The Baking Sheet - Issue #152

Entering a new era of communication

Entering a new era of Communication

Welcome to this week's issue of the The Baking Sheet, your weekly newsletter for all the latest and greatest in the world of Tezos.

This is one of those weeks where the entire ecosystem is buzzing with integrations, tech developments, and new products on Tezos. Let’s dive in —

Mailchain x Tezos

Mailchain, a prominent communication layer for Web3, has officially integrated with Tezos. This development enables secure and private communication between any Web3 identities or blockchain addresses using Tezos addresses or Tezos domains (.tez).

Boosting Connections within the Tezos Ecosystem

Tezos hosts a diverse, dynamic community of developers, entrepreneurs, and users dedicated to constructing a broad spectrum of decentralized applications and services. NFT platforms, governance tools, and Web3 games constitute just a few examples of the network's rich offerings. With Mailchain's innovative introduction, this ecosystem can now communicate on a .tez to .tez basis.

Seamless and Secure Communication with Mailchain Protocol

The Mailchain communication protocol operates in conjunction with other blockchain protocols, paving the way for secure, end-to-end encrypted communication via native Web3 identities and wallet addresses. This encompasses not just one-to-one exchanges, but group interactions as well. Furthermore, Mailchain handles a range of functions, such as identity and addressing, encrypted data storage, message transport, and offers enhanced safety and privacy features like sender verification and self-sovereign data ownership.

Leveraging Mailchain SDK for Developers

Mailchain's support for Tezos allows developers to leverage the power of secure, high-grade communication via the Mailchain SDK. Application developers can seamlessly integrate the open-source Mailchain SDK into their decentralized applications, simplifying complex operations and managing name resolution, sign, verify, encrypt, and decrypt functions with ease.

Mallchain CEO, Tim Boeckmann, expressed his excitement about the integration, stating, "We are thrilled to bring creators and communities within Tezos a way to connect and communicate in a Web3-native way. With Mailchain, Tezos developers can keep their users and communities informed, while users enjoy secure and private communication. We're confident that this integration will be instrumental in accelerating the adoption of the Tezos network and unleashing new potential."

Andrew Paulicek, founder of Tezos Domains, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the significance of encrypted messaging capabilities to the Tezos ecosystem. He expressed excitement about the impending Tezos Domains DAO launch, noting that the Mailchain partnership would enable innovative, private, and secure communication channels for users.

Mailchain Integration with Tezos Now Live

As of now, the Mailchain integration with Tezos is live. Anyone can register their Tezos wallet address and create a Mailchain account to start sending or receiving mail. Meanwhile, developers can add the Mailchain SDK to their application, enabling them to send application or on-chain related communication to their users, thus ushering in a new era of Web3 communication.

Nairobi on the Horizon

A closer look into the latest Tezos protocol upgrade currently undergoing the governance process featuring Nomadic Labs

It goes without saying that there are some real genuine strides and developments being made for increasing scalability on Tezos. Mumbai brought us shorter block times via validation pipelining activation and smart rollups.

Fast forward to today, scaling developments are still moving at a rapid pace with protocol Nairobi. Let's dive into some of the features and dissect why they're significant.

If we are to truly come to grips with the fact that there’s a big scalability and friction problem in blockchain, where would we start? It would make sense in addressing the load and stress you can put on a blockchain. This is a key component of already widely adopted systems like Visa, YouTube, etc.

What’s been drawn out as an overused buzzword, that is transactions per second (TPS) does have some merit when it comes to scaling applications for the masses. It shouldn’t be a surprise that we’ve seen the whole industry move towards the same collective goal in the past year with Layer 2 scaling.

Luckily, the Tezos ecosystem has spearheaded these efforts and is hyper-focused on drawing closer to accomplishing that goal. Protocol Nairobi introduces several new features, if adopted, will bring several updates and improvements to the Tezos network.

In the Nairobi protocol announcement post, we can get a sense of what those features are:

  • Up to 8x increase in TPS for certain manager operations

  • Improved gas model for signatures to reflect the cost of different curves.

  • Renaming endorsements to attestations.

  • Faster propagation of pre-attestations to reach consensus earlier.

  • New host functions for Smart Rollups, and new internal Layer 2 messages allow rollup kernels to be aware of Tezos protocol upgrades.

Later we will dive more into the TPS increase and smart rollups with some commentary from Nomadic Labs, but for now, let’s quickly go over some of the other features and what they mean.

Endorsements Will Be Renamed to Attestations

In most blockchains, an endorsement is where a node verifies a transaction and declares if it is legitimate or not. With Nairobi, endorsements are being renamed to attestations. The rationale behind this change is simple. With Tezos current consensus algorithm, Tenderbake, bakers with enough stake are selected to participate in a consensus committee for each blockchain level, and the endorsements are used to vote for (and reach a consensus on) the next block in the chain.

