Update: Week of 4 November 2019

Dear Tezos community,
Welcome to November! This week, B9lab announced the start of the second round of students to take part in its Tezos Blockstars Programme, which provides free Tezos developer training to students all over the world. This cohort features over 100 students from over 30 countries who will learn how to create smart contracts and write clients on Tezos. Congratulations to the new students accepted!

Tezos Korea hosted TEZOS INNOVATORS 2019 this week in Seoul, South Korea. This was the first Tezos blockchain idea contest ever held in South Korea, and featured applications from 35 teams, of which six were short-listed to present at the INNOVATORS Summit. Ultimately, the Tezos Korea team selected HashMob as the winning team for their blockchain-based blackbox video storage service.

We would also like to remind the community that the first ever Pitch Day in Paris will be hosted by Nomadic Labs on November 12. It will feature presentations from startups and projects building on Tezos. We look forward to seeing the vibrant French community there!

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantees, Funded Entities, and Other News
Below are some updates from the last week:

Our Activities
The Foundation was thrilled to announce two new grants to Figment Networks and Papers last week. 

In addition to our regular grantmaking activities, Foundation Council member Ryan Lackey will speak at the Singapore FinTech Festival on November 12th on the topic of “Enabling the Next Generation of Financial Infrastructure.” Be sure to register if you’ll be in the area!

FAQs
I contributed to the Tezos Foundation’s fundraiser but I cannot figure out how to activate my recommended allocation – what do I do?

This is a question that we have answered here before but is worth repeating as we still see it come up in the community. In order to activate a recommended allocation, start by checking a contribution to the Foundation’s fundraiser. After checking, you can then begin the Foundation’s verification process to obtain an activation code corresponding to a public key hash from the fundraiser. Finally, activate a recommended allocation. Follow the steps at the bottom of this page, and if you run into any issue along the way, please email [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update: Week of 28 October 2019

Dear Tezos community,

This past week, the Foundation announced a partnership with Alliance Investments, tZERO, and Megalodon to tokenize £500m of UK real estate over the next several years. Alliance’s River Plaza property will be the first real estate-backed security token offering (STO) in the UK, and one of only a handful worldwide. This is a step forward for the Tezos ecosystem in piloting transformative real world blockchain use cases.

The Foundation also announced a new strategic investment in Berlin-based Fundament Securities GmbH to introduce a legal-tech solution for tokenizing regulated financial products on Tezos. Their 250m EUR real estate-backed STO, which was structured as a bond, was the first of its kind with approval from the German financial regulator, BaFin. Fundament provides end-to-end infrastructure for digital securities. Moving forward they will build on Tezos as a default blockchain solution. The partnership between Fundament and the Tezos Foundation is also the beginning of an effort to build a strong Tezos community and developer network in Berlin, Germany. More information will be coming on that topic in the future.

We are constantly impressed by the ingenuity of Tezos community members. This week Tezos Capital founder, Jonas Lamis, announced a new platform, StakerDAO, to be built on Tezos with support from Polychain Capital. The platform is designed specifically for governing financial assets in a secure, decentralized, and compliant manner, and plans to deliver financial assets that make it easy to participate in Proof of Stake networks.

We are excited to see members of the Tezos community continue to build and launch such innovative projects.

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantees, Funded Entities, and Other News
Below are some updates from the last week:

Our Activities
This week, the Foundation announced new grants to Figment Networks, a Tezos baker and the team behind the popular Hubble block explorer, and Papers, the team behind the tezblock block explorer and AirGap wallet. The grants will go towards making analysis of the Tezos blockchain more advanced and accessible.

In addition to its grantmaking activities, the Foundation made multiple announcements of strategic partnerships this week.

On the partnership with Alliance Investments, TZero, and Megalodon to bring real estate-backed STOs to the UK, Foundation CFO Roman Schnider said, “this one building, a large multi-storage development, [is a] first for Alliance, but represents a large pipeline that they intend to fund using STOs.”

