Tezos Is About to Enact Its First-Ever On-Chain Blockchain Update

After nearly three months of voting by token holders, the Tezos blockchain will undertake a series of backwards-incompatible changes to the network on Wednesday.

Called Athens A, the upgrade proposal was the first to undergo the networks self-amendment process in which bakers on Tezos – equivalent to miners on bitcoin or ethereum – stake tokens bundled into rolls to show their support for or against competing upgrade proposals. Tezos is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain with an estimated valuation of over $1 billion.

Teeing up this weeks event, a developer group known as Nomadic Labs kick-started Tezos first on-chain governance process back in February. At the time, the news was a notable given the turbulence that took place during the projects early days.

As reported in March, Nomadic Labs put forward two proposals: Athens A and Athens B. Athens A and Athens B both suggested a reduction to the minimum amount of tokens – called a roll size – thats required for a user to become a baker. This would reduce the barrier to entry for baking and encourage a higher number of bakers on the Tezos blockchain.

Athens A, on the other hand, also suggested an increase to the computation or gas limit of Tezos blocks in effort to make smart contract deployment easier for application developers building atop the platform.

After three months of voting and testing, bakers have now officially passed the final voting threshold to activate Athens A on Tezos main network.

As noted by Jacob Arluck from the Tocqueville Group – a for-profit business development entity funded by the Tezos Foundation – bakers actually passed this last round of voting last Tuesday with over 46,000 rolls cast.

Now, Athens A is expected to be activated on the main network sometime tomorrow on block number 458,752.

Styles of on-chain governance

Tezos final voting phase – called the promotion period – required a minimum participation level of at least 83.02 percent of all Tezos rolls. In addition, a supermajority of these rolls needed to be staked in favor of activating Athens A on the mainnet.

Contending that the voter turnout for this first governance process on Tezos is the highest for any system like this, Arluck said:

Its not like MakerDAO or Aragon where a whale can just control everything easily…Its not purely a bunch of whales voting in our system. Its people voting on behalf of a very large number of people.

So-called whale voters have been a contentious issue for other blockchain projects and their systems of on-chain governance. For the past few weeks, programmatic loan system MakerDAO have been seeing one to two large token holders dictating the outcome of their governance polls.

While governance polls dont have any impact on changes to the MakerDAO system, they do initiate executive polling rounds in which the same token holders vote continuously to either activate or ignore a change into the system.

In addition, the most recent voti ...

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Tags: Tezos, Voting, Blockchain, Jacob Arluck, Governance, Athens A, Athens, MakerDAO, Tezos Foundation, Nomadic Labs