Update: Week of 15 July 2019

Dear Tezos community,

In the past week we have seen a number of exciting events and developments that show the depth and breadth of the Tezos ecosystem.

The first Tezos meetup in Africa was held in Cameroon to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the betanet launch. They were expecting around 40 people – but over 80 showed up. This is in addition to a week long training course in Vietnam, a meetup in Hanoi, a meetup in San Francisco, and a meetup in Rio de Janeiro.

The community is flourishing around the world. I can’t wait to see what the future holds as more and more people get involved.

On that note, be sure to take a look at the full list of the 1-year parties happening around the world this month. Then, moving into August, be sure to sign up for TQuorum: Berlin which is happening on August 22nd during Berlin Blockchain Week.

Look forward to seeing you all soon at one of these events!

Best regards,
Ryan


Grantees and Funded Entities

Here are some updates on what our grantees and other funded entities have been up to this week:

Our Activities

This past week has been a busy one at the Foundation as well. Below are a few details that we can share:

  • We announced that security expert and entrepreneur Ryan Lackey has been appointed to the Tezos Foundation Council. For more on Ryan’s background, read our full announcement.
  • I did an interview with CryptoLiveLeak. We had a great conversation that touched on a ton of different topics.
  • Foundation council member, Hubertus Thonhauser, recorded a podcast with Jonas Lamis at Tezonomics.
  • We are hard at work on the first biannual report. This is a large undertaking but we think the final product will help everyone involved with Tezos get a sense of where we are and where we are going.
  • We extended the deadline for fundraiser contributors to claim a Tezos-engraved Ledger Nano S, and are preparing to release the first wave of redemption codes.

FAQs

What is inflation funding? How does it work?
Inflation funding is a mechanism that the Tezos protocol uses to fund the development of the core protocol and other public goods. Essentially how it works is simple – if an upgrade is approved by 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.

Why does Tezos.com look different?
One of our top priorities this year is to onboard new developers to build things on Tezos. In addition to sponsoring training courses, we wanted to improve the onboarding experience for developers that are new to Tezos. To that end, the Tezos Developer Portal has been added to ensure that the amazing resources that the community has created are easily accessible for anyone that is interested in building on Tezos. Have an idea of how to make the portal better? Contribute to the site here.

Ryan Lackey, Chief Security Officer of the Tezos Foundation, is Appointed to the Council

The Tezos Foundation is expanding its leadership team to include security expert and entrepreneur, Ryan Lackey. Lackey has helped with the security of the Tezos platform since the 2017 fundraiser and officially joined the Tezos Foundation in 2018 as Chief Security Officer. His appointment to the council is active immediately.

“I’m thrilled to join the Tezos Foundation Council,” says Lackey. “From starting as an interested and active community member, to joining the team, and now serving on the Council, my passion for this project and the positive impact it can have on the world hasn’t changed. I look forward to supporting the community and lending my experience in this new capacity.”

Lackey has provided various services to the Foundation for over a year, managing the security requirements of its substantial cryptocurrency holdings and baking operations, and giving input on product security for the public network. In addition to technical security, he’s worked closely with external financial and technical auditors to develop and meet compliance targets across multiple jurisdictions.

“Ryan Lackey has been an instrumental part of the Tezos ecosystem since the very beginning and we are happy to have him on board,” notes Ryan Jespersen, President of the Tezos Foundation. “Ryan’s experience with security, emerging technologies and distributed and global projects, make him a diverse and extremely qualified addition.”

Before joining the Tezos Foundation, Lackey founded several companies, primarily in computer security technology and applications. From an early interest in computer security, cryptography, and digital cash as a teenager in the early 1990s, he was an active participant in groups including the cypherpunks (where possibilities for smart contracts, digital cash, and secure computing were discussed), the cryptography mailing list (where Bitcoin was first announced), and various decentralization and p2p software efforts.

Lackey attended MIT to study mathematics and computer science, then dropped out to start a gold-backed digital cash project in Anguilla in the late 1990s.  After that project, he co-founded the world’s first offshore datahaven, HavenCo, on Sealand in the North Sea. He then founded a satellite communications company operating in conflict zones around the world, primarily Iraq and Afghanistan, providing IP and cellular service to commercial, government, and military customers.

