Tezos (XTZ) has gone live on mainnet, ending more than a year of developing the platform following its ICO in the summer of 2017.
The Tezos mainnet went live at just after 14:00 GMT on Monday afternoon, ending a more than two month beta period for the platform. Although the mainnet was already live, and XTZ tokens had been tradeable on the network, it could have been paused at any time if a major fault had been identified.
The Tezos Foundation, a Zug-based non-profit with the aim of coordinating and providing support for XZT development, made the announcement earlier today. The Foundation said in an official blog post that the network had been fully operational for over two months and has attracted a growing community of users actively building and developing the platform further.
“As a result, we now consider the beta period concluded, and while active development still continues, we are pleased to regard the Tezos network as the mainnet,” said the Foundation.
Price stabilization may also continue, as Bitfinex listed XTZ today – the volatility associated with lower-volume exchanges may now cease to be a factor in adoption of the coin by more risk-averse investors.
The Tezos mainnet
There has been enthusiasm from the XTZ community, despite the year-long wait. The platform opened up to third-party validators – called ‘bakers’ – on July 20th and has seen a marked increase since then. Statistics show there has been a strong retention rate: 350 validators have signed up in the two-month period, with over 112 ‘bakers’ active on the blockchain over the last month.
The launch of the EOS mainnet (which is to-date the largest ICO: raising $4bn over the course of a year) at the beginning of June was fraught with difficulties. A chaotic handling by Block.one, EOS’ chief software designer, led to the network’s release being pushed back by over a week; hackers also managed to gain control of Block.one’s email address sending thousands of phishing emails out to users.
Combined with concerns over the platform’s security, the EOS price did the opposite of what mainnet launches are supposed to do and tanked: $9bn had been wiped off its market cap a month after the actual release.
In stark comparison, Tezos’s beta launch was successful because it was not chaotic; that the Tezos Foundation didn’t rush into a hasty mainnet launch is to their credit. Aside from a one hour network pause in mid-July, the platform has been working as it should be.
When the news was originally announced on Friday, the market cap for XTZ tokens surged by over $200m to above the billion-dollar mark. XTZ tokens have begun to rise again following today’s launch, trading at $1.65 at press time.
XTZ news has not previously been this positive
The Tezos protocol is a smart contract-ready platform designed for dApps. Designed to be a crowd-driven project, the network relies on a specific form of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) that gives all stakeholders the opportunity to validate transactions. It also relies on a communal governance structure which it claims enables it to effectively evolve and adapt over time.
Despite its idealistic beginnings, the platform has been mired in controversy ever since its ICO last year. Tezos’ public sale, which concluded in July 2017, was the then largest one in the crypto space, raising more than $230m. The project’s founder, Arthur Breitman was fined $20,000 by US authorities after he failed to disclose his involvement in the project whilst working as an investment banker for Morgan Stanley. He still owns the Tezos source code.
XTZ tokens were already delayed; this increased when Californian-based prosecutors brought the Tezos Foundation to court on charges of selling an unregistered security in January this year. The Foundation’s CEO, Johan Geevers, who had also been in long-running boardroom dispute with Breitman and his wife, was forced to step down in February.
Under the new leadership of Ryan Jesperson, the Tezos Foundation has undergone a total overhaul. A completely new board and a partnership with the ‘big four’ auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have been part of the efforts to repair the Foundation’s, and the XTZ platform’s, reputation.
Tezos’ woes stemmed from the failings of its centralized leadership structure. A reformed central organization has effectively instrumented the mainnet launch today. Not only will this be the end of the ‘experimental phase’; it will be the beginning of the platform as a community-driven initiative.
Disclaimer: The author is not invested in any cryptocurrencies mentioned in this article, but holds investments in other digital assets.