commitment to support premier research institutions and educational initiatives in their efforts to advance the Tezos protocol and ecosystem. The Foundation will hold a formal call for research grant proposals later this month. Prospective grantees from research institutions needing immediate consideration for a grant may apply through the grantmaking form.

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, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts, the Foundation encourages decentralized development and robust participation. All parties are invited to submit grant proposals and contribute to Tezos.

Press release: Tezos Foundation Issues Grants to Four Leading Research Institutions

Tezos Foundation names PwC Switzerland as independent external auditor

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that PwC Switzerland has agreed to act as the external auditor for the Foundation’s finances and operations. The Foundation is the first large-scale blockchain organization to be accepted as an audit client of one of the “Big Four.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) is a global leader in professional services, offering auditing, accounting, legal, tax, and other capabilities. PwC is among the most respected accounting firms in the world, with extensive experience auditing complex operations in a wide variety of environments globally.

The Foundation is committed to operating with the highest degree of integrity in the service of our mission to support the Tezos protocol, ecosystem, and community. Engaging a top-tier independent external auditor ensures that the Tezos community and its observers can trust our operations and use of finances.

We believe that accountability and trust will be central pillars of any successful entity operating in the blockchain space. We are excited to make progress towards this goal with PwC Switzerland acting as our independent external auditor.

Press release: Tezos Foundation names PwC Switzerland as independent external auditor

Tezos Foundation Issues Grants to Community Organizations

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued grants to the Tezos Commons Foundation (“TCF”), Tezos Japan Foundation, and Tezos Korea Foundation.

The Tezos Commons Foundation is a U.S.-based non-profit corporation that will play an active role in the advancement of the Tezos project by sponsoring meetups, educational programs, and other initiatives focused on empowering the Tezos community.

Japan and Korea are two of the most vibrant countries in the blockchain space. Engagement with these communities will be important for the growth of the Tezos ecosystem and its long-term success. The Tezos Japan Foundation and Tezos Korea Foundation will work within their respective locales to promote the Tezos protocol and educate developers, enthusiasts, and the greater business community about its technology.

The Tezos Foundation is committed to supporting community organizations in their efforts to help foster Tezos communities globally. These grants are the first that the Tezos Foundation has made since we announced a public call for grant proposals to go out in August 2018.

The success of any decentralized network is determined by the efforts of a robust, diverse, and flourishing community. We encourage all parties interested in forming community organizations, especially university-based groups, to apply next month. We will review and accept proposals submitted via this form for projects that are in need of more immediate consideration.

Here’s to the community,
Tezos Foundation

Press Release: Tezos Foundation Issues Grants to Community Organizations

Tezos Foundation to Open Grantmaking Process

The Tezos Foundation’s core mission is to support the Tezos protocol and its community. As previously stated, the Foundation is committed to providing material support to developers, scientists, bakers (“network validators”), and enthusiasts in their efforts to fortify and innovate around the project.

We deliver this direct support by aggressively and strategically deploying our resources. We have committed a significant amount of funds in the last five months to premier research institutions and developers to help advance the protocol:

  • OCaml Software Foundation – expand education and training of the OCaml programming language through the “Learn OCaml” project at Inria, the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics.
  • Obsidian Systems – develop software solutions for baking on the Tezos network.
  • OCaml Labs – improve the “Lwt” programming library, a frequently used library in the OCaml community.
  • IMDEA Software Institute – establish a multi-year research, training, and dissemination program to address Tezos and related technologies.
  • Inria – continue cryptography, distributed systems, OCaml, and other research efforts; set up internal labs, staff full-time research teams, and strengthen involvement in the project.
  • Tarides – focus research efforts on packaging Tezos as a MirageOS unikernel, which will help participants establish nodes on the network in a more efficient and secure manner.
  • Cryptonomic – develop a graphical wallet that can be used to interact with the Tezos blockchain.
  • HackerOne – deploy and manage a bug bounty program to steadily improve the overall security of Tezos.
  • TezBox – undergo a complete audit to improve the safety and security of its wallet.

Now, we are excited to announce that we will be holding our first formal call for proposals through an open and streamlined grantmaking process to begin in August 2018. Moving forward, the Foundation has identified as an initial target three key areas for grantmaking:

  1. Research that furthers the Tezos protocol and related technologies (including premier research teams/labs, documentation, education, and training).
  2. Development of tools and applications to support the Tezos ecosystem.
  3. Efforts to strengthen and nurture the burgeoning Tezos community.

In the coming weeks, we will invite community members, educational and research institutions, developers, and all other interested parties to apply for grants to support projects and organizations that strengthen the Tezos ecosystem.

All applicants interested in applying for a grant will begin the process by introducing the project and its relationship to one of the three grantmaking categories listed above. After evaluating the original pool, we will invite a select group of prospective grantees to submit a full grant proposal, which will ultimately be reviewed on a monthly basis and voted on by the Tezos Foundation Board.

Our public call will go out in August 2018. If your project is in need of more immediate consideration, please fill out this form. We look forward to supporting ideas sourced through our new grantmaking process to foster a robust, diverse, and active ecosystem.

Thank you,
Tezos Foundation

Press release: Tezos Foundation to Open Grantmaking Process