Evolution. A process that is pertinent for any thing or any specie to stand the test of time. The same applies to technology; the projects that failed to evolve with time got lost, forgotten in the abyss of “could’ve been”. Evolution is why we are we are living in the era of the revolutionary blockchain tech and cryptcurrencies.
But does the process of growth stop with that? No. Because even the cryptocurrency tech is advancing, and that too, at a very fast pace, making it difficult to keep up with all the latest developments. So why not update your blockchain as the latest tech becomes available? Here’s a thought right? That is exactly where Tezos step in, which is the world’s first self-evolving blockchain.
Similar to Ethereum, Tezos is a smart contract platform, which is peer-to-peer, distributed and permissionless network, aiming to make a few improvements over its rather well established neighbors. Also, the team behind the platform touts it on the ideas self-amendment and on-chain governance. So basically, Tezos is formalizing the blockchain governance in which stakeholders govern the protocol.
Key Features of Tezos
Since Tezos is essentially a blockchain platform it automatically ends up in the same category as Ethereum, EOS or NEO. However, the governance system that it employs, is what makes it different. The team has designed a process that allows for continuous upgrades of the Tezos protocol via on-chain governance.
This specific design enables the Tezos protocol to increase incrementally over the course of time, as opposed to the radical changes that happen every once in a while, which have the potential to lead to hard forks. The team behind Tezos is strictly against hardfork because of the splitting of the network; hence they have envisioned a platform, which doesn’t have to go through an unwanted hard fork.Hence, it is continuously upgraded based on the users proposals and votes.
In order to upgrade the platform, the developers submit their proposal for the protocol upgrades, independently. These proposals are not just about the updates but also include the expected compensation that the developers want for both, developing and releasing the specific upgrade.
However, the upgrades are not only in the hands of the developers. The Tezos platform takes into account its user community as well, and the Tezos token holders do get to have a say in the upgrades, through the process of voting. It is only after the voting has been done, that any developer can start working on their project.
The funds for these decided upgrades are kept in an escrow by the Tezos protocol and they are only distributed upon the implementation of an approved upgrade proposal.
Since the developers of the platform are compensated in a decentralized fashion, they can go about their work independently, one the condition that they have the community’s approval. The Tezos protocol is specifically designed in such a way that it can incentivize its own progress.
Formal Verification of Smart Contracts
The platform has its very own programming language based on smart contracts, called Michelson. This functional language has been specifically developed in order to enable formal verification of smart contracts.
The formal verification actually mathematically attests to the correctness of the code governing transactions. This significantly increases the security surrounding the sensitive or financial smart contracts because it allows the users to proof the properties of their contract.
Delegated Proof of Stake
In order to achieve consensus on its platform, Tezos uses the delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) algorithm. The reason behind employing DPoS is that it allows for virtual mining, instead of physical mining as in the case of Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm. Tezos sticks to DPoS because it is energy efficient.
Furthermore, it allows for the Tezos token holders to be a part of the mining process. They could do so either as delegates or as voters for delegates. The way this works is, if a voter decides to vote for a delegate, it would ultimately mean that the control of the users’ vote now rests with the delegate to vote for a proposal.
One of the biggest issues that is plaguing the blockchain industry is that of scalability and Tezos is aiming to solve that in its platform. In order ensure the long-term scalability of the platform; the team behind Tezos has implemented zero-knowledge proof concepts.
Zero knowledge proof concepts are basically used for the purpose of smart contract execution. It further separates the actual execution of a smart contract and its verification by consensus nodes. This results in a reduced workload for the consensus nodes.
The Tezos Token
Tezzies (XTZ) is the native token of the platform and is used as its store of value, for payments of network transaction fees and for fueling smart contracts. Because of Tezos employment of the PoS consensus, the token is also used for platform governance.
You can read the whitepaper here.