If you keep an eye on ICOs as a means of deciding where your cryptocurrency interests should be directed next, then you’ll probably already be aware of Tezos. In July 2017, it managed to attract a staggering $232 million of Bitcoin and Ethereum, which at the time of writing is still a record for an ICO. The market capitalisation a year on from that was $1 billion.
What’s different about it?
The team behind Tezos have a bold declaration – they call it “the last cryptocurrency”. The reason behind this is that the developments are constant, and both cryptocurrency and blockchain are self-amending, meaning any wrinkles get ironed out.
Additionally, the focus is on the membership. The network members – the token holders – are in full charge of improving the quality of their experience on the platform. Everyone involved has a voice, and everyone involved is rewarded for their loyalty by having that voice heard. The tokens themselves (or ‘Tezzies’, or XTZ) each represent one vote.
What this should avoid is any need for a hard fork at any point down the road. Minor tweaks and regular updates and upgrades should remove any need to split the network. And the token holders get to vote on them.
So where are the problems?
If you’ve been following the Tezos story, then you’ll probably already know that months were wasted sorting out legal issues and disputes between board members, which eventually led to the President of the Tezos Foundation, Johan Gevers, stepping down in February 2018.
The other big issues was that the moment people got hold of their tokens, they sold them. The beta version of Tezos was launched in July of this year, and the rush to sell out caused a plunge in the price. Although it eventually settled at around $1.76, this was a dip over five days from $4. It was also an unsurprising rush to sell, considering that the ICO price had been around $0.47, so can probably be attributed to profit-taking rather than a loss of interest or confidence in the cryptocurrency itself.
Is it worth it?
The answer is a definite ‘probably’. And that’s deliberately vague. The long delay from ICO to beta version prompted two things; a rash of profit-taking at the first possible opportunity, and perhaps more than the usual level of scrutiny from the wider cryptocurrency community over Tezos’ issues and squabbles.
However, the “one token one vote” nature of the platform is likely to be its saving grace. The commitment to making improvements and addressing issues as soon as they arise rather than heading for platform-splitting hard forks could make its ‘slow and steady wins the race’ attitude the thing that stands apart from the competition in a positive way.