The Baking Sheet - Issue #193

10 second blocks are coming

This week Tezos is firing on all cylinders with DeFi, Payments, and NFTs

Baanx Secures $20M in Series A Funding to Transform Crypto Payments

In our latest dive into the Tezos Ecosystem, this week we explore the fascinating intersections with traditional finance as we were delighted with quite a remarkable announcement that involved the Tezos Foundation. It's about Baanx, a name that's been echoing through the corridors of fintech for years and has made its way to mainstream adoption. They've managed to raise a cool $20 million in a Series A which signals a significant shift in how we're starting to blend the crypto with the everyday financial systems we've relied on for so long.

What You Need to Know: ‘Baanxing the Un-Baanxed’

Funding Achievement: Baanx has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round, elevating its total capital to over $30 million.

Leading Investors: The round was led by Ledger, the Tezos Foundation, Chiron, and the British Business Bank, marking a strong vote of confidence from notable entities in the field.

Strategic Partnership: Baanx is known for managing the Ledger card product in collaboration with Mastercard, targeting the U.K. and European markets. This partnership represents a significant move towards integrating cryptocurrency into mainstream finance.

Expansion Plans: With the new funding, Baanx aims to extend its innovative crypto payment solutions to the United States and Latin America, building upon its existing user base of over 150,000.

Innovation at the Forefront: Baanx is developing non-custodial, on-chain products that allow users to maintain full control over their funds while facilitating real-world crypto transactions.

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Backed by the Best

Led by a cadre of notable players including Ledger, the Tezos Foundation, Chiron, and the British Business Bank, this funding round boosts Baanx's total capital to something over $30 million. Now, why does this matter, you might wonder? Well, Baanx isn't your run-of-the-mill crypto firm. They're spearheading the charge to make cryptocurrency transactions as simple and as integrated into our daily lives as swiping a debit card.

Bridging Worlds: Crypto Meets Mainstream Finance

Remember the Ledger card product? That's Baanx's handiwork, in partnership with none other than Mastercard, aiming at the U.K. and European markets. This move is nothing short of revolutionary, bridging the gap between the burgeoning crypto market and the established giants of traditional finance. It's a daring leap towards a future where Tezos buys your morning coffee as easily as pounds or euros do.

The Next Chapter: Expanding Horizons

What's next for Baanx, you ask? With their sights set on the United States and Latin America, and with a user base already over 150,000 strong, they're not just expanding; they're on a mission to transform the global landscape of crypto payments. And with the backing of Ledger, they're also ensuring that this new world is not just convenient but secure.

As I mull over these developments, I can't help but feel we're on the cusp of something monumental. Baanx's journey, fueled by this latest round of funding, is a testament to the growing synergy between the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency and the established avenues of traditional finance. It's a fascinating time to be observing, documenting, and indeed participating in this evolution. The road ahead for Baanx and the wider crypto ecosystem is undoubtedly filled with challenges, but the potential for reshaping how we interact with money is immense.

In this stream of thoughts, one thing becomes crystal clear: we're not just witnessing a change; we're part of a financial uprising and maybe this time it will be different.

Reflecting on Tezos at NFT Paris 2024

In the heart of winter, Paris transformed into a beacon of digital art, hosting NFT Paris 2024 at the Grand Palais Éphémère on February 23rd and 24th. The city, already a masterpiece of art and culture, provided the perfect backdrop for an event that brought together Tezos enthusiasts, developers, and artists. Amidst this congregation, the Nomadic Labs team, in collaboration with Trilitech, set out to unveil the opportunities within the Tezos ecosystem to a keen audience of builders, developers, and prospective partners.

Paris Lights Up with Tezos Innovation

The event was a kaleidoscope of innovation, with over 100 exhibitors and immersive experiences drawing participants into the world of Tezos. The Nomadic Labs booth became a hub of activity, where the team engaged attendees in discussions about the practical applications and potential within the Tezos ecosystem. Watching the team in action, their passion and expertise were palpable, embodying the spirit of exploration and discovery that defines the Tezos community.