On the partnership with Fundament Group to develop digital securities infrastructure, TF council member Hubertus Thonhauser commented: “We look forward to working with Fundament Group as it is providing end to end infrastructure for the lifecycle of securities. We are aligned in our vision to challenge the current financial system and we very much look forward to a productive and fruitful partnership.”

FAQs

What are the benefits of moving all transaction fees to tz accounts?
Moving all transaction fees to tz[123] accounts makes it possible to bake without executing a smart contract. While the system currently requires transaction fees for baking, it does not necessarily have to be that way with simple tz[123] accounts. For more details, refer to a post on the subject on Tezos Agora.

Tezos Foundation Strengthens Support for Tezos Block Explorers and App Accessibility

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued grants to Figment Networks, a Tezos baker and the team behind the popular Hubble block explorer, and Papers, the team behind the tezblock block explorer and AirGap wallet. With these grants, both the Figment and Papers teams will help make analysis of the Tezos blockchain more advanced and accessible.

Figment Networks is a professional staking services company and contributor to the Tezos ecosystem. The team built an open-source baking rewards payout tool last October and actively engages with the wider community of Tezos bakers. With this grant, Figment Networks will create and open-source a high-level analytics, alerting, and governance tool for the Tezos ecosystem, with a goal to provide the most useful information for Tezos bakers and delegates.

Papers is an active development team in the Tezos ecosystem and has received an additional grant to further develop and advance its tezblock block explorer. tezblock aims to make collecting data about and analyzing the Tezos blockchain as accessible and user-friendly as possible. The Papers team will continue to improve tezblock by adding more advanced baking and governance data through integration with Tezos Agora, Tezos smart contracts and assets support, and other key metrics and data visualizations. For more information about tezblock, check out Papers’ latest project update here.

Papers is also collaborating with other Tezos development teams to create a wallet interaction standard to help users interact with applications built on Tezos from their browsers. Using this standard, a browser extension will be developed to allow any application developer to easily incorporate a wallet via a generic implementation. Full documentation and tutorials will be published by the Papers team.

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.

Update: Week of 21 October 2019

Dear Tezos community,

The Babylon upgrade officially activated on 18 October, marking the second time a protocol amendment has been approved and implemented via the Tezos governance mechanism. Tezos is the first major blockchain to successfully implement two protocol upgrades automatically, and we are thrilled by the engagement and growth of our community. We will continue to gain momentum and become even stronger as a community moving forward.

In order to better assist Tezos developers who are testing their tools and smart contracts, we have been working to create a faucet tool, similar to the one that is currently deployed on the babylonnet test network. This faucet will provide small amounts of tez (XTZ) to developers that need it for development purposes. It will be ready in November and we will release additional details in the coming weeks.

In addition to helping with the activation of the Babylon upgrade, representatives from multiple TF-funded entities, TQ Tezos, Cryptium Labs, and Nomadic Labs, participated in AZTEC protocol’s Multi-Party Computation (MPC) ceremony, Ignition, this week, using an air-gapped computer which has now ceased to be. Representatives from each team gathered in New York City to run AZTEC’s MPC software in a global relay with over 200 participants. The result: a more secure system for private transactions.

Adrian sets up new laptop

Adrian Brink setting up the laptop for the AZTEC MPC

We are thrilled to see so many members of the Tezos community participate so actively in a wide range of projects and initiatives.

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantees, Funded Entities, and Other News
Below are some updates from the last week:

Our Activities
The Tezos Foundation is thrilled to have received 84 grant proposals during its most recent Ecosystem Grants RFP, which closed on 18 October. The review process is underway and all applicants will receive communications from the Foundation on the status of their proposals in the coming weeks. Applicants can feel free to contact [email protected] should they have any questions regarding the status of a grant proposal.

