The Baking Sheet - Issue #164

Oxford and the Ongoing Odyssey: Tezos' Pioneering Path Forward

Exploring Oxford & Variants: Innovation, Debate, and Community Engagement in the Tezos Ecosystem

Greetings, Tezos aficionados, welcome to another edition of The Baking Sheet.

This week, we're embarking on a journey through the Oxford upgrade, Tezos' 15th protocol upgrade, a blend of tradition and innovation. As we delve into its intricacies, we'll explore the nuances of Adaptive Issuance, the introduction of the "staker" role, and the re-emergence of Timelocks. We'll also navigate the waters of the Oslo proposal, a fascinating twist on Oxford's Adaptive Issuance model, introduced by none other than Baking Benjamins.

For those in the Bay Area, mark your calendars for a Tezos meetup in San Francisco, a golden opportunity to converse with Tezos co-founder, Arthur Breitman.

In the decentralized realm, The Tezos Ecosystem DAO makes its debut on The PASS, promising a series of initiatives that will electrify the Tezos ecosystem. On the development front, Octez v18.0~rc1 and v17.3 are out, bringing a slew of enhancements and updates. Lastly for a visual and intellect treat, don't miss out on TezTalks LIVE, spotlighting Smart Rollups with the brilliant minds from Nomadic Labs.

Dive in, and let's unravel the tapestry of Tezos' innovations together.

Tezos' Oxford Upgrade: A Deep Dive into the Future of Blockchain

In the ever-evolving world of blockchain, Tezos stands out as a beacon of innovation. With 14 protocol upgrades already in its history, the platform is now gearing up for its 15th, aptly named Oxford by a joint proposal from Nomadic Labs, Marigold, TriliTech, Oxhead Alpha, Tarides, DaiLambda, & Functori. This article delves deeper into what this means for both the Tezos community and the average user.

It’s all in the Name: The name isn't just a nod to the world-renowned university. It's a symbol of the blend of tradition and innovation that Tezos embodies. For those who love the nitty-gritty, the technical hash for this proposal is


Key Takeaways from Oxford:

  1. Changes to Staking Economics:

    • Adaptive Issuance: This is a dynamic way of issuing tez (the cryptocurrency of Tezos). Instead of a fixed rate, the issuance will adjust based on the ratio of staked tez to the total supply. The goal is to maintain a 50% staking ratio. If fewer people are staking, the issuance rate will increase to encourage more staking, and vice versa.

    • New Staking Mechanism: A new role, called a "staker", is introduced. This allows users to support a baker's security deposit without giving them control of their funds. The rewards and risks are shared proportionally.

  2. Refinements to PoS (Proof of Stake):

    • Penalties for misbehavior are now proportional to the funds at stake.

    • Bakers have more control over their staked funds.

    • Rewards for reporting bad behavior have been adjusted.

  3. Timelocks Return:

    • Timelocks help prevent unfair advantages in transaction ordering. They were previously disabled due to security concerns but have now been redesigned and re-enabled.

  4. Improvements for Smart Rollups:

    • Simplified operations for developers.

    • Enhanced features for the deployment of Smart Rollups.

Activation Process: It's essential to note that the Oxford proposal's acceptance doesn't translate to immediate activation of the staking economic changes. Bakers will participate in a continuous vote, ensuring the entire community is on board and understands the implications of these shifts.

The Bigger Picture: Oxford is more than just an upgrade; it's a testament to Tezos' commitment to pushing the boundaries of blockchain technology. The changes proposed, especially in staking economics, are a reflection of Tezos' vision for a more efficient and user-friendly blockchain. For those actively participating in the Tezos ecosystem, an upgrade to Octez v18.0 will be essential if Oxford gets the green light. And for those eager to test the waters, Octez v18.0~rc1 is on the horizon, with the Oxfordnet test network set to launch shortly after.

Bottom Line: The Oxford proposal is not just a step but a leap forward for Tezos. It promises enhanced functionality, better user engagement, and a more streamlined developer experience. As the decision looms, the power, as always, rests with the community. Their choice will shape the future of Tezos and, by extension, the future of blockchain.

Adaptive Issuance and Staking in Tezos' Oxford Upgrade: A Simplified Guide

Let’s talk about two standout features from Oxford, Adaptive Issuance and Staking. These two innovative features are set to redefine Tezos’ Proof-of-Stake mechanism and deserve a deeper understanding. Let's break down these complex concepts into digestible bits.

Understanding Adaptive Issuance: At its core, Adaptive Issuance is a new way of regulating the issuance of tez, Tezos' native cryptocurrency.

  • Current Issuance System: Tezos currently issues new tez through:

    • Participation rewards: Incentives for delegates participating in consensus and random seed generation.

    • The Liquidity Baking (LB) subsidy.

    • Protocol “invoices”: Lump sums of tez issued during protocol migration.

