According to its website, Tezos is “a decentralized blockchain that governs itself by establishing a true digital commonwealth and facilitates formal verification, a technique which mathematically proves the correctness of the code governing transactions and boosts the security of the most sensitive or financial weighted smart contracts.”
In practice, this means that Tezos is a blockchain network which is linked to a digital token, called a Tez or a Tezzie (XTZ). Unlike other digital currencies, Tezos does not involve the mining of Tez tokens; rather, token holders receive a reward for taking part in the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
Tezos is intended to be an evolving network. This flexibility is seen as a crucial aspect of the system, as a lack of flexibility and scalability in bitcoin in particular has made for a difficult set of growing pains for the world’s leading digital currency by market cap.
The co-founders, Arthur Breitman, and Kathleen Breitman, have been developing Tezos since 2014 with a core group of developers. The company is headquartered in Switzerland. They raised a $232 million in an uncapped ICO in just 2 weeks, accepting contributions of both bitcoin and ether. Shortly after their historic ICO, Tezos ran head first into a lot of management issues. To understand these management issues, you must know that the Tezos-founding company is named DLS (Dynamic Ledger Solutions) and the company that holds all the funds collected during the ICO is named “Tezos Foundation.”
Arthur and Kathleen Breitman got into a public squabble with the President of Tezos Foundation, Johann Gevers. Apparently, Gevers, who was in control of the funds, refused to disburse the funds to the Breitmans. This dispute led to mayhem within the community and the estimated exchange rate plummeted. The Breitmans released a scathing statement on Gevers which included words like “self-dealing, self-promotion and conflicts of interest”. After the undesirable media attention, Gevers left the company after receiving more than $400,000 in severance.
The Tezos blockchain uses an agonistic native-middleware called ‘Network Shell.” This allows them to develop a modular style with a self-amending ledger. A generic blockchain protocol is divided into three layers:
- Network Protocol: This is the gossip protocol which is responsible for peer listening and broadcasting between nodes.
- Transaction Protocol: This is the transactional layer which defined the accounting model that is implemented by the blockchain.
- Consensus Protocol: Pretty self-explanatory. This defines the consensus protocol that will help our blockchain reach agreements on the state of our transactions.
In Tezos, the last two protocols, Transaction and Consensus, are combined together to be referred to as Blockchain Protocol. The Network Shell aids in the communication between the network protocol and the blockchain protocol. The network shell is agnostic to the transaction protocol and the consensus protocol.
Smart Contracts and Formal Verification
Tezos has been coded using OCaml. The smart contracts that will run on Tezos will be created using Michelson. So, what is special about these languages? They both happen to be functional languages. When it comes to languages, they belong to two families:
Imperative Programming Languages
In an imperative approach, the coder needs to put down all the steps that the computer needs to take to reach a goal. All of our traditional programming languages like C++, Java and even Solidity are imperative programming languages. This kind of programming approach is also called algorithmic programming.
Functional Programming Languages
The second family of programming languages is Functional languages. This style of programming was created to build a functional approach to problem-solving. This kind of approach is called declarative programming.
The following table compares the Imperative approach with the Functional approach.
Advantages of the functional approach:
- Helps with creating high assurance code because it is easier to prove how the code is going to behave mathematically.
- Increases the readability and maintainability because each function is designed to accomplish a specific task. The functions are also state-independent.
- The code is easier to refractor and any changes in the code are simpler to implement. This makes reiterative development easier.
- The individual functions can be easily isolated which makes them easier to test out and debug.
Michelson is a strongly typed, stack-based language. In Ethereum, smart contracts are written in Solidity or Viper and they get compiled to EVM byte code, which then gets executed in the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM). In Tezos, there is no unnecessary extra step and the Michelson code itself gets to run in the Tezos VM.
1. Formal Verification
The Tezos protocol mathematically proves its correctness of both in smart contracts as well as decentralized applications which run on top of its blockchain. This is something that should help prevent the bugs in these smart contracts that can be extremely costly and damaging.
2. Getting Rich by Being a Baker
The Tezos blockchain still requires what Tezos calls “Bakers” for validating all its transactions and add them to the blockchain. Tezos describes the baking as, “The act of signing and publishing blocks to the Tezos blockchain.” Therefore, bakers are similar to miners. Bakers make sure that the transactions are valid and there’s no double-spending.
3. Supportive Community
For the bakers with an interest in Tezos, there are several discussion forums available, facilitating the communication inside the community. It is a good place to find out the answers to your questions about the Tezos protocol.
Source : Medium.BlockGeeks.
Photo Credit: NameCoinNews
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