The Foundation is sponsoring a 3-month blockchain hackathon, Future of Blockchain, beginning this month in London (and surrounding regions) and Berlin. The hackathon, organized by StakeZero Ventures, is for developers and entrepreneurs, and features 40+ prizes in different categories with a total of £100k available. Community members can learn more here!

FAQs

What should I do if I am having trouble moving funds from a KT1 address to a tz1 address?
Some users may have had issues moving their tez from KT1 addresses to tz1 addresses if a tz1 address contained insufficient funds after Babylon was activated (and thus was unable to pay transaction fees). Members of the Tezos community like Cryptium Labs and Everstake took initiative to fund all impacted accounts with enough tez to cover transaction fees and resolve the issue. Should one have any issue with a Tezos wallet, make sure that the latest version is installed (as many were updated to be compatible with Babylon) and reach out to the developers of the wallet for further support.

Update: Week of 14 October 2019

Dear Tezos community,

This week, the Tezos community officially approved the Babylon upgrade and the Tezos blockchain updated itself (self-amendment). We were thrilled to see the activation of Babylon 2.0.1 at Block 655,361, the second-ever Tezos protocol amendment proposal to be approved via the Tezos governance mechanism.

In preparation for the upgrade, multiple teams within the Tezos ecosystem released guidelines for bakers, delegators, developers and all ecosystem members to transition seamlessly to Babylon. Cryptium Labs, Nomadic Labs, Obsidian Systems, and AirGap each put out new updates or blog posts to ensure a successful implementation. Community members who want to dive deeper into the upgrade can inspect the Babylon documentation from Nomadic Labs for more information.

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantees, Funded Entities, and Other News
Below are some updates on our grantees and other funded entities from the last week:

 

Our Activities
We would like to remind the community that our current ecosystem grants RFP closes today! Now is the last chance to submit a proposal to be considered for our next cohort of grantees.

FAQs

Where can I find more information on the transition to Babylon?
Multiple entities within the Tezos ecosystem have released guides to prepare for the Babylon upgrade. Teams from Cryptium Labs, Nomadic Labs, Obsidian Systems, and AirGap have released updates or guides in preparation for the transition. The Babylon code is open source and any member of the community can go straight to the documentation for more information.

 

 

 

Update: Week of 7 October 2019

Fall is finally here (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), and we are thrilled with all the activity and community engagement we’ve experienced throughout the Tezos ecosystem. The Tezos community continues to grow and make itself known globally in various industries, not just the blockchain space.

In case you missed it, CoinDesk published a feature on last week’s TQuorum Global Summit. This week, members of the Tezos community traveled to Japan for the Ethereum Foundation’s DevCon 5. Tezos was well-represented at the conference, with Jacob Arluck of TQ Tezos and Adrian Brink of Cryptium Labs participating in a discussion on blockchain governance, and our own Ryan Lackey presenting on Tezos proof of stake.

As the Tezos community grows, it will need more and more dedicated local organizers to plan events and build the community in their regions. To that end, Tezos Commons put out a call for applications for meetup sponsors and Tezos local chapter organizers. If you want to contribute to the growth of the Tezos community in your area, we encourage you to apply!

The Tezos Foundation and Globacap announced their strategic partnership this week to accelerate Globacap’s efforts to bring capital markets into the digital age. “Amidst the noise of Brexit, a quiet revolution is underway in Europe that will change the way we view the very concept of public and private markets,” said Foundation Council member Hubertus Thonhauser. “Globacap is at the forefront of this important movement toward democratizing access to markets and rendering them more efficient.”

Finally, we were delighted to see that Elevated Returns’ Thai investee company has been granted an investment portal license from Thailand’s SEC, and will launch its first real estate-backed token on Tezos in the near future via a public offering in Thailand. This is an exciting step forward as we see the first assets in a $1bn pipeline of real estate assets be tokenized on the Tezos blockchain.

