Tezos is primarily the creation of Arthur Brietman and his wife, Kathleen Brietmna. The purpose of the Tezos project is to create a secure and reliable smart contract platform in which digital assets and financial applications can be created and utilized.
In summer 2017 the Tezos project concluded the second largest ICO to date, raising $232 million worth of BTC and ETH. By late 2018 the project grew out of its beta/testnet phase and has been a live public blockchain ever since.
On-Chain Governance (Anti-Forks)
The Tezos community promotes unity and has built Tezos on the premise that chain-forks are problematic. Blockchain based forks happen when different ideological constituencies or interest groups within a blockchain based community split and go their own way. We’ve seen this happen in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many other projects.
The Tezos community thinks they can mitigate this fractioning and splintering of its blockchain by providing on-chain voting native to the Tezos protocol. Token holders or stakeholders can not only stake their coins for the right to update the Tezos ledger, they can also vote for changes or delegate their vote to others who advocate for certain changes to the protocol. In theory, voting allows the network to move forward formally and update the network without the need for a hard-fork which risks splintering the network.
The Tezos project calls itself a self-amending blockchain because of this, and proponents think the Tezos blockchain will evolve smoother over time attracting developers looking for a stable platform that can be relied upon to upgrade when needed without the chaos that ensues in other networks.
Formal Verification (Anti-Bugs)
The Tezos project also boasts of something called “Formal Verification” which is a technical term that has more meaning for developers than it does for the average user or holder of Tezos. Investors might be interested if it gives Tezos a leg up on some of the other smart contract platforms out there.
Formal verification, in this context, means that developers working with smart contract code on the Tezos platform can mathematically verify certain properties about those programs on the Tezos network without having to run them and “see what happens”. A common and important property to know is when or if a program will end. Are there loops within the program that will never end? Will the code work as intended? Tezos’ smart contract language, Michelson, is designed so developers can prove the answers to these questions mathematically.
This is important for programs that have a lot of value attached to them. Formal verification might be overkill for the code of a basic communications app, but programs that have value attached to them directly or interact with value need extra attention. Many technologists put blockchain based systems in the category of mission critical software. When thousands, millions, billions, and trillions of economic activity is anchored to a system it better perform as intended. We’ve seen some ugly events in some networks because of faulty smart contracts or developers not understanding the impact of their code. The Tezos project seeks to eliminate the possibility of catastrophic loss or misunderstanding that has happened on other smart contract platforms.
The Tezos project has come under scrutiny from investors with-in the project and regulators outside of the project. A couple of class action lawsuits have been filed against Tezos since its historic raise in 2017. The accusations allege possible securities violations and fraud against the Tezos project and its founders. There is also an SEC investigation underway looking into these claims.
We cannot comment on the veracity of these claims or the SEC investigation. It will be left up to the reader to do their own research and make their own judgements. We only know that the Tezos network works as claimed from a technical perspective.
We’re excited to support Tezos and its holders and look forward to seeing it evolve over time.