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

Betanet update

We are pleased with the launch of the betanet and its performance thus far. It is exciting to see the number of delegations occurring. In this update, we want to inform the community that blocks created from cycle 3 to cycle 7 will not be endorsed.

Why are blocks not endorsed during this time? Does this make the blockchain less safe?
Endorsements ensure that a variety of stakeholders notarize blocks that are created. In the first 7 cycles, blocks are baked using a bond put up by the Tezos Foundation. The Foundation can only put up a bond with its vested tez, which currently represents 1 month of vesting out of 48 months. As safety deposits ramp up, this bond will not cover the full deposit required. In order to save up on safety deposits, the endorser daemon will not run, but since all the blocks in the first 7 cycles are being created by a single entity, it doesn’t make a real difference in terms of security.

What happens after the 7th cycle?
The endorser daemon will begin to run again and endorsements will resume. The Foundation expects to keep baking after the 7th cycle, and by then, we anticipate that other bakers will also put up sufficient bonds of their own.

Thank you,
Tezos Foundation

Release: Betanet Update

Tezos Betanet Launch

The Tezos Foundation is thrilled to announce that the Tezos betanet is live.

Today, we proposed a genesis block that is now the seed of a beta network. Validation (“baking”) has commenced and transactions may now be processed. Community members can connect to the betanet immediately and start baking after the first seven cycles (28,672 blocks or approximately three weeks, depending on the block time). No block rewards will be issued during this time as baking rights are unassigned.

Make sure to take all available safety precautions before interacting with the betanet. 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 we can do to help if tokens are lost or stolen.

Below is the link to the proposed genesis block for those interested in checking its contents. Also included here is the hash of the genesis block itself for confirming its authenticity.

The future of Tezos rests in the hands of its community. This moment marks an inflection point for the project, and we are excited to support community developers, scientists, validators (“bakers”), and enthusiasts from all over the world as they drive the success of this innovative, decentralized network.

Thank you,
Tezos Foundation

Press Release: Tezos Betanet Launch

Tezos Betanet Expectations

Betanet Expectations

In an effort to better prepare the community for the betanet, we would like to once again communicate expectations for this network:

  • The betanet is a functioning network. It is a preview of the Tezos mainnet and its full functionality.
  • During this experimental period, the intent is that transactions from the betanet will irreversibly persist into the mainnet.
  • The betanet is experimental and should NOT be used for important or high valued transactions.
  • The betanet will likely suffer unscheduled downtimes and experience emergency hard forks.
  • A broader mainnet launch will follow the betanet after it has sufficiently matured.

These actions will align with the project’s efforts to continue to improve the overall security and stability of Tezos.

A Note on Phishing

Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information by impersonating a trusted party. We encourage every user to take all available safety precautions before interacting with the betanet. Always think twice before entering private key information anywhere. Any user (or software) that gains knowledge of private key information will have access to the tokens controlled by the corresponding public key hash.

More information about the protocol is available on the Tezos website: https://tezos.com.

Thank you,
Tezos Foundation

Release: Tezos Betanet Expectations

A Statement Regarding the Strategy of the Tezos Foundation

Tezos is a distributed, peer-to-peer, permissionless network. No single entity owns, manages, or controls “Tezos.” Understanding this paradigm is fundamental to understanding Tezos.

As highlighted in the Tezos position paper, the success of any decentralized network is determined by the efforts of a robust, diverse, and flourishing community. The Foundation exists as a part of this ecosystem, alongside developers, scientists, network validators (“bakers”), and enthusiasts all working towards the success of a platform that we believe will ultimately drive social, political, and economic innovation on a global scale.

As a foundation, 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, open-source developers, or activists from all over the world to support the advancement of this decentralized network.

One of the most important features of the Tezos protocol is its ability to improve itself through protocol amendments proposed and approved by community members. Although previous leadership at the Foundation had considered retaining a veto power over protocol amendments for one year, we have decided not to retain that right. We believe this decision will further support the decentralized nature of the Tezos project.

Tezos’ potential rests in the hands of its community, and we have no doubt that the Tezos community is among the strongest and most exceptional in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. All interested parties are welcome to join the Tezos community and contribute to the project.

We are committed to supporting initiatives put forward by the community in their efforts to advance Tezos and other open-source technologies. Preparations for the launch of the betanet are being finalized.

Thank you,
Tezos Foundation

Press release: A Statement Regarding the Strategy of the Tezos Foundation

HackerOne to manage a bug bounty program for the Tezos protocol

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce the sponsorship of a bug bounty program that will be deployed and managed by HackerOne to steadily improve the overall security of Tezos.

HackerOne is a San Francisco-based cybersecurity company that partners with hackers from around the world to identify potential vulnerabilities.

From the outset, the code base underpinning the Tezos protocol has been engineered with security in mind. No system can be completely secure, but every system can be continuously improved towards that goal.

The HackerOne bug bounty program is the latest in a series of steps to support the security and stability of Tezos. Other recent initiatives include a code review by experienced researchers at Inria, the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics, and an audit by Least Authority, a firm specializing in source code security.

Press release: HackerOne to manage a bug bounty program for the Tezos protocol

Tezos Foundation Releases Activation Codes

Activation codes are available
The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that activation codes are now available to contributors who have completed the identity verification process at https://verification.tezos.com.

Contributors who have completed the identity verification process may log in to the website to obtain activation codes. This process may be completed before or after the betanet launch. Activation codes will be required to access the recommended allocations of the corresponding public key hashes after the betanet goes live.

Launch readiness
In a previous announcement, we outlined some of the milestones for the project to reach before a genesis block would be proposed. We are pleased with the progress:

Items completed:
✓ Compute storage costs
✓ Correct Michelson calling-convention to issue operations instead of calls
✓ Enforce checkpointing in the shell for bootstrapping nodes
✓ Provide hardware signature capabilities
✓ Improve the reliability of the baking daemon
✓ Compute gas costs

Items in progress:
 Tune gas constants
 Test secure infrastructure for the Foundation’s recommended allocation
 Propose genesis block

Thank you,
Tezos Foundation

Press release: Tezos Foundation Releases Activation Codes