Arthur Breitman: Tezos – A Self-Amending Crypto-Ledger

The lack of an explicit governance mechanism has created deep problems for Bitcoin. Ethereum, with the DAO-related soft/hard-fork discussions, may face similar challenges ahead. Yet, already in 2014 Arthur Breitman quietly started working on cryptocurrency network Tezos that has an explicit mechanism to let coinholders vote on protocol upgrades.

Our discussion with Breitman centered around how explicit governance could lead to a more secure and evolutionary protocol. We also discussed Tezos’ approach to smart contract that tries to prevent bug-riddled and insecure smart contracts such as the DAO which has thrown Ethereum into a deep crisis.

Topics covered included:

  • Why stakeholders voting on forks can prevent consensus attacks
  • The mechanics of Tezos’ governance
  • How an upgrade mechanism could allow Tezos to rapidly and radically evolve
  • Why the programming language in which smart contracts are written is crucial for security
  • Why a functional language that allows formal proofs such as OCaml is more suited for smart contracts than Ethereum’s solidity
  • The road ahead for Tezos