We present Tezos, a generic and self-amending crypto-ledger. Tezos
can instantiate any blockchain based ledger. The operations of a regular
blockchain are implemented as a purely functional module abstracted into
a shell responsible for network operations. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cryptonote, etc. can all be represented within Tezos by implementing the proper in-terface to the network layer.
Most importantly, Tezos supports meta upgrades: the protocols can
evolve by amending their own code.
To achieve this, Tezos begins with
a seed protocol defining a procedure for stakeholders to approve amend-
ments to the protocol, including amendments to the voting procedure
itself. This is not unlike philosopher Peter Suber’s Nomic, a game built
around a fully introspective set of rules.
In addition, Tezos’s seed protocol is based on a pure proof-of-stake
system and supports Turing complete smart contracts. Tezos is imple-
mented in OCaml, a powerful functional programming language offering
speed, an unambiguous syntax and semantic, and an ecosystem making
Tezos a good candidate for formal proofs of correctness.
Familiarity with the Bitcoin protocol and basic cryptographic primi-
tives are assumed in the rest of this paper.