Cédric Roche, Nomadic Labs' Director of Adoption and Support, perfectly captured the essence of the event, noting the diverse backgrounds of blockchain enthusiasts converging to explore Tezos. The interactions, both new and familiar, underscored the vibrant and growing ecosystem surrounding Tezos, fostering a sense of unity and shared ambition among participants.

A Stroll Through the Artistic Alleys of Tezos

The conference served as a grand stage for dialogue, with Trilitech's Head of Community, Vinciane Jones, participating in a panel that dived into integrating traditional art collections with the Web3 world. This discussion highlighted Tezos' unique role in marrying the legacy of art with the digital age, a recurring theme that resonated throughout the event. It was a reminder of the blockchain's power to transcend boundaries and redefine how we interact with art.

Showcase Under the Paris Sky: Tezos' Creative Horizon

NFT Paris became a testament to Tezos' versatility, featuring projects from across the globe that push the envelope of what's possible with blockchain. Agoria's Σ Lumina installation stood out, inviting participants to create digital works using their breath, immortalized as Tezos NFTs. This innovative fusion of technology and art captured the imagination, reflecting the depth of creativity within the Tezos ecosystem. Objkt's display of works by artists minting on Tezos further celebrated the community's artistic vibrancy, showcasing the rich tapestry of creativity that Tezos supports.

Beyond the Seine: Charting the Future of Tezos

As the curtains closed on NFT Paris 2024, the event marked not just a gathering but a significant milestone for the Tezos ecosystem. The dedication of teams like Nomadic Labs and Trilitech, combined with the community's fervor, paints a promising picture for the future of Tezos. With a slew of initiatives on the horizon, the commitment to fostering the ecosystem's growth is unmistakable.

Looking forward, the journey into the world of Tezos continues, with more events and opportunities to delve into blockchain and digital innovation. For those captivated by the unfolding narrative of Tezos, staying connected and exploring further is just the beginning. The adventure into the future of blockchain and digital creativity is underway, and the Tezos community is leading the charge, inviting everyone to join in this exciting exploration.

Shifting gears into Tezos DeFi, as spring breathes new life into the world, an exciting opportunity unfolds for DeFi enthusiasts and builders. The launch of Etherlink's DeFi Catalyst Accelerator (DCA) promises teams a significant opportunity to build on Tezos. With applications open until March 31st, 2024, DCA beckons exceptional founders who are driving REAL DeFi innovation. Nestled within the vibrant city of Singapore, this accelerator program is a beacon for startups and developers looking to build on Etherlink, offering a blend of mentorship, funding, and unparalleled network opportunities.

A Gateway to DeFi in the Heart of Singapore

At the core of DCA lies a meticulously designed 6-week program, commencing with an intensive 2-week in-person boot camp in Singapore. This initial phase is more than just an introduction; it's a deep dive into the DeFi realm, facilitated by the Core DeFi team of the Tezos ecosystem and seasoned mentors. Participants will immerse themselves in the local ecosystem, validating ideas, and setting the stage for what's to come. The following four weeks, although remote, promise continuous mentorship and expert sessions, covering everything from UI/UX to core engineering and legal intricacies.

Key Details of the DeFi Catalyst Accelerator

Application Period: Open until March 31st, 2024.

Program Start: 6-week journey beginning on April 15th, 2024, with the first two weeks in-person in Singapore.

Target Audience: Early-stage projects, with a particular focus on founders at the Idea or Ideation stage.

Funding: Potential investment of $200k to support startups during their seed round.

Mentorship: Direct support from the Core DeFi team of the Tezos ecosystem and experienced mentors.

Expert Sessions: Workshops on UI/UX, Product Development, Core Engineering, Liquidity, Security, and Legal aspects.

Networking: Multiple in-person networking events, including meetings with leading Asia-based Web3 investors and community meetups in Singapore.