So, the endorsement essentially serves as an attestation of the existence of the block and the contents in a transaction/block. They don’t have the ability to approve the contents in the block, only the ability to say if it’s valid or not, so using the term attestations can help deter some potential misinterpretation.

Mempool Improvement

As we've already highlighted with validation pipelining, with Mumbai's activation we saw block times reduce to 15 seconds. Nairobi introduces some improvements to the Mempool module, which contains the business logic used by Octez nodes to validate transactions that are in the mempool.

In case you're not sure what exactly the mempool is, it's basically a list of pending transactions that have yet to be validated by a baker and committed to a block on the blockchain. If adopted, Nairobi would enable an Octez node's pre-validator to initialize mempool validation faster and even accept consensus operations that are slightly in the future or branched in cousin blocks.

Key Insights from Nomadic Labs

I had the chance to chat with Nomadic Labs on protocol Nairobi and they were kind enough to give some insight into the features and developments to come in the future.

Nairobi brings yet another installment of increasing TPS by up to 8x for “certain manager operations”. Will those operations consist of transactions/calls that take place within NFT marketplaces, DeFi, etc?

Indeed this reduction applies to all manager operations, which include not only simple tez to tez transfers, but also the transactions/smart contract calls in DeFi and NFT marketplaces and say, Smart Rollups’ Layer 1 operations — posting messages, commitments, etc.These benefits apply for managers signing with tz1 and tz2 manager accounts, and they arise from a new, finer-grained, accounting of the gas cost of signature verification in Nairobi: the cost of checking a signature is no longer a flat tax, but rather a function of the curve used (i.e. is the account a tz1, tz2, etc.) and the size of the signed manager operation batch.With Nairobi, we save about 830 gas units for each operation signed by a tz1 or a tz2 account (the exact amount depends on the length of the operation) and exactly 900 gas units for each unsigned operation: that is, for each operation in a batch after the first one — a benefit of batching manager operations is that signature verification happens only once per batch — and also for all internal operations emitted by smart contract calls.Moreover, since the gas limit for a block remains unchanged, large batches as witnessed in DeFi or NFT marketplaces also benefit from having more gas available to include more operations or larger batches — of course, subject to other limits like block size in bytes.

Based on my understanding, Smart Rollups will be able to “upgrade” following activation of Nairobi. What kinds of upgrades to Smart Rollups are in the works?

We have recently posted an article on this precise subject: what do we mean by making Smart Rollups evolutive. The TL;DR is that we have added host functions that will be made automatically available for all rollups (deployed in Mumbai too). The kernel will be notified that a new protocol has been activated on the L1 with a new internal message. The kernel could for instance use this special message to trigger a kernel update leveraging the new host function.In Nairobi, we showcase this feature by upgrading the WASM PVM.

We’ve already witnessed the effects of validation pipelining following Mumbai’s activation. With Nairobi or future upgrades, are there plans to continue to reduce block times?

Reducing block times further is on our roadmap, and we are exploring the design space.But as it was the case with validation pipelining, which was rolled up incrementally between the Kathmandu and Mumbai upgrades, any further reduction in latency will occur as the result of different pieces of the puzzle being developed, tested, and maturing so that everything falls into place smoothly.The reasons to be conservative are obvious: is it very difficult to simulate real-world Mainnet behavior even with thorough stress testing, and we want to avoid nasty surprises.Even if the activation of Mumbai was globally quite smooth, some bakers have reported performance issues with lower-end hardware leading to more endorsement misses, and occasional block proposal misses. Nairobi addresses some of these issues by fine-tuning validation of consensus operations, enabling bakers to exchange pre-attestations earlier.Our current focus here is to refresh the Octez node and baker implementations so we can reap all the benefits from validation pipelining. Improvements like these are a must have before further block time reductions can happen.

From all of the work being done to scale Tezos, what particular feature excites Nomadic Labs the most and why?

We are quite hyped about the possibilities offered by Smart Rollups, and we are convinced they are a game changer technology.While we continue to work on new features and advancing the protocol, a lot of our efforts are going to be spent towards improving Smart Rollups’ UX for both end users and application developers. We are working closely with teams building on top of Smart Rollups and we are excited to see applications in gaming, DeFi, digital art and beyond, being actively developed.We look forward to seeing the way people leverage the scalability and flexibility of Tezos Layer 2 to shape the future of Web3!

Looking Forward

When we look at some of the hindrances to achieving mass adoption of blockchains, it’s clear the focus needs to steer toward scalability. Being able to handle load and stress in the same capacity as the day-to-day applications we use today like Visa, Youtube, etc. is critical. The latest Tezos upgrade that is currently undergoing voting is aiming to draw us closer to reaching that goal. Let’s get out and there and vote for Nairobi!