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantees & Funded Entities
Below are some updates on our grantees and other funded entities from the last week:

 

Our Activities
Beyond the Foundation’s usual activities, several of which are described above, we would like to remind the entire community that there is only one week left to vote on the Babylon proposal! The Foundation has voted “pass” (meaning “abstain”) to remain neutral during the amendment process. This contributes to the required quorum and further elevates the voices of other members of the Tezos community. Learn more about the Tezos amendment process here.

Additionally, the Foundation Council has approved several grants outside of its standard grantmaking process. We look forward to announcing these projects in the coming weeks. Lastly, the current ecosystem grants RFP closes next Friday, 18 October. Submit a proposal before then to be considered for the next cohort!

FAQs

What is TF doing to market Tezos?
The Tezos Foundation is not a marketing entity. As our strategy statement outlines, “we believe our role within the community is to deploy resources that support the long-term future of Tezos. Grants offer a strategic way to help community members, such as educational and research institutions, developers, or activists from all over the world to support the advancement of this decentralized network.” 

That said – we do fund entities that do some marketing like Tezos Commons (TC), TQ Tezos (TQ), Tezos Southeast Asia (TSA), Tezos Japan, Tezos Korea, and others. If you have an idea for a marketing or related initiative that will add value to the Tezos ecosystem, submit an ecosystem grant application before next week’s deadline! We are eager to see creative proposals from the community.

What is the role of Tezos Commons (TC) and why should one apply to host a Tezos meetup and/or be a regional chapter organizer?
TC is built to support the ideas, individuals and organizations dedicated to building the Tezos digital commonwealth. It empowers the Tezos community to be architects through bootstrapping local communities, communications, promotion, education, funding open source initiatives, and advocacy. For individuals who become meetup sponsors and/or regional chapter organizers, TC provides dedicated funding and other support so that individual Tezos community members are able to grow the Tezos ecosystem where they are based and engage their own local communities.

 

Update: Week of 30 September 2019

Dear Tezos community,

I want to thank all of the global Tezos community members who made the trip to New York City for the first ever TQuorum Global Summit this week. Over 450 people joined us in the beautiful Spring Studios for two incredible days of panels, workshops, and discussions on a wide range of topics. These events and discussions are vital to build the Tezos community and drive the ecosystem forward. And efforts did not go unnoticed, CoinDesk’s Brady Dale published an article highlighting the shared values of the Tezos community, including open participation, token-holder-centricity, non-aggression, nuanced pragmatism and evolution (not revolution).

It was amazing to connect in-person with so many of you and learn about the projects you’ve been working on. We heard from many of our grantees and other funded entities on the main stage, including representatives from Cryptium Labs, Nomadic Labs, Truffle, TQ Tezos, and more. We also featured technical workshops from a host of grantees including: Airgap, Kidtsunami, Cryptonomic, SimpleStaking, Stove Labs, Clause, and SmartPy, among others. We look forward to the next opportunity to come together again.

Additionally, a reminder that there are only two weeks left in the current voting period on the Babylon proposal. While the Foundation will vote “pass” (meaning “abstain”), we are encouraged to see so much discussion and participation by all stakeholders in the Tezos ecosystem.

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantees & Funded Entities
Below are some updates on our grantees and other funded entities from the last week:

Our Activities
In addition to our usual grant-making activities, many of the Foundation’s council members and other staff made the trip to TQuorum, including Ryan Jesperson, Ryan Lackey, Hubertus Thonhauser, Michel Mauny, and Roman Schnider. We appreciated the opportunities to talk in-depth with many growing projects, and see all of the development happening in the Tezos ecosystem.