In 2011, Lackey founded CryptoSeal, which developed secure server technology using Intel TXT and SGX processor technologies, allowing end users to trust their cloud computing providers. This company raised funding from Y Combinator and then was sold to Cloudflare, Inc. a global network performance and security company based in San Francisco, where Lackey worked on product security.  Subsequently, he founded ResetSecurity, providing security services and robust hardware security to enterprise clients, primarily focused on the cryptocurrency industry.

Special edition Tezos-engraved Ledger Nano S giveaway deadline extended

Today marks the deadline for interacting with the Ledger Nano S giveaway smart contract. We want to thank the thousands of contributors who have already interacted with the smart contract- over 4,300 interactions have already been recorded!

And because we want to enable as many fundraiser contributors as possible to have the opportunity to claim this special edition hardware wallet, after the 15 July 23:59 UTC deadline, the Foundation will check interactions with the smart contract on a monthly basis and will send redemption codes to those who qualify.

Everyone who interacts with the smart contract before 15 July 23:59 UTC and meets all of the necessary criteria will receive their Ledger Nano S redemption codes, along with instructions on how to use them, this week via email.

Though the time to interact with the smart contract is open ended, the supply of the Tezos-engraved Nano S hardware wallets is limited to 10,000 units. Make sure you interact with the smart contract sooner rather than later to secure your redemption code!

The steps to activate a recommended allocation and claim a special edition Tezos-engraved Ledger Nano S are outlined below:

1. Check a contribution
Enter a Tezos public key hash (begins with tz1…) from the fundraiser to check its recommended allocation. A contributor may find its public key hash on the PDF document it created during the fundraiser.
[CHECK]

2. Obtain an activation code
An activation code is required to access a recommended allocation. Contributors must complete the Foundation’s verification process to obtain the activation codes corresponding to their public key hashes from the fundraiser. Contributors who have not completed this process may still do so now.
[BEGIN VERIFICATION]

3. Activate a recommended allocation
A recommended allocation must be activated before it may be accessed. Contributors may activate the recommended allocations corresponding to public key hashes from the fundraiser using the Activation Tool.
[ACTIVATE]

4. Access a recommended allocation
Access a recommended allocation after it has been activated by using a Tezos wallet. Below are some Tezos wallets that have undergone independent external security audits – be sure to take all available safety precautions when entering private key information anywhere. Any party or software, such as a wallet, that gains knowledge of private key information will have access to the XTZ controlled by the corresponding public key hash.
[ACCESS]

5. Claim a Ledger Nano S
Once a contributor has accessed a recommended allocation, it may follow these instructions if it would like to continue with the procedure to claim a free Ledger Nano S hardware wallet:

  • Send a transaction of 0 XTZ (please find instructions for the command line interface, Galleon wallet, and TezBox wallet in our previous blog post) to the smart contract at KT1BRudFZEXLYANgmZTka1xCDN5nWTMWY7SZ before 15 July 2019 at 23:59 UTC. All interactions recorded before this deadline will be included in the first wave of promotional code recipients. Transactions must be sent from a Tezos public key hash corresponding to a valid donation to the Foundation’s fundraiser and are solely for the purpose of confirming eligibility for a free Ledger Nano S. We will never ask contributors to send funds to an account or contract. Please be aware of phishing attempts and take all available safety precautions.
  • This address is a smart contract that will record 0 XTZ transactions, as well as any other transaction that interacts with it. Additionally, it will automatically return any XTZ that are sent to it, should more than 0 XTZ be sent by mistake. This process is meant to validate ownership of an activated account that contributed to the Foundation’s fundraiser.
  • After 15 July 2019, and on a monthly basis following this date, we will review all public key hashes that interact with the above smart contract. Next, we will send emails containing unique promo codes for 100% discounts on Ledger Nano S devices to the email addresses corresponding to these public key hashes, if there are any. These email addresses will be the ones submitted by contributors to complete the Foundation’s verification process at https://verification.tezos.com/. By interacting with the above mentioned smart contract, a contributor authorizes the Tezos Foundation to use an email address submitted to https://verification.tezos.com/ for the purpose of sending a promo code. The promo codes will also cover costs for regular shipping and some additional fees such as VAT and sales tax. These Ledger Nano S devices will be claimed directly from https://www.ledger.com/ using the promo codes that will be provided.

For more information, visit the Get Started page at Tezos.com, and if you run into any issues, please contact [email protected] for help.