  • The Oxford Change: With the Oxford upgrade, the amount of regularly issued tez will now depend on the global staked funds ratio. This means the amount of tez being staked compared to the total supply. The goal? To ensure issuance matches the actual security budget the chain requires.

  • How It Works: At the end of each blockchain cycle, the regular issuance adjusts to push the staked funds ratio towards a target (set at 50% in Oxford). If the staked funds ratio drifts away from this target, emission rates adjust to bring it back in line.

  • Adaptive Issuance Rate: This rate is a combination of a static rate and a dynamic rate. The static rate changes based on the staked funds ratio, while the dynamic rate adjusts over time based on how far the staked funds ratio is from the 50% target.

  • Adaptive Rewards: Instead of fixed values, the adaptive issuance rate now provides a budget for the whole cycle. This budget is then equally allocated to each block of the cycle and distributed among various rewards based on their relative importance.

New Staking Mechanism: Staking in the Oxford upgrade introduces a new role: the staker. This role complements the existing delegate (or baker) and delegator roles.

  • What's a Staker?: A staker is a network participant who stakes funds towards a delegate’s staking balance. While these staked funds boost the delegate's baking and voting powers, they remain in the staker’s account.

  • Staked vs. Delegated Funds: Staked funds (from stakers and the delegate themselves) count twice as much as delegated funds in determining a delegate’s baking and voting powers.

  • Security and Slashing: Staked funds contribute to the security deposit of their chosen delegate. If the delegate misbehaves, these funds can be slashed. The penalty for misbehavior, like double-signing block proposals, is now 10% of the delegate’s stake.

  • Staking Policy Configuration: Delegates can set policies on staking, determining how much of the rewards go to their liquid balance and how much external stake they accept.

  • Managing Staked Funds: Stakers can control their stakes using pseudo-operations, which are self-transfers. This allows them to stake, unstake, and finalize unstakes, giving them more control over their funds.

Feature Activation: Should the Oxford protocol be accepted, most of its features won't be instantly active. They'll be latent possibilities, awaiting separate activation. Key changes requiring additional approval include:

  • Adaptive issuance.

  • Allowing delegators to become stakers.

  • Changes in weight for staked and delegated funds.

Other changes, like the new interface for stake manipulation and changes in slashing penalties, will be enabled immediately upon Oxford’s activation.

Bottom Line: The Oxford upgrade promises to bring more flexibility, security, and efficiency to the Tezos ecosystem. With Adaptive Issuance and the new staking mechanism, Tezos is positioning itself as a leader in blockchain innovation, ensuring a more dynamic and responsive system for its users.

Oslo vs. Oxford: Baking Benjamins' Twist on Tezos' Adaptive Issuance

While Oxford has been making waves, a community member known as Baking Benjamins has introduced Oslo, a tweaked version of Oxford's Adaptive Issuance model. Let's dive into the nuances.

Oslo's Distinctive Features At a glance, Oslo mirrors Oxford. However, it modifies Adaptive Issuance in three significant ways:

  • The static curve is adjusted to double the minimum, shifting from 0.5% to a 1% minimum APY.

  • Maximum issuance is raised to 7.5%, up from Oxford's 5%.

  • The maximum dynamic ratio is increased to 7%, a jump from Oxford's 5%.

Why Oslo? While Oxford promises a lower minimum in theory, Oslo is expected to reach the target staking ratio faster, stabilizing the dynamic rate at a lower point. Here's why:

  • Security Emphasis: Oslo prioritizes Tezos chain security, providing a robust response during periods of low staking.

  • Staking Ratio: Oslo achieves the ideal 48%-52% staking ratio more rapidly than Oxford. This means Oslo can reduce its emissions sooner, offsetting its initial higher emissions.

  • Stronger Response: In low stake conditions, Oslo can offer a higher maximum dynamic ratio, encouraging participation and fortifying the chain.

  • Achieving Similar Goals: Like Oxford, Oslo aims for better composability, improved tax efficiency, and reduced opportunity costs of not delegating. However, Oslo's primary distinction is doubling the minimum theoretical issuance to ~1%.

Oslo in Action: A Hypothetical Scenario 

Visualizing Oslo's performance over an undefined period, we observe:

  • Oslo attains the 48%-52% staking ratio faster initially.

  • Oslo compensates for its initial higher emissions by reaching the ideal staking ratio sooner.

  • Oslo's higher maximum dynamic ratio allows it to respond more robustly in low stake conditions.

FAQs on Oslo

  • Why 1% Minimum?: A 1% minimal issuance aligns Tezos closer to its competitors on the lower end, potentially establishing a lasting low APY condition.

  • Concerns about 7.5% Emissions?: The initial 7.5% issuance post-AI activation is designed to drive stake faster towards a ~50% staking network. This high issuance will quickly drop below the current 4.6% emissions, trending lower over the long term.

  • Low Emissions Preference?: Oslo might be your best bet. It's more likely to stabilize around a 1% issuance than Oxford's 0.5%. Oslo aims for a secure, stable, low, and predictable APY, which should lead to a rise in tez token valuation.

