Florence, Tezos’ Sixth Protocol Upgrade Goes Live, Bringing Further Gas Optimizations & More

TQ Tezos
TQ Tezos
Published in
4 min readMay 11, 2021

The latest upgrade arrives merely 3 months after the previous upgrade amid exponential growth and activity on the self-amending blockchain

It seems like only yesterday that Tezos underwent its fifth upgrade (codenamed Edo), which added some significant features to the ever-evolving platform such as Tickets, the Adoption Period, and Sapling. Merely 3 months after this milestone, the Tezos network has adopted its sixth upgrade, named Florence after the iconic city in Italy. So what does this upgrade bring to the rapidly evolving Tezos blockchain? Let’s dig into it.

Just as Edo brought on several feature upgrades and refinements, Florence continues the strong track-record of optimizations and refinements that has made Tezos synonymous with rapid evolution that can absorb the latest and greatest features in the space.

Before we dive deeper into Florence, let’s also take a moment to look at the exponential growth in network activity that it has experienced over the past few months; this exponential growth was really catalyzed in the Delphi release, which switched to a rapid release model and included changes that allowed smart contract activity to be more viable. The resulting subsequent activity illustrates how effective this has been for the Tezos ecosystem overall.

Number of contract calls performed on Tezos, by month.

The network activity has surpassed >1M contract calls in one month, indicating rapidly growing interest and engagement with the Tezos ecosystem tools and projects. Of these, NFT-focused projects like Hic et Nunc and Kalamint are helping fuel this growth as artists of all genres discover the Tezos alternative for their NFT needs. Tezos provides a high performance, rapidly evolving, and low carbon footprint platform that vastly outshines its competitors. Neither the growth, nor the advantages that Tezos currently possesses, are an accident — these are by design, further facilitated by its ability to rapidly evolve and upgrade.


Just as Florence, the city, found itself at the nexus of the Renaissance with architecture, art, literature, mathematics, music, philosophy, politics, religion and science all converging into a creative melting pot, so does Florence, the protocol upgrade. We mean this in the very literal sense — this protocol upgrade comes at a time where artists, programmers, scientists, entertainers, architects, brands and more are discovering NFTs, and blockchain by proxy. The resulting experiences and interactions are akin to that of a true digital renaissance.

In this sixth protocol upgrade, Florence brings the following improvements, among others:

  1. Twice the Maximum Operation Size — with this update, the maximum size of operations is doubled, which results in more than doubling the maximum size of a smart contract. This is particularly attractive to developers who are working on complicated applications that require such smart contract sizes.
  2. Gas Optimizations — In Florence, running more complex smart contracts at lower costs is possible due to the gas optimizations that have taken place. Overall, the gas arithmetic is also sped up by a factor of ten, increasing overall performance of a typical execution cycle of the Michelson interpreter in Florence by 35%. This allows for smart contracts with more complicated functionality to operate even more economically.
  3. More Intuitive Smart Contract Development — With Florence, it is easier than ever for developers to write complicated systems of smart contracts without worrying about them behaving in unexpected ways. This is because Florence changes the applied order of inter-contract calls emitted by smart contracts to a depth first execution order which is far more intuitive to most developers..
  4. More Reliable Amendment ProcessFlorence deactivates the Test Chain feature in the Economic Protocol, which was in practice never used, unnecessarily complicated, and resulted in reliability issues. With this change, the amendment process becomes more streamlined and trouble free.

Tezos’ rapid pace of development and evolution supports the rapid expansion of activity on the network, ensuring the platform is optimized, reliable, and full featured. Florence once again showcases Tezos’ careful design, combined with its proven on-chain governance model and self-amendment mechanism, make Tezos the best blockchain in the world.

Viva Firenze!

Want to learn more about Florence and the various feature optimizations it brings to Tezos? Head over to Tezos Agora and join the discussion.

Interested in the Florence changelog? Read all about it here.



TQ Tezos
TQ Tezos

TQ Tezos works to advance the Tezos ecosystem by helping companies build on Tezos, creating open source software, and connecting the community.