 

Tezos Foundation To Release Fundraiser Private Key Support Tool This Summer

In keeping with the Foundation’s mission, we want to encourage an active Tezos ecosystem and support members of the Tezos community.

Previously, we announced that we’re funding the development of a tool to assist fundraiser contributors who are unable to access their recommended allocations from the genesis block proposed by the Foundation. In the near future, we will start a process to vet contributors attempting to recover lost fundraiser passwords. As ascertaining the identities of these people with absolute certainty is impossible, we will put forth our best effort to help contributors attempting to recover lost passwords while taking precautions to ensure other contributors are not at risk. After this process, at the vetted contributors’ request, we can also sign and publish a pair of their tz1 address and separate public key.

We will deploy a microsite at recovery.tezos.com where there will be instructions for fundraiser contributors that need this sort of assistance. Please be aware of phishing attempts and take all available safety precautions. We remind you to never enter your password, seed phrase, or other private information unless you absolutely trust the source and can ensure your machine is free of malware. 

For more resources and information about what to do after activating a recommended allocation, visit the Get Started page of Tezos.com. Community members can also email [email protected] with any questions.

Update: Week of 8 July 2019

Dear Tezos community,

It was another big week for the Tezos ecosystem. Last week, we announced that BTG Pactual & Dalma Capital will tokenize a deal pipeline of $1bn USD of assets on the Tezos blockchain. Additional STO deals in various categories are in our pipeline and the Foundation is working hard to advance these. In addition, the Foundation is evaluating a number of strategic investments in companies and projects; watch out for further information soon.

This week, TokenSoft, a leading provider of institutional-grade compliance tools for issuing and managing digital securities, announced support for security tokens on Tezos. Mason Borda, CEO of TokenSoft, specifically cited formally verifiable contracts as a major reason why they chose to support Tezos. These announcements, coupled with the previous Elevated Returns deal, show the strength of Tezos as a platform for tokenized assets and we will continue to work hard to lead this space.

In this week’s FAQ section, we will tackle some of the most pressing questions that we have seen regarding STOs.

Look forward to seeing you all at TQuorum: Berlin and some of the Tezos 1-year celebrations happening this month!

Best regards,
Ryan


Grantees and Funded Entities

Below are some highlights of the work that Tezos Foundation-funded teams have been doing in the past week:

Our Activities

This week we continued to work hard to provide support to entities looking to tokenize assets on Tezos, review grant proposals, and maintain normal administrative and operational duties. Below are a couple of specific details that we can share:

  • The Tezos Foundation Council has a quarterly council meeting today where a variety of topics will be discussed, including strategy, governance, grant processes, financial matters, etc.
  • Our Ecosystem Grants RFP submission period closed. We had many great submissions and look forward to announcing our next cohort of grantees shortly.
  • Continued to work with the Ledger team on the engraved Nano S giveaway.
  • The Foundation president recorded a podcast with community member, Ken Garofalo, at CryptoLiveLeak. Look for it to be released in the next week or two.

FAQs

Why are so many firms choosing Tezos as the blockchain for their tokenized assets?

The short answer is that: 1) the protocol has many key features that make it ideal for high-value assets that need a secure, reliable, long-term oriented platform, and 2) we are working hard to build tools and provide technical expertise/support to make it simple for entities to issue tokenized assets on Tezos.

Regarding the first point, the two major advantages that Tezos offers over other smart contract platforms are smart contract security and platform longevity

Michelson, the domain-specific language for writing smart contracts on Tezos, was designed to facilitate formal verification. To quote Mason Borda of TokenSoft on the general idea, this means that “prior to sending a billion dollars over the blockchain, you can run a formal test to simulate it. If anything has changed since deployment (libraries, protocols, etc.), you will know.” 

In terms of platform longevity, upgradability and a means to fund development are key. We have spoken at length about Tezos’ governance mechanism, but one feature of Tezos that is often overlooked is inflation funding. If a software upgrade is approved via the Tezos governance mechanism, the new implementation can mint Tezos tokens and issue them to the developer (individual or team) behind the upgrade. This helps mitigate the free-rider problem that open-source projects and other public goods often face. For more on inflation funding, check out this explainer video from Tezos Commons.

For more on the advantages of Tezos when it comes to tokenized assets, check out this post from TQ’s Charlie Wiser.

