Important Tezos Milestone: First Round of Voting on Protocol Amendments Completed

Tezos, a “self-amending” blockchain network, has reportedly completed its first round of voting, which was being conducted in order to determine whether the cryptocurrency’s community is in favor of initiating a set of upgrades to Tezos’ blockchain.

After raising over $230 million through an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017, Tezos’ developers released the platform’s mainnet in September 2018. Currently, the market capitalization of Tezos’ native tokens (XTZ) stands at nearly $430 million according to CryptoCompare data.

In the past day, the price of Tezos’ XTZ cryptocurrency has surged by over 20% - presumably due to the announcement regarding the platform’s first successful round of voting. However, Tezos’ current market share is still well below the $1 billion mark it had reached last year.

Tezos’ proposed protocol amendments, known as “Athens A” and “Athens B,” consist of a set of system-wide updates. Both the upgrades are hard forks (backwards incompatible) that will now be automatically activated - as Tezos’ creators claim that they’ve developed the blockchain network to function in a “self-governing” manner.

Tezos' Bakers Perform Similar Jobs As Miners On Proof-of-Work Networks

Tezos’ Athens A proposal received 25,855 community votes from the network’s “bakers” - who are essentially the equivalent of miners on proof-of-work (PoW)-based crypto platforms. The majority, or 18,181 votes, were in favor activating the updates associated with Athens A.

Notably, not all of Tezos network’s eligible bakers voted on the Athens A proposal as more than half of them chose not to cast their vote. The Tezos Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that has managed the funding and ongoing development of Tezos (and currently controls around one-third of Tezos’ “baking power”), stated in an official blog post

The Tezos Foundation decided to remain neutral by not upvoting any proposals. As noted, this contributes to the required quorum and further elevates the voices of other members of the Tezos community in this historic first vote.

Increasing Gas Limit In Order To Improve Transaction Throughput

The main changes that will be initiated with Athens A include increasing the current computation (or gas) limits for every new block generated on the Tezos network. This change, Tezos’ developers explained, will help in significantly increasing the decentralized platform’s current transaction throughput. Awa Sun Yin, the founder of Cryptium Labs and one of the most active bakers on Tezos’ platform, wrote in a blog post (published in late January 2019):

If the gas limit is increased, it would enable more computation in blocks and operations, meaning that not only the maximum [number] of transactions per block could increase, but also the complexity of the transactions.

Roll sizes on Tezos’ network, which are “aggregated” XTZ tokens that bakers hold in order to be eligible for being randomly chosen to validate blocks on the Tezos blockchain, will be reduced from the current 10,000 XTZ to 8,000 XTZ.

According to Jacob Arluck, the manager of a business entity affiliated with Tezos’ development, the proposed change would “incrementally” reduce the barrier to entry for users who are interested in becoming a baker on the Tezos platform.

Exploration Phase To Start Soon

The next phase of Tezos’ protocol amendment process requires that users participate in a three-week “exploration vote period.” During the exploration period, bakers will be voting on whether to move the Athens A proposal to a testing phase. If 80% or more of the platform’s voters decided to initiate the changes associated with Athens A, then a temporary Tezos-based blockchain network will be launched.

The temporary chain will remain active for a two-day, or 48 hour period, - during which the secondary blockchain will serve as a testnet for activating the codebase modifications associated with Athens A. Tezos’ development team will reportedly monitor how the changes introduced with Athens A perform in a testing environment - before deciding on releasing them to mainnet.

Andrew Paulicek, the founder of Tezos’ baking service HappyTezos, told Coindesk:

We are indeed working on adding zero-knowledge cryptography via a future protocol upgrade proposal later this year. The exact shape that this integration will take is not yet decided.