Why Tezos Mainnet Matters

Tezos enthusiasts have discovered that patience is a virtue

You know that the Tezos Foundation has found its groove when it casually drops a 9 word tweet on a Friday afternoon Zug time that shakes the crypto world.

Those 9 words are the penultimate statement that thousands of Tezos enthusiasts have been waiting to hear — only to be surpassed by the news that Mainnet has launched and is running smoothly.

A few community members have been on this journey for nearly half a decade, since Arthur Breitman released the Tezos whitepaper. Many more came to Tezos during the fundraiser in the summer of 2017, and even more with the launch of Betanet on June 30, 2018.

Regardless of when you discovered Tezos, the launch of the Tezos Mainnet is the milestone that turns all of the hard work into a truly decentralized, immutable, and trustless blockchain.

Mainnet matters for several reasons:

  1. It removes the “Beta” label from our chain, and the associated perception that transactions have a high degree of persistence risk.

It’s easy to have this opinion. After all the warning below was persistent when running the Tezos Betanet software.

Those of who have been running the Alphanet, Zeronet, and Betanet over the past year have experienced the solid code created by the core developers. The Betanet ran almost without exception and never came close to any of the risks that a less competently developed blockchain could face. Never-the-less, the Betanet moniker has served as a deterrent for larger organizations from publicly launching Tezos projects.

Exchanges that found it trivial to add another ERC20 token representing a “yet-to-be-launched blockchain project” have been much more cautious with integrating a new chain, especially when it came with dire warnings like Tezos provided.

2. It legitimizes the decentralized stance of the Tezos ecosystem.

From the beginning, Arthur’s whitepaper saw Tezos as a decentralized project with no permanent controlling entity other than the community that emerged around the on-chain governance mechanisms. Because of the contract between the Tezos Foundation which ran the fundraiser, and DLS, the company that holds the IP for the Tezos blockchain, it has been necessary for the Foundation to designate the timing of the launch of Mainnet. Now that that is behind us, the Foundation can live up to its commitment to be just another participant in the ecosystem.

This fully decentralized model on which we embark is a bit scary. Humans have existed in societies that have almost always featured a leadership hierarchy, and it’s a model that we are comfortable with. “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.” But that is anathema to Tezos. With our chain, there is no one person or organization in charge. Nothing can be done by fiat. All decisions on how the chain works, what it will do in the future, what the economic constants and constraints should be, now rest in the hands of the token holders. With Mainnet, Arthur, Kathleen, and Ryan have no more say over how the chain will operate then you or I do.*

3. It opens the door to broader developer, individual and business engagement.

The first principles of Tezos hit the sweet spot of many libertarian-capitalist viewpoints.

  • No single entity controls the chain — in fact over 400 different “bakers” currently maintain consensus — a number that will surely increase with Mainnet.
  • The technical stack features a heavy focus on security and creating bug-proof applications through formal verification.
  • The proof of stake mechanisms create a model that lets all XTZ holders participate in running the chain and capturing rewards for doing so.

Tezos has been an amazing project to watch and participate in, and it is a project that is just getting started. In a world where many blockchain teams seem to feature hype over substance, Tezos Mainnet offers an exceptional antidote.

*The caveat here being that Tezos initially operates on a one coin, one vote model. XTZ holders will use this voting mechanic to attempt to move the protocol in directions that they believe will maximize long-term value.