Update: Week of 1 July 2019

Dear Tezos community,

Happy 1-year anniversary of the Tezos betanet launch! It has been amazing to observe the growth of the Tezos ecosystem over the past year and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for the project.

Last week, I published our first weekly update in an effort to be more transparent and illuminate the progress that the Tezos ecosystem makes on a daily basis.

Below is our second installment of the weekly update. I am particularly excited this week about the announcement that BTG Pactual and Dalma Capital will utilize Tezos for tokenizing digital assets totaling over USD 1bn. Also, for those who will receive a Ledger Nano S from the Foundation giveaway, we have arranged with Ledger headquarters to make them engraved with the Tezos logo. Have a great weekend!

Best regards,
Ryan

 

Grantee Updates

In the past week, teams that receive funds from the Tezos Foundation have continued to make substantive progress. Here are some highlights:

Our current call for Ecosystem Grant proposals is open until 10 July 2019.

Our activities

In addition to our regular administrative work, this week we solidified a deal with BTG Pactual, Latin America’s largest standalone investment bank, and Dalma Capital, a prominent Dubai asset manager, to utilize the Tezos blockchain for Security Token Offerings (STOs). Their deal pipeline of over USD 1bn in assets will be tokenized on Tezos. Read more about it here. This is in addition to the already announced Elevated Returns deal that continues to make progress. Their team recently filed a digital exchange license application with the Thai Securities Commission.

Here are some other highlights from this week:

  • There were recommendations from community members on the Ledger Nano S giveaway, and we arranged with Ledger headquarters to make them engraved with the Tezos logo, !
  • We finalized some additional grants, and we are looking forward to announcing them in the coming weeks.

FAQs

As we continue to respond to many of your questions on channels like Riot and Reddit, we have noticed a few that are coming up frequently and are worth flagging this week.

In the original Tezos Overview Document, there were some “Mars-Shot” items that the Tezos Foundation would go after such as “negotiate with a small nation-state the recognition of Tezos as one of their official state currencies.” What is the Tezos Foundation doing in pursuit of this goal and other “Mars-Shots”?
There are many things that are being done:

Engineering: We are currently funding teams (Nomadic Labs, Cryptium Labs, The Marigold Project, Dai Lambda, and others) to work on the core protocol and surely there will be more in the future. This is in addition to the many projects that are being funded to provide tooling and standards around the Tezos protocol.

Research: We fund many efforts around the globe that will not only work on formal verification, scaling techniques, and privacy-preserving technologies, but also many other things that will benefit the Tezos protocol for years to come. The Foundation has so far funded research through Professor Emin Gun Sirer at Cornell University along with research partnerships with OCaml Labs at Oxford University, Inria in France, and the University of Beira Interior in Portugal. Additional information regarding research grants will be made in the coming weeks.

Communications and Marketing: The Tezos Foundation is continually improving its communication to the wider community. As stated in last week’s update, the Foundation is not a marketing entity but funds others that do marketing work. We invite others with grant proposals for marketing initiatives to submit them here.

Legal Services: The Tezos Foundation is funding an effort by Clause.

Business Development: We are focused more on projects and applications that can launch immediately rather than things that are unlikely to happen until crypto adoption increases overall. While it is important to retain lofty goals, there is plenty to be done right now to increase adoption. The recent project with BTG Pactual and Dalma Capital to utilize Tezos for STOs totaling over USD 1bn of assets, as well as the Elevated Returns project to utilize Tezos to tokenize an additional USD 1bn of assets, are perfect examples of a substantial application that we believe will continue to gain traction in the near term. BD priorities may adapt further based on general movements in the space and we believe this approach will be most beneficial for the Tezos protocol long-term. We aren’t giving up mars-shots, but we need to make sure that we prioritize effectively.

Education: Grants have been given for educational initiatives. Some of which are: B9lab’s Tezos Developer Course, Paris-Diderot’s OCaml MOOC, France-IOI, Cryptium Labs, Tezos Commons Foundation. Additional insight on more educational efforts will be given in a future update.

Are the Tezos Foundation’s assets in fiat or crypto? How much is left to be allocated?
We will be providing a more detailed financial update later this month in our bi-annual report, but our current non-XTZ funds are valued at greater than USD 500m.