WAC Demo Day

WAC Fellowship Empowers 12 Institutions to Leverage Blockchain in Art & Culture

The Web3 for the Arts and Culture (WAC) Fellowship, a program supported by the Tezos Foundation and led by We Are Museums and Lal Art, has completed its second innovation lab. This initiative aims to harness the potential of blockchain technology within the fields of arts and culture.

The fellowship, delivered over a four-month online program, has equipped 12 prestigious cultural institutions with comprehensive training and mentoring. It helped them understand the impact of blockchains on identity and security, the role of blockchains in culture, and their practical applications within the arts sector.

Among the innovative projects developed through the fellowship is the "HEK NFT Shop,” an initiative by HEK Basel, in collaboration with Smartchain. This signifies their first step on a new Web3 journey that promises future collaborations, tokenized museum memberships, and a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

The Wooko Makandie Foundation has leveraged the technology of FX Hash to create generative art from traditional pangi prints. In parallel, the Musée d'Orsay plans to offer digital souvenirs of visits, marking their initial foray into Web3 community building and potential new revenue streams.

ArtAegis and the National Taras Shevchenko Museum have teamed up with to develop augmented reality (AR) art exhibitions under the "Anywhere Museum" initiative. This initiative offers a platform for people to access culture during wartime.

The RCA fellows Lena Dobrowolska and Davide Ciacco have co-created NFT newspaper covers with a climate focus through live workshops. Profits from these sales will fund climate justice initiatives. In another exciting venture, artist Anna Nazo has partnered with the New Art City virtual gallery to explore AI-Neurotech performance art. Participants contribute in virtual spaces using 360-degree imaging to create generative NFTs.

In a significant development, ISM Berlin is set to launch SUPERPOSITION, a blockchain service for arts and culture. The project aims to capitalize on royalties from future digital asset transactions to support charitable causes.

Moreover, the MMCA Sri Lanka is looking to reward learning uniquely through Naan App's "Proof-of-Learning" tokens. Meanwhile, WAC fellows from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and Smartchain are examining blockchain's potential in protecting artist royalties.

As the WAC Fellowship continues to make strides in the art world, more institutions are learning about and embracing the benefits of the Tezos blockchain's security and transparency. They are also collaborating on new projects to enhance visitor experiences.

ACMI is preparing an in-house Web3 experience, while the Haus der Kunst is nurturing a community for a summer festival. At the same time, the Belvedere Museum is sharing the knowledge gained from the fellowship with their team.

The WAC Fellowship is providing crucial guidance for cultural institutions venturing into the evolving Web3 space. As the art world continues to transform, stakeholders should anticipate the third season of the WAC Lab, signaling more breakthroughs in the intersection of blockchain technology and culture.

This Week in the Tezos Ecosystem

Altme Unveils a Pioneering Decentralized On-Chain Compliance Solution for Tezos dApps and DeFi Platforms

Altme announces the debut of its groundbreaking product—the industry's first decentralized on-chain compliance solution specifically designed for Tezos applications and DeFi platforms.

This pioneering solution ushers in a new era of smooth and privacy-centric compliance for the emerging web3 landscape, with a unique focus on DeFi.

Decentralization and Privacy at the Forefront

Altme's on-chain compliance solution ingeniously merges self-sovereign identity verifiable credentials with non-transferable on-chain compliance NFTs. This strategy guarantees adherence to the core values of decentralization and user privacy, fundamental tenets of the web3 ecosystem.

By providing this solution, Altme empowers Tezos dApps to effortlessly verify user compliance without breaching the sanctity of sensitive personal data.

Key Features and Benefits of Altme's Compliance Solution

Altme’s on-chain compliance solution stands out with its user-centric features, all while ensuring seamless compliance with regulations:

  1. Self-Sovereign Identity Wallet: Users have absolute control and ownership over their personal data and assets with Altme's non-custodial wallet. This aligns perfectly with the web3 philosophy of decentralization, ownership, and privacy.

  2. Off-chain Verifiable Credentials: Users are verified through a stringent in-app KYC process, yielding verifiable credentials such as proof of identity, age, and DeFi compliance. These credentials are securely stored off-chain within the Altme wallet, preserving user privacy while enabling compliant Tezos dApps interactions.

  3. Compliance NFTs on the Tezos Blockchain: Once verified, users can mint non-transferable compliance NFTs directly on the Tezos blockchain. These NFTs serve as a binary compliance status associated with each user's blockchain address, maintaining regulatory compliance without divulging personal information.

  4. Seamless Compliance Monitoring: Tezos dApps can seamlessly monitor user verification status by checking for the presence of compliance NFTs within user wallets. This streamlined procedure allows dApps to ensure compliance with regulatory standards related to DeFi, anti-money laundering (AML), age restrictions, and more, without any access to personal data.

