Weekly Updates

Crypto Firms Come Together to Launch Bitcoin-backed tzBTC token on Tezos

This week, the Bitcoin Association Switzerland (BAS) announced the launch of tzBTC, a token on the Tezos blockchain that is backed 1:1 by Bitcoin. tzBTC has been an extremely successful organic collaboration between a wide range of teams - many of whom are participating in the Tezos ecosystem for the first time.

While this idea was born in early 2019, the tooling and infrastructure on Tezos were not ready to execute the project successfully. The successful launch of tzBTC this week is an encouraging sign of how far Tezos tooling and infrastructure have come since then. Recognizing the possibilities of building on Tezos, Bitcoin Association Switzerland President Lucas Betschart stated, “tzBTC brings the brand and liquidity of Bitcoin to the Tezos blockchain and gains the potential for rich functionality made possible by Tezos smart contracts.”

tzBTC provides exciting new opportunities for the Tezos community, as it brings the resilient Bitcoin brand and asset to Tezos, which in turn provides Bitcoin access to Tezos’ institutional-grade smart contract security features, future composable DeFi applications, and active global community of developers. Ian Simpson, Senior Manager at Bitcoin Suisse, one of the teams involved in the project, said, “taking the largest cryptocurrency and connecting it to the Tezos blockchain is like bringing the railroad to the gold mine – it allows for transportability and opens up possibilities for use.”

tzBTC is a sign of growth and progress for the Tezos ecosystem, and offers new opportunities for DeFi applications on Tezos. According to Martin Burgherr, Co-Head of Clients at Sygnum Bank, which serves as a Gatekeeper, “the journey to mainstream adoption of DLT-powered financial services can only be made with a collaborative ecosystem.” With participation from teams like Sygnum, Bitcoin Suisse, Taurus, Woorton, Lexr, Swiss Crypto Tokens, and inacta, tzBTC is a prime example of the collaboration necessary to spark mainstream adoption, and provides new use cases within the Tezos ecosystem.

Additional Ecosystem Updates:

 

FAQs

What is the Tezos Foundation doing to be transparent and responsive to the community?

The Foundation set industry standards in transparency and reporting by publishing biannual updates, with detailed insights including financials. The Foundation has also committed to issuing weekly updates like this one to answer questions and provide updates on the ecosystem. That said, there is always room for improvement and we are committed to engaging with other members of the Tezos community. Moving forward, we will solicit and answer questions on a weekly basis. Starting next week, we will post in the Tezos community subreddit to solicit questions and answer as many as possible in next week’s edition of the weekly update.

“Do you see Tezos as just an STO platform?”

Absolutely not. Tezos is open and inclusive infrastructure for financial applications and a wide variety of other use cases, some of which likely have yet to be imagined. In addition to Tezos as a cryptocurrency (and programmable money), digital securities emerged as an initial strategic area of focus for the Foundation, but they by no means define our belief of what Tezos is. Many other use-cases can and will be built on Tezos, and we are more highly prioritizing DeFi, CBDC, payments, and gaming use-cases, and have already supported a number of projects building many of the tools necessary to attract more builders and entrepreneurs across these verticals. That said, while we are working hard in other areas, we will continue to focus on digital securities as more technology and financial partners choose Tezos for their tokenization projects. We believe that all of these developments strengthen the network effect of Tezos, and thus its value as an internet-money.

What is the strategy when it comes to funding wallets?

The Foundation understands the importance of high-quality wallets to provide a seamless and intuitive avenue to interact with the Tezos network. Wallets are a top funding priority right now. Furthermore, in addition to new wallets, we are committed to supporting the maintenance and improvement of existing widely-used wallets in the Tezos community. We’d love some suggestions from the Tezos community for popular cryptocurrency wallets that have yet to integrate Tezos – reach out if you have any recommendations.

What is going on with Tezbox and what is the Foundation doing about it?

We greatly appreciate the early pioneering role that TezBox played as a wallet in the Tezos ecosystem, but it is apparent that it is not maintained actively. The Tezos Foundation is supporting a community effort to work with Stephen Andrews to transition TezBox to community support and development as he focuses on other activities.

What is the focus on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) projects as mentioned in the most recent biannual update?

As mentioned above, digital securities are an important area of focus for the Tezos Foundation, but it is by no means the only area on which we are focused. We began research on CBDC projects in Q3 2019 and found some great teams to work with in Q4 2019 and throughout the rest of 2020. That said, based on our research and conversations with decision-makers, there are some changes to Tezos that must be made before CBDC projects can launch on a public blockchain. Ryan Lackey, a member of the Foundation Council, spoke about CBDCs at the National Bank of Ukraine CBDCinUA conference in mid-February. We hope to be able to share some updates on our CBDC activities in the near future.

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