BTG Pactual and Dalma Capital to utilize Tezos blockchain for Security Token Offerings (STOs)

Press release

The Tezos Foundation is excited to share this recent press release here on our blog:

The esteemed financial institutions to host a deal pipeline of $1bn for existing and future prospective token issuances

SAO PAULO, 3 July, 2019– Banco BTG Pactual S.A., Latin America’s largest standalone investment bank, together with Dalma Capital, a prominent Dubai asset manager, announced today plans to utilize the Tezos blockchain for Security Token Offerings (STOs), including the ongoing REITBZ STO. By utilizing the new platform for digital securities transactions, the financial institutions address a deal pipeline in excess of $1bn for existing and prospective token issuances – with an outlook to utilize Tezos to tokenize a wide variety of traditional and alternative investments.

As governments worldwide and in the Middle East take measures to introduce digitization initiatives across industries, blockchain spending globally is to reach $2.9 billion this year, and $307 million in MEA region by 2021.* Utilizing Tezos, a self-amending blockchain and smart contracts platform will encourage BTG Pactual and Dalma Capital to enhance their digitization efforts, by transacting in digital assets.

BTG Pactual was the first major investment bank to officially launch a Security Token Offering (STO) when it announced in February its plans to launch ReiBZ. It has since successfully launched and exceeded the soft cap of the real estate backed token on the Ethereum protocol.  “While the bank remains protocol and technology agnostic, and will continue to utilize the Ethereum protocol, we see Tezos as a global player with a robust blockchain for asset tokenization” said Andre Portilho, BTG’s Partner responsible for the STO initiative. Dalma Capital, which is working with BTG Pactual on their STO pipeline and has partnered as joint-bookrunner for REITBZ, plans to further utilize Tezos for a number of expected asset tokenization projects ranging from core real estate to prominent global sports clubs; including equity and debt interests.

“With blockchain technology now becoming a reality globally, we are delighted to be working with the Tezos Foundation andTocqueville Group teams, whose technical expertise compliments our investment banking and asset management credentials,” said Zachary Cefaratti, CEO of Dalma Capital, “We see Tezos as one of the critical protocols for the burgeoning STO market, and look forward to securing future deal flow on the Tezos blockchain.”

 “BTG Pactual and Dalma Capital have been leaders in implementing tokenization and blockchain solutions in the realm of traditional investment banking and asset management” commented Hubertus Thonhauser, a principal of the Tezos Foundation, “We are encouraged by forward-thinking investment banks embracing blockchain as the market progresses to institutionalization and mass adoption.”

Tim Draper, CEO and Founder of Draper Associates, a prominent Tezos stakeholder and advocate of blockchain in finance said “We are excited to see BTG Pactual and Dalma Capital making use of the Tezos blockchain – we are believers in the Tezos project and see a strong use case for security tokens.”

Zachary Cefaratti elaborated further, “The addressable market for security tokenization is in excess of $268 trillion**, which is composed of the global stock of investable financial assets. This is the next iterative step in the pervasion of blockchain in finance, we see future development in addressing the $595 trillion*** global derivatives market on blockchain.”

Sources: BTG Pactual, Dalma Capital, Tezos Foundation
*Source: IDC report on Worldwide Blockchain spending
**Sources: IFC, Credit Suisse, PwC and DFI Reports
***Source: Bank for International Settlements

About Dalma Capital – Dalma Capital is a global alternative investment fund accelerator and platform focused on alpha generating strategies with an inherent edge in emerging investment strategies and markets. Dalma’s edge also extends to investment banking opportunities in innovative products including disruptive technologies, blockchain investments and Sukuk. Established in 2011 and headquartered in the Dubai International Finance Centre, Dalma Capital’s goal is to identify the next generation of alpha generating ‘edge’ fund managers, strategies and opportunities.

