Weekly Updates

Q&A with Tezos Domains Founder Andrew Paulicek

This week, we caught up with Agile Ventures founder Andrew Paulicek to discuss Agile’s work on Tezos Domains, what makes blockchain name services valuable, and the other projects he and his team are working on. We hope you enjoy the Q&A below.

Andrew Paulicek Photo

What is Tezos Domains?

Tezos Domains is a distributed, open, and extensible naming system using the Tezos blockchain. Tezos Domains has similar functionality to DNS, but for Tezos addresses. Like DNS, Tezos Domains works with dot-separated hierarchical names called domains, with the owner of a domain having full control over its subdomains. A domain owner at any level may set up subdomains as desired and even transfer them to other people. For instance, if Alice owns ‘alice.tez’, she can create ‘pay.alice.tez’ and configure it as she wishes. Another use case could be a wallet allowing users to assign a custom 3rd level domain for free (e.g., ‘alice.magma.tez’). 

One of the crucial parts is achieving significant adoption, so users will be able to use their domains throughout the entire Tezos ecosystem. We are planning to have a sunrise period to allow bakers, wallets, dApps, explorers, and other well-known entities to reserve their domains upfront the launch to help drive the adoption in the beginning. We will also provide support to the various teams with their integration.


What is a blockchain name service, and how does it work?

The name service’s primary function is to translate a meaningful and user-friendly alias to a Tezos address and vice versa. This translation is globally consistent so that all participants on the blockchain see the same addresses for a given alias at any given block.

An example of one such alias is ‘alice.tez’. Alice bought it from the central registrar managing tez and then assigned it the address of her wallet. When she sends money to Bob, he will see ‘alice.tez’ in his wallet’s received transactions, because Alice has also set up a reverse record mapping her address back to ‘alice.tez’.


Why did you decide to build a name service on Tezos? Why not other blockchain?

Tezos is always evolving and adding more functionality through on-chain governance and protocol upgrades. This alone presents a significant advantage over other available smart contract platforms. 

Having spent a meaningful amount of time during the Tezos Domains analysis phase, talking to other Tezos ecosystem participants, and seeing what is in the works and how much the whole community grew over the past two years is truly exciting. I can’t wait to see how the entire Tezos landscape will look like in another two years.

We have worked with Tezos since the early alphanet days and were fortunate to receive a grant from Tezos Foundation supporting our two previous projects. These open-sourced projects focused on helping developers get on-chain Tezos data easier by exposing SignalR and GraphQL endpoints. You can read more about these at TezosLive.io.


Any other projects that you’re working on and would like to share?

A second team at Agile Ventures is working on integrating the GraphQL into the Tezos node. In the first phase, we are looking at the best ways to construct Tezos node GraphQL schema. Later on, GraphQL subscriptions will allow clients to subscribe to and receive any event (e.g., transaction, origination, new block, etc.) as they happen on-chain. In the following phases, we will add read-only queries and, finally, mutations. Eventually, we would like to have a functionally equivalent GraphQL option to the existing Tezos RPC API.


What three things are you most excited to see built on Tezos?

One of the exciting things is seeing decentralized exchanges emerge on Tezos. The seamless integration of DEXter inside the Magma wallet being a great headliner for this.

Decentralized Identity integration with Tezos is another one. One of the things the standard allows is letting users prove their identity securely using blockchain and asymmetric cryptography. They can also ask other entities to prove claims about them. For example, a university would be able to sign a claim that you make to a third party about the level of education you received. I think it’s a great real-world use case of blockchain that does not involve currency.

We found the integration of Tezos support into the Truffle suite instrumental. Truffle offers a standardized sandbox, testing, and deployment environment for smart contracts on Tezos, making our development process a lot easier.

Additional Ecosystem Updates:

This week we announced our fourth cohort of ecosystem grants as well as some updates to the grantmaking process. Below is a breakdown of additional updates from around the ecosystem:


Does it concern the foundation that after two years, there is nothing significant running on Tezos and no organic developer growth? Ethereum seems to have new apps on a weekly basis; Polkadot/Near and other new projects already have several projects under development while Tezos has nothing yet?

The Foundation’s early focus has revolved around tooling, infrastructure development, and institutional adoption as Tezos as a blockchain has been gas-constrained to date. That said, we have been encouraged by the development of the dapp ecosystem as tooling and infrastructure have matured. 

We continue to support teams that build end-user applications using this infrastructure. For example, the newly announced Magic and Beacon SDKs make it easier to connect Tezos wallets to dapps on Tezos, Truffle makes it easier to develop, test, and deploy Tezos smart contracts, Dexter will enable decentralized asset exchange (which is a critical decentralized financial primitive), and projects like tzBTC provide the opportunity for a wide range of assets to Tezos and facilitate novel financial applications. 

We were also excited by the applications built during the Tezos + CoinList Hackathon in the categories of DeFi, Games & Collectibles, and Oracles. These include DexAuction, which enables various types of Tezos-based auctions within a web application, the Tezos Monsters horror adventure game for learning LIGO, TzTip.me, a tipping service that allows developers to add tipping functionality, and Ungrund Oracle, open source infrastructure to connect micro-services to the Tezos network.

We are eager to continue supporting end-user applications for a number of use cases and anticipate major maturation in the Tezos dapp ecosystem in the near future.


Could you perhaps fund some simple quick apps meant for the crypto community (not meant to change the world)? That might at least demonstrate what Tezos is capable of doing, and also might spur some interest and innovations from outside.

As mentioned above, much of the Foundation’s early focus has revolved around tooling and infrastructure development. 

One way we have incentivized the development of applications is through hackathons such as the Tezos + CoinList one, which produced a number of simple, fun new applications such as the game Tezos Monsters and the Tezos tipping service TzTip.me. We are committed to continuing to fund applications that spur innovation and identifying new avenues to encourage building on Tezos. 


Do you have any updates with CBDCs or stable coin projects that might be under development in Tezos?

We responded to this question in a previous update, but it bears repeating here.

Notwithstanding the recent public attention on CBDCs, and following an in depth analysis of the space, we believe that the entire CBDC category is still in an experimental stage and the question of whether or not Central Banks would adopt public or private chains, and at what level of their stack, remains open.

That said, teams in the Tezos ecosystem are working on the infrastructure needed to support such opportunities. As laid out in the Tezos whitepaper, a founding objective of the project has been to amend and iterate the core protocol towards the state-of-the-art and the ability to support mass adoption. Additionally, there are other efforts in the ecosystem to develop a Tezos private chain solution for onboarding enterprise and institutional users, smart contracts to support custodial stablecoins, and integration tooling.


What is the status of the proposal number 007? It was expected to be implemented this summer, do you know more on that?

As mentioned in a previous update, Tezos is a decentralized network and the core protocol is developed and maintained by independent teams including Nomadic Labs, LIGO, DaiLambda, Metastate, and more. The Foundation does not take a stance when it comes to Tezos protocol governance and we do not have any updates to provide on the 007 proposal being worked on by teams in the Tezos ecosystem.


Why are you not investing grants to create one wallet combining all essential functions like sending, voting, staking? To promote the mass usage of the most important feature of Tezos, voting & proposals?

As mentioned in a previous update, there are a number of software and hardware wallets for Tezos that are currently available to use including Galleon, Ledger, Kukai, and Magma, which was released this week on Android and iOS.

Related News

Tezos Foundation uses cookies to provide you with the best possible service. By continuing to visit this website you agree to our use of cookies