Program Costs: Free, with stipends provided for teams during their stay in Singapore.

Fostering Innovation and Connections

DCA isn't merely about the transfer of knowledge; it's about fostering a vibrant community. With multiple in-person networking opportunities, including an exclusive evening with leading Asia-based Web3 investors, participants will turbocharge their network, gaining invaluable insights and potential partnerships. The program is especially keen on supporting projects at the Idea or Ideation stage, offering a unique blend of guidance to nurture these early-stage ventures into viable DeFi solutions.

A Palette of Opportunities Across the DeFi Spectrum

The scope of DCA extends far and wide, targeting a diverse range of sectors within the DeFi ecosystem. From user-friendly Web 2.5 DeFi platforms to crypto neobanks to innovative trading marketplaces and real-world asset integration, the accelerator aims to enrich the community with on-chain projects that boast a financial angle. This holistic approach not only amplifies the potential impact of DeFi innovations but also paves the way for a future where digital finance is accessible, secure, and universally adopted.

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Empowering Founders with Resources and Funding

Understanding the challenges faced by startups, DCA offers a robust support system, including a potential $200k funding to aid in seed round fundraising. Beyond financial support, teams will gain direct access to a wealth of resources: mentorship across various domains, co-working spaces in Singapore, and workshops designed to hone their project's competitive edge. This comprehensive package ensures that every participant is well-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of DeFi, transforming visionary ideas into tangible solutions.

Embarking on the DeFi Journey with DCA

As the application deadline approaches, the anticipation within the DeFi community is palpable. The DCA program represents not just an accelerator but a cornerstone in the evolution of decentralized finance. With the backing of the Tezos Foundation and its partners, along with strategic guidance from Etherlink, DCA is poised to be a catalyst for transformative DeFi projects.

For those standing at the crossroads of innovation, now is the time to step forward and seize this opportunity. Apply to the DeFi Catalyst Accelerator, and embark on a journey that could redefine the boundaries of finance as we know it. The future of DeFi awaits, and it starts in Singapore with DCA.

This Week in the Tezos Ecosystem

Tezos Foundation Grantee: Sign-in-with-Tezos (SIWT)

The Tezos Foundation has awarded a grant to the innovative project, Sign-in-with-Tezos (SIWT). Leveraging the robust capabilities of the Tezos blockchain, SIWT is set to offer a secure and decentralized solution for online user authentication. This open-source initiative stands at the forefront of redefining how users authenticate across various online platforms, ensuring enhanced security and user privacy.

Collaborating closely with Kukai Wallet, SIWT is actively developing a TZIP for secure message signing, marking a significant step towards its goal of revolutionizing the authentication landscape. Furthermore, the project's commitment to standards and interoperability is underscored by its efforts to adhere to Chain Standards.

SIWT is also working on providing a Proof of Concept (POC) for an OpenID Connect (OIDC) bridge, which will be integrated into Tezos Agora, broadening the accessibility and utility of Tezos-based authentication solutions.

This grant not only highlights the Tezos Foundation's dedication to fostering innovation within the Tezos ecosystem but also underscores the potential of blockchain technology to offer more secure, user-centric online experiences. For more details on SIWT's groundbreaking work, visit their website at

This Week in Tezos Development

Nomadic Labs, in collaboration with Trilitech, Nomadic Labs, in partnership with Trilitech, is excited to share a significant update aimed at improving the Tezos blockchain's efficiency and user experience. Through rigorous testing and analysis, we propose reducing the Layer 1 block time from 15 to 10 seconds, marking a pivotal step towards a faster, fully decentralized Tezos.

Key Highlights:

  • Faster Block Time: The initiative seeks to decrease Tezos’ block time to 10 seconds, down from the current 15 seconds. This change promises to improve two critical aspects of the blockchain experience: latency and finality.

  • Improved Latency: A shorter block time means quicker transaction processing, enhancing the overall user experience by reducing wait times.

  • Enhanced Finality: The time required for a transaction to be considered irreversible will be significantly reduced, thereby minimizing the window for potential double-spending or fraudulent activities. This boosts the blockchain's reliability and security for high-value transactions.

  • Tenderbake Consensus Algorithm: With Tezos' Tenderbake, finality is achieved after just two blocks. The proposed block time reduction would thus enable a time to finality of approximately 20 seconds.

  • Decentralization and Security: Despite the push for faster block times, Tezos remains committed to maintaining a high degree of decentralization without compromising security or stability. The ecosystem continues to prioritize inclusivity and low entry barriers for bakers (validators).

Hardware Recommendations for Bakers:

To support this transition, we recommend the following minimum hardware specifications for bakers, ensuring that the network remains secure, stable, and decentralized:

  • 3 CPU cores

  • 8GB of RAM

  • 100GB of SSD storage

  • A reliable, low-latency internet connection

These specifications are based on comprehensive testing, including scenarios with high network load and simulated conditions such as Ledger Nano S signing delays and unstable network environments.

Path to 10 Seconds:

This initiative is a culmination of years of optimization efforts within the Tezos network. Starting with a block time of 60 seconds in 2018, successive reductions have been made possible through algorithmic tweaks and enhancements. The proposed 10-second block time is included in the upcoming "P" protocol proposal, following successful testing that even supported a block time of 8 seconds, with 10 seconds chosen to provide an extra safety margin.

The move to a 10-second block time represents a significant leap forward in making Tezos not only faster but also more resilient and user-friendly. By carefully balancing the need for speed with the imperatives of security, stability, and decentralization, Tezos continues to set the standard for next-generation blockchain technology. We invite the community to engage with this exciting development, as we work together to achieve a more efficient and decentralized future for Tezos.

Upcoming Tezos Events

Tezos Portugal Presents: 1st Meetup in Porto

Tezos Portugal is thrilled to extend an invitation to its inaugural social meetup in the vibrant city of Porto! This event promises an engaging evening filled with networking, idea-sharing, and the opportunity to delve into the exciting world of Tezos with fellow Tezonians.

Meetup Details:

  • Date: March 9

  • Time: From 7pm

  • Location: Selena, Porto

STELLAR: An Immersive Art Experience Powered by Tezos

Join us at STELLAR for a transformative art journey, proudly brought to you by Victoria West and powered by Tezos. This immersive experience is set to unleash a wave of creativity and innovation, featuring incredible speakers, live minting sessions, electrifying music, and the opportunity to forge connections with both new and familiar faces.

Event Details:

  • Date: April 2, 2024

  • Time: From 2pm to 11pm EDT

  • Location: 393 Broadway, Lume Studios, Brooklyn, NY 11211, United States

  • Registration: visit the eventbrite page

About this Event:

Spanning 9 hours, STELLAR is designed to be an art experience like no other, hosted at the iconic 393 Broadway in New York City. Attendees are invited to immerse themselves in a world where art meets technology, fostering connections and sparking conversations in the vibrant Tezos community.

Highlights include:

  • Live Minting: Witness the creation of art in real-time.

  • Incredible Speakers: Gain insights from leading voices in the art and blockchain spaces.

  • Music: Enjoy live performances that complement the immersive art experience.

  • Connection: Meet and mingle with like-minded individuals passionate about art and innovation.

Special Note:

  • Commemorative Ticket Art: Don’t miss the chance to collect exclusive commemorative ticket art available on

Prepare for an unforgettable journey at STELLAR, where art and technology converge to create a truly unique experience. We look forward to welcoming you and sharing this incredible moment together.

See you there!

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TezTalks Radio: Kaloh

In this episode, Marissa Trew interviews Hugo Santana, the founder of the Kaloh newsletter and The Blind Gallery. They discuss Hugo's journey into the world of Web3 and blockchain art, as well as the evolution of the art marketplaces on Tezos.

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