About Tezos – Tezos is a blockchain that evolves by upgrading itself. Stakeholders vote on amendments to the protocol to reach social consensus on proposals, creating a secure and organic upgrading system. The protocol’s on chain governance system, Proof-of-Stake (PoS), and ability to facilitate formal verification, make Tezos an ideal long-term solution for digital transactions, including smart contracts and security token offerings. Tezos is fully decentralized and it is the role of the Tezos Foundation to support the development and long-term success of the protocol and ecosystem. For more information, please visit: https://tezos.foundation/

About BTG Pactual – BTG Pactual is the largest investment bank in Latin America. It operates in Investment Banking, Corporate Lending, Sales & Trading, Wealth Management and Asset Management. Since its creation in 1983, BTG Pactual has been managed under a meritocratic partnership model. The Bank currently has 2,284 employees. For more information, please visit http://www.btgpactual.com

 

Tezos Betanet launch commemorative Ledger Nano S hardware wallets to be engraved

Since the Tezos Foundation announced that it will give away Ledger Nano S hardware wallets to contributors to its fundraiser, we have already seen almost 3,000 interactions with the giveaway smart contract! Thank you to everyone who has participated so far.

This gift from the Tezos Foundation is meant to celebrate the first anniversary of the Tezos betanet launch. To commemorate those who contributed to the fundraiser, all of the Ledgers that will be distributed will be engraved with the Tezos logo, ꜩ.

Fundraiser contributors must activate their recommended allocations before they may interact with the giveaway smart contract to be eligible to receive promo codes for free Tezos engraved Ledger Nano S hardware wallets.

Below are the steps to activate and access a recommended allocation – if a contributor has not done so already – and claim a free Ledger Nano S:

1. Check a contribution
Enter a Tezos public key hash (begins with tz1…) from the fundraiser to check its recommended allocation. A contributor may find its public key hash on the PDF document it created during the fundraiser.
[CHECK]

2. Obtain an activation code
An activation code is required to access a recommended allocation. Contributors must complete the Foundation’s verification process to obtain the activation codes corresponding to their public key hashes from the fundraiser. Contributors who have not completed this process may still do so now.
[BEGIN VERIFICATION]

3. Activate a recommended allocation
A recommended allocation must be activated before it may be accessed. Contributors may activate the recommended allocations corresponding to public key hashes from the fundraiser using the Activation Tool.
[ACTIVATE]

4. Access a recommended allocation
Access a recommended allocation after it has been activated by using a Tezos wallet. Below are some Tezos wallets that have undergone independent external security audits – be sure to take all available safety precautions when entering private key information anywhere. Any party or software, such as a wallet, that gains knowledge of private key information will have access to the XTZ controlled by the corresponding public key hash.
[ACCESS]

5. Claim a Ledger Nano S
Once a contributor has accessed a recommended allocation, it may follow these instructions if it would like to continue with the procedure to claim a free Ledger Nano S hardware wallet:

  • Send a transaction of 0 XTZ (please find instructions for the command line interface, Galleon wallet, and TezBox wallet in our previous blog post) to the smart contract at KT1BRudFZEXLYANgmZTka1xCDN5nWTMWY7SZ before 15 July 2019 at 23:59 UTC. Transactions must be sent from a Tezos public key hash corresponding to a valid donation to the Foundation’s fundraiser and are solely for the purpose of confirming eligibility for a free Ledger Nano S. We will never ask contributors to send funds to an account or contract. Please be aware of phishing attempts and take all available safety precautions.
  • This address is a smart contract that will record 0 XTZ transactions, as well as any other transaction that interacts with it. Additionally, it will automatically return any XTZ that are sent to it, should more than 0 XTZ be sent by mistake. This process is meant to validate ownership of an activated account that contributed to the Foundation’s fundraiser.
  • After 15 July 2019, and on a monthly basis following this date, we will review all public key hashes that interact with the above smart contract. Next, we will send emails containing unique promo codes for 100% discounts on Ledger Nano S devices to the email addresses corresponding to these public key hashes, if there are any. These email addresses will be the ones submitted by contributors to complete the Foundation’s verification process at https://verification.tezos.com/. By interacting with the above mentioned smart contract, a contributor authorizes the Tezos Foundation to use an email address submitted to https://verification.tezos.com/ for the purpose of sending a promo code. The promo codes will also cover costs for regular shipping and some additional fees such as VAT and sales tax. These Ledger Nano S devices will be claimed directly from https://www.ledger.com/ using the promo codes that will be provided.

For more information, visit the Get Started page at Tezos.com, and if you run into any issues, please contact [email protected] for help.

Update: Week of 24 June 2019

Dear Tezos community,

Last week, I was involved in many discussions with you through online channels. Communication is important to me and the entire Tezos Foundation team, as it allows the community to understand how we at the Foundation translate putting our resources into action. I am looking forward to releasing our first bi-annual report this summer, and am also excited to launch the TF Weekly Update today. The weekly update posts will be published every Friday and will recap major highlights from our grantees and other community members, give a brief overview of our priorities and activities, and round up answers to questions we are hearing from you.