Unmatched Advantages and Adoption

Altme's solution introduces several significant advantages to the decentralized web3 ecosystem:

  • Multi-chain capability: Altme's off-chain stored verifiable credentials can mint non-transferable compliance NFTs on any blockchain, enabling seamless compliance across multiple protocols and compatibility with various blockchain ecosystems.

  • Enhanced User Privacy: Altme prioritizes user privacy by securely storing personal data off-chain, ensuring that dApps do not have access. Users maintain complete control over their data, providing a significant layer of privacy protection.

  • Open Standards and Transparency: Altme's commitment to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) decentralized identity standards ensures secure digital identity, interoperability, and compatibility across platforms. Its open-source approach allows community codebase review and auditing, establishing transparency, security, and trust.

"We're excited to introduce the first on-chain compliance solution built on decentralized identity," said Hugo MIR, CMO of Altme. "Our aim is to deliver a seamless and privacy-centric compliance experience for web3 users and protocols. With Altme, decentralized applications can ensure compliance without compromising decentralization, ownership, and privacy principles."

Altme's innovative on-chain compliance solution represents a significant stride forward for Tezos dApps and the broader web3 community. Altme invites Tezos web3 dapps, platforms, and protocols to explore this

Temple launched TKEY - the Temple Wallet token.

Madfish announces TKEY, the temple wallet token was launched to enhance the development and adoption of the popular Tezos wallet. One key feature of TKEY is that it offers cashback on swaps, with users receiving 0.175% of the swapped amount in TKEY.

The TKEY Tokenomics section details the total distribution of TKEY, which stands at 14,000,000 tokens. All the tokens were minted immediately, and there will be no future increases in emission. The allocation of the TKEY tokens is as follows:

  • 10,000,000 TKEY for the initial liquidity pool on QuipuSwap, paired with 10,000 wTEZ.

  • 2,000,000 TKEY set aside for developer rewards.

  • 1,000,000 TKEY reserved for future investors.

  • 1,000,000 TKEY allocated for future community incentives.

Users can trade TKEY on 3Route, and liquidity can be added using a specific pool. The liquidity provided initially will be locked on a smart contract, permitting the withdrawal of only the rewards fee in wTEZ. Any fee rewards received in TKEY will be burned, while those in wTEZ will be used for buyback and burn TKEY.

Additionally, Future plans include using TKEY to reward users who watch in-app advertisements on Temple. Initially, ad viewing will be rewarded in USDt as a Proof-of-Concept. Over time, more benefits for Temple token holders will be introduced.

This Week in Tezos Development

Announcing Smart Rollups Kernel Gallery | Marigold | TriliTech | Nomadic Labs

TriliTech, Nomadic Labs, and Marigold have launched a comprehensive guide called the Kernel Gallery. This guide is meant to assist developers in creating dApps using a new technology called Smart Rollups, part of the latest Tezos upgrade from Mumbai.

The Kernel Gallery provides step-by-step tutorials. These tutorials start from basic concepts, like creating a simple "hello world" application, to more complex ones, like building a social media DApp. All the code examples are written in Rust, a programming language, and include continuous integration (CI) testing.

The guide covers various key topics:

  1. Kernel Durable Storage: This refers to a reliable data storage system for the applications.

  2. L2-to-L1 communication: This covers how Layer 2 (L2), an overlay network that lies on top of the primary blockchain (Layer 1 or L1), communicates with the primary blockchain.

  3. Transaction sequencing: This explains how to control the order of transactions, with options ranging from a fully decentralized sequence to a centralized one.

  4. Secure kernel upgrade: This section explains how to safely upgrade the core system of the app.

The major advantage of Smart Rollups is its flexibility. It offers decentralized solutions right from the start, but also allows developers to make custom adjustments depending on their specific needs. The guide demonstrates this by gradually increasing the complexity of the examples and discussing the pros and cons at each step.

In essence, Smart Rollups is transforming the way blockchain development is done on Tezos, providing secure, scalable solutions using WebAssembly technology.

The teams behind the Kernel Gallery anticipates that this guide will inspire developers to create unique applications for Tezos. Follow the GitLab repository for more examples and join discussions on Discord.

Now Streaming

Join us for our next TezTalks Radio Episode featuring award-winning Poet — Ana Maria Caballero

Ana Maria Caballero is a first-generation Colombian-American poet and artist. Her work explores how biology delimits societal and cultural rites, ripping the veil from romanticized motherhood and questioning notions that package a woman’s sacrifice as a virtue. She’s the recipient of the Beverly International Prize, Colombia’s José Manuel Arango National Poetry Prize, the Steel Toe Books Poetry Prize and a Sevens Foundation Grant. Her work has been widely published and exhibited internationally.

In this episode, Ana sits down with us to discuss the Web3 revolution in Poetry