Cast Your Vote for Oslo If Oslo resonates with you, make your voice heard. Check out the proposal on TzKT and review the source code on GitHub.

Bottom Line: Oslo offers a fresh perspective on Tezos' Adaptive Issuance model. By tweaking the parameters, Baking Benjamins believes Oslo can provide a more dynamic, secure, and responsive system for Tezos users. The choice between Oslo and Oxford will shape the future of Tezos, and the community's voice will be pivotal in this decision.

But, but, but...

The Tezos community is no stranger to innovation, and just when we thought the debate was heating up between Oslo and Oxford, a new contender enters the ring: Oxlo. So, what's the deal with this new proposal?

What's Oxlo anyway?

  • It borrows the static curve from Oslo, which is double that of Oxford.

  • Yet, it sticks to Oxford's issuance limit, capping at 5%.

For the tech-savvy and the curious, the hash for this proposal is ProxLo49pL7UhwZcUrEyPT35sPu321xqEf3T6mX54cNBFsqt2Rp. Dive deeper into its intricacies with the Source Code.

Why Oxlo? The allure of Oxlo lies in its balanced approach. It promises a higher minimum at the coveted 50% staking range, but without the aggressive push. Unlike Oslo, which cranks up the maximum emissions to 7.5%, Oxlo keeps it conservative, maintaining the cap at 5%. The question now is, will the community rally behind this new proposal, Oxford, or Oslo? Only time will tell. You can follow all the voting activity at Tezos Agora.

This Week in the Tezos Ecosystem

The Tezos Ecosystem DAO Joins The PASS: What You Need to Know

The decentralized world is buzzing with excitement as The PASS, the leading DAO aggregator and treasury tracking platform, announces the listing of a new DAO – The Tezos Ecosystem DAO. This platform, which has been instrumental in building a reputation system for DAOs, aggregates the social graph (both onchain and offchain) and provides a comprehensive analysis of treasury assets, including fungible tokens (FT) and non-fungible tokens (NFT). With its innovative approach, The PASS has become the go-to platform for those looking to discover the next big thing in the DAO space.

A Deep Dive into The Tezos Ecosystem DAO

Powered by Tezos, The Tezos Ecosystem DAO is not just another addition to the list. It embodies the spirit of the Tezos community, aiming to curate, cast votes, and allocate the native cryptocurrency, tez, for funding requests. This initiative is a testament to the community-driven ethos of Tezos, where decisions are made straight from the heart of its members.

The announcement also hints at a fresh infusion of resources and a plethora of plans that The Tezos Ecosystem DAO has in store. The community can expect a series of initiatives aimed at supercharging the entire Tezos ecosystem. While the specifics are yet to be unveiled, the anticipation is palpable.

Discover the Magic

For those eager to delve deeper into what The Tezos Ecosystem DAO has to offer, The PASS has provided a direct link to the DAO's page. By visiting ThePASS, enthusiasts can get a firsthand look at the plans, projects, and proposals that are set to shape the future of the Tezos ecosystem.

This Week in Tezos Development

The latest versions of Octez, v18.0~rc1 and v17.3, have been released with several important updates and improvements.

Here are the key points to note:

  • Oxford Support: Octez v18.0~rc1 introduces support for the Oxford protocol, a proposed successor to the current Nairobi protocol on Tezos. This new version is used by the Oxford protocol and includes its executables.

  • Adaptive Issuance and Staking: Octez v18.0 brings new client commands for better staked funds management. It allows delegates to set their staking policies and supports the protocol's additional feature activation vote.

  • Terminology Update: Starting from the Nairobi protocol, "(pre)endorsements" have been renamed to "(pre)attestations". Octez v18.0 adopts this new naming convention, and both terms will be accepted for now.

  • Data Availability Committees (DAC): Octez v18.0~rc1 includes new DAC experimental executables. This feature aims to achieve faster data processing and reduce transaction costs on the Tezos network.

  • Performance Boost: Octez v18.0 enhances the block validation process, halving the total validation time on average. This results in quicker block propagation. Additionally, the Nairobi protocol plugin in Octez v17.3 has been updated for better efficiency.

  • Update Instructions: Detailed update instructions and full changelogs are available on the version 17.3 and version 18.1 release pages. Users can refer to these pages for a step-by-step guide.

The Git tag for the v18.0 release candidate is v18.0~rc1 and the corresponding commit hash is f59e1b0eaa26e97a23824dc4fbd4af2bd8fcf8af.

The Git tag for the v17.3 release is v17.3 and the corresponding commit hash is b2bc6d7f56171a259bd08732f008e7ffa1c9a120.

Now Streaming

TezTalks LIVE featuring Smart Rollups with Nomadic Labs

Join us for a chat with Yann and Thomas from the Tezos core development team, Nomadic Labs. We'll be talking about cool stuff like Layer-2 scaling apps such as Etherlink, Ultra High Throughput (UHT), and more.

Where to Watch: