The Baking Sheet - Issue #195

The History of Tezos Upgrades

Upgrading Tezos: How continuous evolution has made Tezos the leader in blockchain tech.

By Cryptonio

Tezos isn’t just about the buzzwords or the hype; it’s about a continuous quest to improve, to innovate, and to meet the constantly evolving demands of the blockchain world while sticking to core values like decentralization, censorship resistance, and being permissionless. To achieve that, Tezos has gone through a journey of adaptation, growth, and resilience that’s quite remarkable.

To date (March 2024), with 15 protocol upgrades total, this journey has been punctuated by key milestones and updates that have not only kept Tezos relevant but has also pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with blockchain technology, and in this article, we will look at exactly that. The evolution of Tezos!

Origins and launch

Tezos was founded by Arthur and Kathleen Breitman with the vision of creating a blockchain that could evolve by itself over time, circumventing the disruptive hard forks that plagued other networks. This vision materialized into a blockchain where stakeholders actively participate in a defined governance process which precipitates the blockchain’s evolution.

The mainnet launch of Tezos in 2018 was marked by its novel approach to consensus, combining proof-of-stake (PoS) with a unique on-chain governance mechanism that empowered the community. This innovative start set Tezos apart as a platform built on the principles of collaboration and continuous improvement.

Since then and through its on-chain governance, Tezos has gone through 15 protocol upgrades, named after historical cities, in alphabetical order and you can find them all listed here. These upgrades have brought major improvements to the protocol. To maintain brevity in this article, rather than looking into each upgrade individually, I will highlight key areas of evolution and improvement within Tezos, alongside the specific upgrades where these changes were implemented.

Key Upgrades and Milestones

  • Adapting to Needs: Roll Size

In the early stages of Tezos, a “roll” was defined as the minimum quantity of tez required to obtain baking (validation) rights, initially set at 10,000 tez. This threshold underwent reductions: first to 8,000 tez with the Athens upgrade, and then to 6,000 tez following the Ithaca upgrade. The Ithaca upgrade not only adjusted the roll size but also revamped the baking rewards system, transitioning from a roll-based to a stake-based framework.

Under the original system, a baker’s (Tezos validator) stake was quantified solely by the number of rolls they held. For instance, possessing 11,000 tez would still categorize a baker as having just one roll under the protocol’s view. The introduction of Ithaca refined this approach, ensuring every additional tez contributed towards a baker’s total stake, thereby influencing their rewards more granularly.

The subsequent Jakarta upgrade further evolved the Tezos ecosystem by eliminating the roll concept from the governance process. As a result, a baker’s stake and voting weight are now denominated in mutez, the smallest unit of tez, equivalent to 0.000001 tez, enhancing the precision and flexibility of stake and governance participation.

  • Consensus Algorithm Evolution and Reduced Block Times

With the Babylon upgrade, improvements were made to the Emmy+ consensus algorithm to boost network efficiency. Following that, Granada marked a transition from Emmy* to Emmy+, which also halved block times from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. Then after Granada, another large change in the consensus algorithm occurred with the adoption of Tenderbake during the Ithaca upgrade that introduced deterministic finality which enhanced the security of transactions. Finally, in Mumbai, block times were further reduced from 30 seconds to 15 seconds making the user experience even faster.

  • Achieving Efficiency: A Focus on Reducing Costs

Tezos has also set a benchmark in operational efficiency, as evidenced by the substantial reductions in gas and storage fees across various upgrades. Delphi marked a significant milestone by reducing gas fees by up to ten times and slashing storage fees by a factor of four. Florence followed with enhancements in the Michelson interpreter, which lowered gas consumption for smart contract execution thereby making interactions with complex smart contracts substantially cheaper.

In the Granada upgrade, gas consumption related to the execution of deployed smart contracts saw reductions by a factor of three to six, further lowering the cost for developers to deploy and interact with their smart contracts. Nairobi introduced another major reduction in gas consumption for various operations, including simple tez transfers and smart contract calls, paving the way for an up to 8x increase in the transactions per second (TPS) capabilities of Tezos.

  • Feature Innovations: Expanding Tezos’ Capabilities

Tezos has consistently introduced features that expand the platform’s capabilities, addressing both specific user needs and broader market demands. Some of these features are the introduction of privacy-preserving transactions and on-chain permissions (a.k.a. Tickets) with the Edo upgrade, the launch of “Liquidity Baking” in Granada, and the highly anticipated Enshrined Smart Rollups in Mumbai that enable Tezos to scale in one of the most decentralized ways across the industry. These kind of features reflect Tezos’ commitment to technological excellence, scalability, and innovation.

Never Stop Evolving.

With 15 major upgrades where each upgrade sets the foundations for future ones, it’s clear that Tezos isn’t just keeping up; it’s bringing new ideas and improvements that matter. From making it easier for more people to participate, to speeding things up and cutting costs when interacting with the blockchain, to paving the way of truly decentralized scalability, all of these upgrades are showcasing the flexibility and evolutionary capabilities of Tezos.

However, this journey is far from over. Even though the past upgrades have introduced huge improvements, I feel like we are just getting started and the best is still ahead of us. A brief glance at the forthcoming upgrades and features will make this clear. Innovations such as the Data Availability Layer, Adaptive Issuance, Etherlink, and additional reductions in block time are just a few examples of what’s on the horizon (for more details, refer to my article “Tezos in 2024: A Few Things To Be Excited About!”).

So if you are interested in a blockchain that doesn’t just talk the talk but walks the walk, then dive into the Tezos universe and explore the blockchain that always adapts, innovates, and — Never Stops Evolving!

Tezos Community Rewards: Last Call For March Nominations!

As March 2024 draws to a close and only 9 days remain for nominations, the Tezos Commons is eager to spotlight the outstanding members of the Tezos community through its Community Rewards Program (CRP). This initiative serves as a testament to the exceptional dedication and innovation within the ecosystem, honoring those who stand out in their contributions.

March Nominations: A Call to Recognize Excellence

At the core of the Tezos ecosystem, the CRP is a cornerstone initiative by the Tezos Commons aimed at driving adoption and reinforcing support. Each month, the program allocates up to 5,000 tez to community members who exemplify unparalleled commitment and innovation.

How to Nominate

Identifying a deserving individual within the Tezos community is now more accessible than ever. The nomination process has been refined to a brief set of three questions, ensuring ease and efficiency. Additionally, for those active on social media, using the hashtag #TezosCRP on platforms like Discord, Reddit, or Twitter will make sure your nominations are recognized.

Criteria for Excellence

The selection process for CRP winners is meticulous, emphasizing the quality of contributions, engagement levels, and tangible evidence of involvement. This methodical approach guarantees that the accolades go to those who genuinely enrich the Tezos environment.

Celebrating February 2024's Achievers

The Tezos community recently celebrated the individuals and efforts that made a significant impact in February 2024:

  • Assimilation Award: Recognizing community members like @spike_0124 and @henryjgbanayat for their seamless integration efforts.

  • Drill Sergeant Award: Awarded to @Rossa774 for exemplary leadership.

  • And many more across various categories, including Formal Verification, Helping Hand, and Influencer Awards.

The Final Stretch: 9 Days Left to Nominate for March

With just 9 days remaining, the search for March's CRP standouts is heating up. Have you encountered someone within the Tezos community who deserves recognition? Now is the time to nominate them or use #TezosCRP to highlight their contributions.

Acknowledging the Winners

Awardees receive their prizes through Kukai and DirectAuth, with the Tezos Commons team on standby to assist with any issues. This process not only rewards the winners but also showcases the vibrant, dedicated nature of the Tezos community.

As we look forward to the announcement of March's CRP winners, it's clear that their achievements reflect the dynamic and progressive spirit of the Tezos ecosystem. Congratulations in advance to all future recipients – your efforts are what make Tezos stand out!

Want to participate? Learn more here at our dedicated page

This Week in the Tezos Ecosystem

One interesting project that is focused on the Tezos art community is Here & Now, which has dedicated itself to creating immersive experiences that spotlight artists from across the globe. Since its inception, Here & Now has supported over 200 artists through its events, establishing a vibrant community deeply connected to the evolving culture of Tezos.

Here & Now's journey began in 2021 with the ambitious goal of launching a series of virtual experiences. These were not just exhibitions but were designed to be profound immersive journeys into the creative realms of artists who have found a home on the Tezos blockchain. The initiative was more than a platform for digital art; it became a testament to the burgeoning culture and community that Tezos has nurtured over the years.

The announcement of Edition 6 of Here & Now heralds what is promised to be the project's most expansive showcase yet. Slated to launch soon, this upcoming edition aims to elevate the already high standard set by its predecessors, offering both artists and audiences new dimensions of engagement and interaction. The anticipation surrounding this event underscores the significant impact that Here & Now has had in promoting the arts on Tezos, highlighting the blockchain's role not only as a technology platform but as a catalyst for cultural expression and community growth.

As Here & Now continues to weave the fabric of Tezos's artistic community, you can visit their landing page to learn more about their next event.

Tezos AMA: Let's talk about Adaptive Issuance, DAL, 10s Blocks

If you missed the fascinating AMA session with Tezos Co-founder Arthur Breitman and the brilliant minds from Nomadic Labs, now’s your chance to catch up on the insightful discussion!

Held on March 20th, this community call dove into the intricacies of the upcoming P protocol proposal among other captivating topics, including Adaptive Issuance, Decentralized Autonomous Legislatures (DAL), and the shift to 10-second blocks. 🌟

With over 700 community members tuning in, the conversation was rich with details about Tezos’ roadmap and the technological innovations set to redefine the platform. is now LIVE!

In case you missed it: has officially launched! Discover an exquisite collection of NFTs by globally celebrated artists, showcased by some of the most esteemed galleries in the world.

🎨 Dive into the artistic vision of Manolo Valdes, Ron Arad, Li Tianbing, Lita Cabellut, Oda Jaune, Summer Wheat, among others.

Explore the collection now:

This Week in Tezos Development

Coming Soon

Marigold has some exciting news with the latest developments aimed at transforming how tickets are transferred within the network. These innovations come as a very early tease of the upcoming Protocol Q, offering a more intuitive and efficient way to manage ticket transfers, especially for developers and users who engage with smart contracts and digital assets on Tezos.

Key Details

  • Transfer Tickets to Smart Contracts: This new capability allows users to easily transfer tickets from their personal accounts directly to smart contracts. This streamlines interactions and transactions within the Tezos ecosystem, making it simpler and more efficient to move digital assets where they need to go.

  • New Michelson Ticket Constructor: With the introduction of a fresh Michelson Ticket constructor, the process of creating and handling tickets becomes much clearer and more straightforward. This constructor provides a more explicit way to define tickets, enhancing readability and reducing the potential for errors.

  • Why It Matters: These updates mark a significant improvement in user experience for ticket transactions on the Tezos network. By enabling direct transfers to smart contracts and introducing a more understandable ticket constructor, the Tezos community is making strides in making blockchain interactions more accessible and user-friendly.

  • How to Get Started: For developers and users looking to dive into these new features, detailed examples and end-to-end test scenarios are available on the Tezos Agora forum. These resources provide valuable insights into how to utilize these enhancements in your projects and applications.

The introduction of direct ticket transfers to smart contracts and the new Michelson Ticket constructor represent key advancements in the Tezos ecosystem. These features not only improve the usability and functionality of tickets on the network but also align with Tezos’ ongoing commitment to innovation and user-centric development. Start exploring these new capabilities today and discover how they can enhance your Tezos experience.

Nomadic Labs shared a decentralized governance framework for Etherlink's Layer 2 blockchain, drawing inspiration from the well-established Tezos Layer 1 governance model. This initiative aims to infuse Etherlink's governance with unparalleled fairness, transparency, and community consensus, allowing Tezos bakers to have a say in Etherlink's kernel upgrades and sequencer operator selections.

Key Details of the Governance Framework:

  • Kernel Governance: Utilizes a Tezos Layer 1 smart contract for decentralized management of Etherlink kernel upgrades, empowering bakers to vote on and propose changes.

  • Governance Stages: Etherlink's governance mirrors Tezos' model but simplifies the process into three main stages: Proposal, Promotion, and Cooldown periods, each playing a crucial role in the decision-making process.

  • Security Governance: Introduces a robust framework for addressing urgent security issues, requiring higher quorum and supermajority votes for rapid response without compromising community consensus.

  • Sequencer Committee Governance: Allows bakers to propose and select operators for Etherlink's Sequencer Committee, ensuring the rollup's architecture supports low latency and a superior user experience.

Empowering Community Participation:

Etherlink's governance model is built on the lessons learned from Tezos' 15 successful protocol upgrades, reflecting a commitment to community-driven development. The framework is designed to:

  • Ensure transparent and agile governance processes.

  • Promote efficient and community-driven upgrades.

  • Empower bakers through active participation in governance.

Join the Movement:

The success of Etherlink's decentralized governance hinges on the active involvement of the Tezos community, especially bakers. Preliminary versions of the governance contracts are being tested on Ghostnet, with Etherlink's testnet already showcasing their potential through weekly kernel upgrades.

As we prepare to launch this innovative governance model on the Etherlink Layer 2 Rollup, we invite the Tezos community to engage with us. Your feedback, participation in voting, and support in shaping Etherlink's future are invaluable to creating a governance model that truly reflects the community's voice.

Let's come together to forge a path toward a more transparent, fair, and community-driven future for Etherlink, leveraging the collective wisdom and experience of the Tezos ecosystem. Join us in shaping the future of decentralized governance and making Etherlink's evolution as inclusive and impactful as Tezos' own journey.

Upcoming Tezos Events

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:

  • Incredible Artworks & Live Minting: Witness the creation of art in real time, featuring contributions from celebrated artists such as Laurence Fuller, Graphite Method, and Andressa Furletti.

  • Performances & Panel Discussion: Be enthralled by performances from Laurence Fuller, Graphite Method, and Andressa Furletti. Engage in a thought-provoking panel discussion led by the insightful banana man, Aaron Vick, alongside distinguished panelists Leslie A. Spurlock, Sunny Sangwan, Empress Trash, Jen Panepinto, and Joanne.

  • Party Vibes by Guido Corleone: To cap off the evening, Guido Corleone will bring the party vibes, ensuring STELLAR is not just an event, but a vibrant celebration of art, technology, and community spirit.

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!

Now Streaming

🔴 Now Streaming: TezTalks Live featuring Lyzi

Join us as we sit down with the Lyzi team. For those who might not know, Lyzi is the app that lets consumers pay for purchases with their crypto and provides an end-to-end, fully regulated platform that allows brands and merchants to adopt crypto payments and offer loyalty rewards.

Where to Watch: