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!

The first on-chain proposals for Tezos

The Tezos Foundation is excited to see the first use of the Tezos on-chain governance mechanism! As we noted in last year’s statement regarding strategy, “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.”

We are extremely excited about this aspect of Tezos and look forward to seeing what the community decides. The amendment process involves three separate votes (see this overview for details). The Foundation has decided not to vote during the first part of this process, the Proposal Period, which is now taking place.

Tezos has an amazing community and it is exciting to see the engagement and discussion around the proposals since their announcement and injection.

We encourage the community to become involved:

  • Learn about the Tezos Athens proposals: 1) Nomadic Labs’ overview of the Athens proposals and announcement of the proposal injection; and 2) An overview on Medium
  • If delegating, check with your delegate to learn their policy about how they intend to vote on protocol upgrades
  • Get involved in community discussions

We look forward to seeing how the community decides!

Happy voting!

An Update on the Role of the Tezos Foundation

2018 was an eventful year for the Tezos community. Tezos launched as one of the first large-scale Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchains with the betanet in June and transitioned seamlessly to the mainnet in September.

Since then, many community members have been participating in the Tezos ecosystem. There are now more than 450 bakers (validators) in dozens of countries across 6 continents. Over 100 public delegation services allow anyone holding XTZ to participate in consensus and earn rewards for securing the network. Tezos continues to become more decentralized as the community grows and these numbers increase. A recent snapshot shows that very soon there will be more than 50,000 rolls (i.e. 500,000,000 XTZ) helping to secure the network.

Understanding that even with these impressive numbers the developer community should continue to grow, the Foundation announced its commitment to fund the training of 1,000 new developers this year to build on Tezos. To kick off this initiative, we sponsored B9lab, a leading provider of blockchain education and training programs, to create a new Tezos training series and will sponsor 250 talented developers to participate in this program free of charge through the Tezos Blockstars program.

The recent news that Elevated Returns will use Securitize’s platform to tokenize USD $1B of real estate for use on Tezos underscores how quickly others have come to recognize Tezos as a leading blockchain for real asset tokenization. The Tezos ecosystem remains early stage, but projects like Elevated Returns, Securitize, Marigold, Chorus Mobility, Kalhatti, Viaz, MoneyTrack, and others are advancing the path to mainstream adoption.

All of these developments are a testament to the strength of the Tezos community.

Given the growth of the Tezos ecosystem during this time, we thought it would be a good time to give additional clarity on how the Foundation is taking steps to support the ecosystem as it grows and evolves, as well as how it will operate and deploy resources moving forward.

The Tezos Foundation exists to support the long-term success of Tezos and its ecosystem. As the steward of the funds donated during the fundraiser, the Foundation is tasked with distributing these funds in a responsible and accountable manner to help advance the project. For the last 12 months, we have committed over USD $30M in grants that have contributed to this goal.

Our grantmaking efforts around baking are already seeing strong results with constantly improving infrastructure around Ledger and Trezor support. The efforts of other grantees such as Zednode, Obsidian Systems, Simple Staking, and Cryptium Labs promise to reduce the barrier to entry for baking. Another early grantee, Cryptonomic, recently released Conseil and ConseilJS, making it significantly easier for developers to interact with the Tezos blockchain.

Still, many exciting developments for Tezos remain ahead of us. For example, a project led by elite researchers from Inria is underway to formally verify properties of Michelson smart contracts and build out tooling. Another grantee, KZen Networks, is set to integrate Tezos into its user-friendly wallet, which uses cryptographic techniques to reduce the key management frictions of transacting with XTZ and baking.

The Tezos Foundation has always committed itself to operate with the highest standards of accountability and industry best practices. In adherence to that commitment, we engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland as our independent external auditor, making us the only foundation associated with a large-scale blockchain project to have a member of the “Big Four” fill this role. We look forward to PwC Switzerland completing its 2017 audit soon and then beginning its 2018 audit thereafter. We recently reaffirmed our commitment when we brought on a CFO, an in-house counsel, and an adviser to the Council.

As we stated last summer when we outlined the strategy of the Tezos Foundation:

“…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.”

In order to best support the long-term future of Tezos, we have decided to fund and empower organizations that will handle different operational pieces that serve and facilitate a flourishing, fast-growing, and global ecosystem. Below are the entities we have selected to handle different operational pieces that will help advance Tezos through core protocol development, documentation, community engagement, technical support for enterprises and start-ups, events, and other programs. By selecting these groups to handle key operations, we distribute tasks to independent entities that might otherwise be expected of a single organization in a centralized project.

Nomadic Labs: A team built around lead architects of the Tezos seed protocol, Nomadic Labs focuses on contributing to the development of the Tezos core software, including its consensus algorithm and smart contract language, Michelson. Based in Paris, the 40 developers that comprise the team come from both academia and industry, and most hold PhDs in computer science from premier research institutions. Nomadic’s core competencies are in programming language theory, distributed systems, and formal verification — which allows the team to transfer the best of academic research into real-world applications, most notably the Tezos core.