I am looking forward to your feedback and hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Best regards,
Ryan

Grantee Updates

Teams that receive funding from the Tezos Foundation are continuously hard at work creating, building, and scaling solutions for the protocol and community. To get a better sense of their work, here are some recent highlights:

  • TQ, Serokell, & Nomadic Labs proposed a standard interface for creating and managing fungible assets using smart contracts on Tezos (though not grantees, these organizations receive funding from the Foundation).
  • The Marigold Project received a grant to support the development of both LIGO, a statically typed high-level language for writing Tezos smart contracts, and Marigold, a plasma-like layer-2 scaling implementation for Tezos.
  • Stove Labs released tutorials on how to get started with LIGO.
  • SmartPy – a new language that allows developers to write Tezos smart contracts in Python – launched its alpha version.
  • Cryptonomic announced that they will be hosting a Tezos hackathon. You can sign up here.
  • Pocket Network, a decentralized API layer for connecting applications to node infrastructure, introduced themselves to the Tezos community with a blog post and AMA.
  • Tezos Commons Foundation rolled out yet another explainer video – this time on inflation funding.
  • Nomadic Labs wrote up an explanation of “How to Write a Tezos Protocol”.
  • ZenGo released an implementation of a Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS) for Tezos.
  • Tezos Southeast Asia conducted a 6-day Tezos Training Course at Chulalongkorn University.
  • Obsidian Systems released an implementation that allows any Tezos operation to be confirmed on a Ledger hardware wallet.
  • Catsigma updated TezBridge and will produce documentation covering plugin integration, a user manual, and a complete application sample.
  • Baking Bad released a major update of Better Call Dev, its Tezos smart contract meta-explorer.

Our current call for Ecosystem Grant Proposals is open until July 10, 2019.

Our Activities

This summer we are focused on further improving our grantmaking process, vigorously defending ourselves against frivolous class action lawsuits, continuing to ensure that we are compliant with applicable regulations, and expanding the Tezos Foundation team. 

While there are certain details that we cannot share on these as well as our ongoing business development efforts, there are a few key details that we can highlight:

  • We have been in continual contact with government officials in Switzerland to ensure that we are not only meeting their guidelines, but we are also setting the bar for how a blockchain foundation should operate.
  • Now that we have hired Roman Schnider as CFO and Head of Operations, we are looking to identify our next round of hires. Specifically, we are looking to expand the team to add staff that will focus on communications for the Foundation and business development (similar roles already exist or will exist in the near future at other entities around the world that receive Foundation funding).
  • We are reviewing options to add additional members to the Tezos Foundation board.
  • We are preparing for our next board meeting in early July – specifically agenda setting, and preparing budget and committee reviews.

FAQs

We have been receiving and responding to a lot of questions in the community this week, but a few stand out that are worth flagging in one place.

Why isn’t TF doing more to get XTZ listed on exchanges?
The Tezos Foundation does not pursue exchange listings. This is not, and has never been the role of the Tezos Foundation.

What is TF doing to market the protocol?
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 Foundation (TCF), Tocqueville Group (TQ), Tezos Southeast Asia (TSA), Tezos Japan, Tezos Korea Foundation, and others. They are continuously pushing out marketing materials like this great explainer video that TCF released this week.

If you have a marketing proposal – submit a proposal and we will review.

What does TF value from a technology standpoint?
We really value open source technology that does not create dependencies or force centralization. This means that the technology should be both open source and replicable by others to use for their own public instance.  While we fund many projects in parallel, for our current priorities, please see our most recent RFP.

Introducing Pocket Network

Tezos Foundation Grantee | First Cohort

*This piece, written by Pocket Network, is the first Guest Post to the Tezos Foundation’s blog.

After several rounds of diligence, on June 10th, 2019, the Tezos Foundation announced the first cohort of its newly launched Ecosystem Grant Program. This program is designed to support and empower projects that work in synergy to bolster the Tezos community and improve the developer experience.

One of the first four projects chosen was Pocket Network, a decentralized API layer for connecting applications to node infrastructure. In this post, we would like to formally introduce Pocket Network to the Tezos community!

Pocket is working towards sustainable decentralization.

The mission of Pocket Network is to connect any app, to any blockchain, on any device by providing a decentralized and trustless API layer for applications to interface with directly. 

Pocket believes in the power of decentralized applications and DAOs, and is working to implement an architecture that supports sustainable decentralization over time. We will highlight a few major pieces here that we are working on to achieve this mission.

An all-Inclusive relay network

Current options for developers to connect to infrastructure have resulted in more server-side centralization, which may lead to some of the same problems (censorship, network failures) that the blockchain space was born to solve.

App developers that care deeply about sustainable decentralization for the network of their choice may spend extra time and money setting up and maintaining their own nodes.

This is very much in the spirit of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, but less than optimal for their application development constraints. And in reality, only a small segment of app developers make this choice.

The more time and resources someone takes to spin up resilient nodes, the less time and resources they have to perfect the user experience.

The more common choice for developers of decentralized applications is to connect to a single service provider via an endpoint and then simply to forget about infrastructure.

The problem with over-reliance of single service providers is that most of these providers start to centralize themselves via optimizing for high margins and efficiencies. This leads the majority of node services to depend on cloud servers for hosting.

So, if all the world’s apps run in Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, is it really decentralized?

This is where Pocket Network comes in to offer an alternative solution; a relay network for coordinating API requests across any node in a network, pseudo-randomly.

Whether it is a service provider running primarily on cloud servers, a data center operating a multitude of bare metal configs, or an individual in their garage running a single rig, they can all connect to Pocket Network and be treated equally.

All that an app developer needs to do is download a Pocket-enabled SDK and signal to the network which blockchain(s) they are going to use, then Pocket will coordinate their requests across nodes in the network. The experience is as simple as other traditional interfaces.

In the event that a node shuts down, the network automatically redirects the request to another valid node in the network. In these ways, Pocket is as efficient as a service provider but as resilient as a decentralized network should be.

Although a relatively new project, Pocket already has a diverse network of nodes for major blockchains like Ethereum and AION. With this grant from the Tezos Foundation, we will do the same and more for Tezos!

Mobile Roots

The Pocket Network founders have their roots in mobile application development and are keen to support the onboarding and experience of future mobile application developers.

In fact, the name “Pocket” was originally conceived out of the idea to “Put blockchains in the Pocket of everyday users.”

Because these mobile roots are so ingrained in the team, Pocket delivers tools and documentation for both iOS and Android developers to use for connecting to their blockchains of choice.

Which brings us to the Tezos Foundation’s grant, and what to expect from the Pocket team.

Pocket’s Tezos Grant & Ecosystem Support

Pocket will deliver three plugins for the Pocket SDKs so that any developer on a major platforms can seamlessly connect to Tezos.

iOS Plugin – for Swift devs.

Android Plugin – for Android devs.

JavaScript Plugin – for Web devs.

It’s important to note that, although Pocket is developing these plugins for Pocket-Core SDKs, the team has no intention of competing with other Tezos tooling projects in the ecosystem.

In fact, if you are working on your own SDK or development tools and would like to collaborate with the Pocket, the team will make themselves available to help support an integration. To connect with us directly, email [email protected]

Aside from the custom plugins for major platforms, Pocket will run a Tezos node… of course!

Certain node operators in the Pocket Network today, such as the team at Figment Network, already support Tezos and will configure their nodes ASAP.

Developer Education

Along with every plugin, Pocket will provide baseline documentation, tutorials and walkthrough videos for the Tezos community to use.

Pocket will publish these materials at docs.pokt.network.

Upon the release, which is estimated to be completed within 2 months, the Pocket team will also make themselves available for support to any interested developer, whether a call, text chat, or webinar to walk through the codebase.

Looking Forward

The Pocket team is dedicated to helping develop the Tezos developer community and potential Ecosystem Grantees.

If you wish to get a head start on understanding Pocket, or would like help with your own Tezos Foundation grant proposal, do not hesitate to reach out to the team at [email protected]

AMA tomorrow, June 27th.

To continue the conversation regarding Pocket Network and Tezos, the Pocket Team will host an AMA tomorrow, June 27th on the Tezos subreddit, /r/tezos/. Feel free to list any questions you may have for the team that the Tezos community may benefit from.

Looking forward to growing together.