FAQs

Do wallet developers need to make any changes to their code if the Babylon proposal is adopted?
Yes, wallet developers will need to migrate their code to be compatible with Babylon if it is accepted by Tezos stakeholders in the Promotion Vote Period. The Babylon protocol upgrade brings two big changes to the way delegation can be implemented. First, implicit (aka tz1) accounts can now directly delegate tokens. Second, the scriptless KT1 accounts, whose main purpose has been delegation, are replaced by smart contracts whose addresses are unchanged and scripts are manager.tz. For more on these changes and what wallet developers need to do to avoid breaking changes, please read these instructions from the team at Nomadic Labs and these technical details from Cryptium Labs

Update: Week of 23 September 2019

Dear Tezos community,

We can’t wait to connect with community members from around the world at the upcoming TQuorum Global Summit this Sunday through Tuesday at Spring Street Studios in NYC. The conference will run for three days, with one day focused on the proof of stake ecosystem and one day focused on digital assets. I will be speaking on Monday morning to welcome all of you to the conference. From there – those attending will hear from a number of our grantees and other funded entities, including Cryptium Labs, Nomadic Labs, Truffle, TQ Tezos, and many more. You can purchase your ticket for the summit here.

We are excited to see that the promotion vote period recently began for the current voting cycle in the Tezos amendment process. It will end in about three weeks. As in past voting cycles the Foundation will vote “pass” (meaning “abstain”) for the current period. We are encouraged by the substantive discussions in the community around proposals for protocol upgrades and are confident in the decision that the rest of the community makes.

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantees & Funded Entities
Below are some updates on our grantees and other funded entities from the last week:

  • Happy Tezos released Tezos-as-a-Service (TaaS), which provides real-time updates to various applications on the Tezos blockchain by leveraging SignalR (WebSocket).
  • Edukera introduced its new Archetype website, which demonstrates how Archetype helps to develop more secure smart contracts on Tezos.
  • During the testing phase of protocol Babylon 005_PsBABY5H, Nomadic Labs discovered a bug affecting bigmaps in Michelson smart contracts, and corrected it in a proposal for a new version of Babylon. Cryptium Labs wrote its own summary of the bug and how it can be addressed.
  • ECAD LabsJev Björsell introduced Taquito, a new TypeScript library suite that can be used to build dApps or traditional web applications on top of the Tezos blockchain.
  • Tulip Tools gave a sneak peek of its upcoming beta of TPlus, which lets developers manage any number of Tezos nodes for use with mainnet, or alphanet, as well as sandbox environments used for local testing and (smart contract) development, and offers a ready-to-go development experience.
  • TQ Tezos published a guide to TQuorum Global Summit. Take a look if you are planning on attending.
  • Simple Staking published a guide on the Tezos peer-to-peer layer and its Rust implementation.
  • Nomadic Labs announced the first release of data-encoding, a library to encode and decode values to JSON or binary format.
  • Stove Labs released an update on its work over the past few weeks.

Our Activities
The Tezos Foundation participated in the latest round of funding for Securitize, one of the leading players in the digital securities sector. The $14 million financing round in which the Tezos Foundation participated was led by Nomura Groups and Santander InnoVentures and will help Securitize accelerate its go-to-market strategy. This investment aims to increase the adoption of Tezos in digital securities issuances.

On top of the Foundation’s regular duties this week, the team is excited to join the rest of the community at the TQuorum Global Summit in New York City from 29 September – 1 October. Ryan Jesperson and Ryan Lackey will both be speaking, with Hubertus Thonhauser, Michel Mauny, and Roman Schnider also attending. Grab your ticket now!

FAQs

What is inflation funding? How does it work?
Inflation funding is a mechanism that the Tezos protocol can use to fund the development of the core protocol and other public goods. Essentially how it works is simple – if an upgrade is approved via the Tezos governance process, the protocol itself mints new Tezos tokens (XTZ) and issues them to the developer(s) behind the upgrade. This process increases the total supply of XTZ and is designed to solve the free rider problem that open-source projects are particularly prone to. Inflation funding presents a sustainable source of funding that is not reliant on token price appreciation or private investment.

 

 

 

Update: Week of 16 September 2019

Dear Tezos community,
Congratulations on the one-year anniversary of Tezos becoming mainnet! We have a lot to look forward to as we stand at the one-year mark of mainnet. The TQuorum Global Summit begins on 29 September and will consist of 3 days of technical workshops, panels, and keynote speeches. There will be a day dedicated to staking and a day dedicated to digital securities. You can get a ticket to one or all of the days here.