Many exciting efforts to improve Tezos are underway at Nomadic Labs, ranging from privacy based on zk-SNARKs, new consensus algorithms, storage improvements, Michelson smart contract capabilities, and more. The team also recently announced plans to submit its first Tezos upgrade proposals to the network, with changes to the gas limit and roll size.

Tezos Asia: To serve a robust Tezos community in Asia and expand Tezos’ presence in the region, Tezos Asia will be created as a foundation to facilitate the growth of the ecosystem in the respective region. It will act as an autonomous organization, independent of the Tezos Foundation, to cater directly to the community in Asia. Four major regional organizations will operate within Tezos Asia to provide developer education and training, strengthen ties with local universities, and forge industrial partnerships:

The Tocqueville Group (TQ): The Tocqueville Group (also known as TQ) is a New York-based independent entity that recently launched to facilitate the growth of a robust, high-functioning Tezos ecosystem. TQ does this by deploying human and financial capital to support community growth, technical development, public goods, research, awareness, and advocacy. To start, TQ will be largely focused on three key activities: creating open-source software and other public goods, providing support to projects and companies building on Tezos, and connecting the global Tezos community.

TQ is establishing a devoted in-house software development and technical services team that will not only build public goods, but also contract and oversee various teams executing on projects. This will enable TQ to more quickly and efficiently build the tools necessary to onboard new Tezos developers and support projects and companies actively trying to get started with Tezos.

To that end, TQ will serve as a direct point of contact for current and future community members, including companies and individuals who need Tezos-related support. They built and maintain the TQ Tezos Wiki, which serves as a great resource for those that need help navigating the Tezos ecosystem or looking to learn more about Tezos. And understanding that every great community needs ways to engage not only online but in person, they will be hosting the first global Tezos summit, TQuorum, in NYC this September. In the lead up to TQuorum, TQ will also host events around the world, ranging from technical meetups to more intimate events that connect various subsets of the community, to meet existing community members and facilitate the growth of the community and global awareness of Tezos.

In keeping with its mission to identify the needs of the ecosystem and deploy human and financial capital to address them, TQ will also serve as the administrator of the Foundation’s new grantmaking process. While the Foundation will continue to support academic research and other long-term projects, TQ will identify the immediate needs of the Tezos ecosystem and tackle them head-on with its technical team and by managing a new ecosystem grants program.

TQ will announce the top funding priorities quarterly and accept proposals that concretely respond to those priorities through a structured request for proposals (RFP) process. Proposals will be evaluated competitively and individuals and groups who prove they can enhance the ecosystem will receive grant funding from the Foundation. Grant proposals progressing through the Foundation’s current grantmaking process will not be impacted by the establishment of this new program.

TQ will open its first RFP on March 1st and the first cohort of Tezos ecosystem grantees will be announced in early Q2.

In the months to come, you will see TQ, Nomadic, Tezos Asia, and many others establish themselves as important entities advancing the Tezos ecosystem. The Foundation will continue to focus on its core mission, and, in the spirit of decentralization, other entities and community members will take the lead in other areas.

We look forward to the rest of 2019 and all of the exciting things that are in store for the Tezos network and ecosystem!

Tezos Foundation Strengthens Governance and Management Teams

The Tezos Foundation is expanding its leadership team. Attorney at Law Ulrich Sauter, an experienced expert for financial products, fintech, corporate governance, and compliance, has been appointed as General Counsel of the Tezos Foundation. Additionally, Eelco Fiole, investment executive and adjunct professor for finance ethics, has joined as Chief Financial Officer. Blockchain and tech entrepreneur Lily Liu has joined as an advisor to the Board of the Foundation. With their combined experience and expertise, they boost the capabilities of the Tezos Foundation.

After the successful launch of the Tezos mainnet last year, the Tezos Foundation is focused on how it can best support the further development of the Tezos protocol and ecosystem. With the appointment of two senior executives, Ulrich Sauter and Eelco Fiole, the Foundation takes an important step forward by strengthening its internal expertise and capabilities. «We look forward to having Ulrich Sauter, Eelco Fiole and Lily Liu work with the Foundation to bring crucial governance, financial, and industry-specific experience,” says Ryan Jesperson, President of the Tezos Foundation.

Ulrich Sauter has more than 20 years of professional experience in the financial and legal industry. Before joining Zurich-based law firm Naegeli & Partners Attorneys at Law Ltd. as counsel, he worked as general counsel and member of the executive committee for Leonteq. His international work experience and his focus on governance and compliance will bring valuable insight to the Tezos Foundation.

Eelco Fiole is co-founder and sole managing partner of Alpha Governance Partners, an international risk-governance focused fiduciary services firm. With 25 years in the financial services industry, he has almost a decade of fiduciary COO- and CFO-experience in alternative investments, wealth management, and blockchain and will help to further develop the Tezos Foundation’s strategy around governance and risk diversification. Eelco is an Adjunct Professor in Finance Ethics at the University of Lausanne. He states: “Observing the increasing maturity and institutionalization in the blockchain space, the Tezos Foundation is excellently positioned to be a leading model for robust governance, supporting cutting-edge technological development and protocol adoption globally”.

