Official Tezos (XTZ) Blockchain Upgrade is Here via 3-Month Long On-Chain Stakeholder Voting

Tezos blockchain in the first kind of move upgraded their network on the basis of 3-month long on-chain voting by stakeholders. The upgrade included two separate backward-incompatible changes. The self-amendment process which was started back in February finally came to an end this Wednesday. The three-month-long process is being deemed a successful run, as it led to an upgrade proposal dubbed as Athens A.

Athens A was proposed by one of the Tezos developer community called Nomadic Labs. The proposal includes reducing the minimum amount of tokens called ‘rolls' required by a user to become a baker on the Tezos network. Earlier the amount was 10,000 XTZ which has been reduced to 8,000 XTZ.

Bakers are basically miners on the Tezos network who are responsible for verifying transactions and generating new blocks. Alexandr Kerya, the CMO of Everstake – a staking-as-a-service provider on Tezos said that the new changes on the network would be really beneficial for the bakers especially the small ones as the number of staking tokens has been reduced.

Kerya explained further,

“The reduction will result in a bigger amount of XTZ staked. Now if a baker has 16k, only 10k is staking while after the upgrade the baker will have 2 rolls engaged in staking. There will be fewer ‘leftovers’ so to speak which is particularly important for small bakers.”

Apart from reducing the staking tokens for the bakers on the network, the Athens A also focuses on increasing computational limits on Tezos blocks which would lead to larger transaction throughput.

Arthur Breitman, the creator of Tezos talked about the importance of on-chain governance which has led to the current successful upgrade on the network. He noted,

“The Athens activation demonstrates that cryptocurrencies do not have to choose between being stuck with early technological choices or protecting themselves against interference. Upgrades can be automated, decentralized, and self-funding.”

Breitman also called the current form of on-chain governance to propose upgrades a great success with

“80 percent of the votes cast, twice, in a period of a few months.”

Awa Sun Yin, the founder of the second most popular baking service on Tezos Cryptium Labs agreed with the founder and said that even though the on-chain governance system is conservative which requires a high level of participation and repetitive voting rounds, but the confidence shown by the community is quite impressive. He went on to add,

“Thus, we were concerned about voter apathy and voter fatigue. Yet, we managed to surpass quorum requirements in every phase and I am impressed by how closely the community has been relentlessly following through the entire process, actively reminding all bakers to participate.”

On-Chain Governance Lead to Automized Upgrades

Tezos idea of on-chain governance was only to reach out to the community and take their feedback on the network, and what changes would they like to see on the network. However, the process has led to automizing the testing as well as roll out of the software upgrades on the blockchain. Now the bakers do not need to manually upgrade the nodes as the software is automatically pushed to all bakers at specific block number.

Jacob Arluck, who works for Tocqueville Group – a for-profit business development entity funded by the Tezos Foundation explained how the automation of upgrades would take place on the mainnet. He said,

“It’s similar to how Constantinople happened at a given time. But instead of everyone updating their software, [the upgrade] gets pushed to everyone’s computers.”

Breitman while talking about the future of the Tezos network and other features that might get added to the current on-chain governance proposed the idea of strengthening communication about vote proposals “off-chain.” He explained further,

“Some confusion about the proposals highlighted the need for better off-chain governance rules prior to ratification of an amendment. One thing I’ve learned in the process is that it’s more enlightening to look at the ratification of an amendment as a decentralized oracle for existing consensus than as a voting mechanism per se.”

Breitman did not rule out the possibilities of more polarizing proposals in future and noted that the real test of the current on-chain governance will be tested once various ideas and proposals starts clashing with each other.

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