Additionally, we were pleased to announce the release of a fundraiser password support tool. This tool aims to help fundraiser contributors with lost fundraiser passwords to attempt to recover their passwords and access the corresponding recommended allocations of Tezos tokens (tez). To use the tool, go to https://recovery.tezos.com/.

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantee Updates

Below are some updates on our grantees and other funded entities from the last week:

Our Activities

In addition to releasing a fundraiser password recovery tool, the Foundation has been working hard to finalize a number of important grants. Specifically, the Foundation was pleased this week to announce that it has issued grants to Kyoto University and Edukera, based in Japan and France, respectively, to further advance the Tezos smart contract development ecosystem. Furthermore, this week we issued a new request for proposals (RFP) for Tezos ecosystem grants. We invite all parties eager to contribute to the Tezos project to submit grant applications.

On top of the Foundation’s grantmaking actions this week, the team is incredibly excited to join the rest of the community at the TQuorum Global Summit in New York City from 29 September – 1 October. Ryan Jesperson and Ryan Lackey will both be speaking. Grab your ticket now!

FAQs

Why doesn’t the Foundation release individual amounts for grants?

We strive to be as transparent in our actions as possible but if we released individual amounts and terms of every grant, we would lose leverage in attracting future grant proposals. If the terms of our grants are always made public, we will not be able to efficiently and effectively disperse funds. More importantly, given the sensitive nature of money, we respect our grantees’ right to keep their finances private. We included grant allocations for each category in our bi-annual report released in August.

Announcing New RFP for Ecosystem Grants

The Tezos Foundation is excited to issue its next request for proposals (RFP) for Tezos ecosystem grants. This RFP comes after last week’s announcement of the Foundation’s second cohort of ecosystem grantees.

For its next cohort of ecosystem grants, the Foundation will consider and accept proposals targeting the following categories:

  • Applications built using Tezos smart contracts (with special interest in Decentralized Finance, or “DeFi”, and digital securities applications)
  • Tools for Tezos smart contract development (e.g. smart contract testing tools, smart contract templates, etc.)
    • JavaScript libraries for building applications on Tezos and development kits for using such libraries
  • Educational/training resources covering Tezos (e.g. Kauri, CryptoZombies, etc.)
    • Online resources usable for self-training
    • Example applications with detailed tutorials showing technology selection and implementation
  • Marketing and other initiatives to help increase awareness of Tezos and its ecosystem
  • Other proposals for projects targeting categories not listed above that may benefit the Tezos ecosystem

Funding requests must not be greater than the 50,000 USD limit for ecosystem grants to be considered. Software tools to be supported must be made publicly available under an open-source license.

What to expect when submitting a grant application

Prospective applicants should submit grant proposals here.

Although a full review will take 4-6 weeks after the application period closes, if you have any questions about the status of your application, please email [email protected] Our team will get back to you within 24-48 hours with an update on your proposal’s status.

Proposals will be reviewed according to the process outlined below.

  1. All applications must be submitted no later than 18 October 2019 at 23:59 EST.
  2. After all applications are received, we will conduct an initial review to filter out proposals that are not in line with the Foundation’s priorities.
  3. Applications in line with our priorities will be sent to the Technical Advisory Committee for technical review.
  4. Upon completion of the Technical Advisory Committee review, successful applications will be sent to the Tezos Foundation Council for final decisions to be made. Applications that are approved by the Council will receive communication about next steps including due diligence and legal paperwork.
  5. Due diligence will begin and may include checks into prior technical work experience and projects, skills, background, references, etc.
  6. Upon successful clearance of due diligence, legal paperwork will be shared with prospective grantees for review and signatures. Once all legal documentation is completed, funds will be transferred to the approved projects.