Lily Liu joined as an advisor to the Board of the Tezos Foundation in November of last year. Lily has an extensive background in private equity and the blockchain ecosystem. She is a co-founder of Earn.com, a blockchain startup acquired by Coinbase in 2018, and will work closely with the Board of the Tezos Foundation to advise on ecosystem development and overall strategy.

Tezos is a self-amending blockchain that successfully launched in June 2018. It has a strong global community that is growing rapidly. The Swiss-based Tezos Foundation supports the long-term success of the Tezos protocol and ecosystem by funding initiatives from scientists, researchers, developers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts to encourage decentralized development and robust participation.

Press Contact:
Narwal Blockchain PR
[email protected]
+41 41 725 02 22

Tezos Foundation Issues Grants to TezBridge and zednode

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued grants to TezBridge and zednode.

TezBridge is a tool that allows users to interact with applications built on the Tezos blockchain. Built by Catsigma, a Tezos developer, TezBridge works on both desktop and mobile web browsers and does not require a plug-in to be installed. With this grant, Catsigma will refine both the local and remote signers, refactor and audit the code, and improve the overall user experience of TezBridge.

Led by Ryan Loomba, the zednode team will build an open-source web dashboard to help Tezos bakers with accounting, rewards payouts, and other functions that may bring transparency and accountability to baking operations. Zednode is committed to helping grow the baking ecosystem with its free and open-source tools.

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.

Press Release: Tezos Foundation Issues Grants to TezBridge and zednode

Tezos Foundation Partners with B9lab to Create Tezos Training Programs

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has partnered with B9lab to create Tezos-specific educational and training programs.

B9lab is a leading provider of blockchain education and training programs. Its services range from an online academy to advisory and talent services for small startups and large enterprise clients. Founded in 2014, B9lab’s community has grown to more than 13,000 students, including 1,300+ developers, spanning across 125 countries.

Damien Ducourty, Founder at B9lab, stated “we are excited to work with the Tezos Foundation to bring high-quality education and training to the Tezos community and beyond.”

Courses in development include a free introductory “Tezos 101” course as well as a paid “Tezos Developer” course. Both courses will be offered online and launch in March 2019. Furthermore, the Tezos Foundation will sponsor 250 talented developers to participate in a “Tezos Blockstars Program” to be managed by B9lab. Developers interested in participating in this program, which will include free admission to the “Tezos Developer” course, will complete an initial HackerRank code challenge before being invited to join the Blockstars cohort. Additional information about this program is forthcoming.

“B9lab is a leader in training programs for blockchain projects and we are excited to partner with them,” said Ryan Jesperson, President of the Tezos Foundation.

The Foundation is in talks with representatives from a number of other training programs to expand the offerings available to the Tezos community and larger blockchain ecosystem. It will formally announce additional partners once it has completed its due diligence and onboarding process.

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

Press Release: Tezos Foundation Partners with B9lab to Create Tezos Training Programs

Tezos Foundation Issues Grant to OCamlPro to Support TzScan

The Tezos Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued a grant to OCamlPro to support its work on TzScan, a block explorer for the Tezos blockchain that will be made open-source. OCamlPro is a French company and R&D lab focused on OCaml and blockchain development.

OCamlPro, which is an active community member and contributor to Tezos, has initiated several Tezos-related projects such as TzScan and Liquidity, a high-level programming language for creating smart contracts in Tezos with an online editor, compiler, and debugger. Liquidity also features a decompiler to audit Michelson contracts.

Open-source block explorers are a key component of a blockchain ecosystem by allowing users to more easily monitor transactions, network validators (“bakers”), and the health of a network. OCamlPro will also provide documentation on Tezos and continue to improve the TzScan API, which may be used by applications such as wallets.

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.

Press Release: Tezos Foundation Issues Grant to OCamlPro to Support TzScan

Tezos Foundation Commits Funding to Train 1,000 New Software Developers in 2019

The Tezos Foundation is proud to announce that it is committing funding to train at least 1,000 new Tezos-focused software developers in 2019.

Beginning today, the Foundation will award grants to organizations that have a proven ability to train developers effectively. The grants will support the creation of Tezos online tutorials, training materials and documentation, course preparations, and other tools.

The training programs are intended to empower developers so that they are better able to contribute to the Tezos protocol and build tools, smart contracts, and applications on top of it. They may do this by connecting with existing Tezos development teams or starting projects on their own. In turn, the Foundation will continue its support of developers through grants and other efforts to ensure that they have the resources they need to carry out their projects.

Throughout 2019, the Foundation will actively promote grantees’ training programs and the various opportunities each has to offer. The committed funding is in addition to the Foundation’s grantmaking initiatives.

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.