Tezos dApp platform — A Complete Guide
From startups to enterprises and Fortune 500 companies, many organizations have always shown interest in blockchain technology since it came into the picture. Applications of blockchain have been discovered in a wide range of industries, including supply chain, finance, real estate and many more.
Blockchain is no longer restricted to cryptocurrencies. Instead, it is the basis for decentralized applications (dApps). dApps run on a decentralized network and use protocols that do not require trust between two parties. There are multiple blockchain platforms available that allow the seamless and quick development of dApps. Among all the blockchain platforms, Tezos is one of the open-source blockchain platforms for applications and assets supported by a global community of researchers, builders and validators.
Designed to provide safety and code correctness, Tezos addresses barriers facing blockchain adoption, for example, open participation, long-term upgradability and smart contract safety. Its modular architecture and upgrade mechanism allows the network to implement new technological innovations as they emerge. In Tezos, all stakeholders can participate in network upgrades by proposing, approving or evaluating amendments.
In this article, we will explain how to develop a dApp on the Tezos Blockchain Platform securely.
First of all, we will discuss the history of Tezos platform and how did it emerge.
Who is behind Tezos?
Tezos was created by Arthur Breitman, who studied computer science and applied mathematics in France and moved to the US to study financial mathematics. His wife, Kathleen Breitman, also got involved in this project, is a former employee of an enterprise software company that emphasizes on distributed database technology. Arthur Breitman launched a paper in 2014 where he focused on Bitcoin’s flaws and he submitted his solution of a self-amending cryptocurrency. Breitman wanted to attract various banks in 2015. However, the attempt to attract banks failed.
Breitman wanted to conduct an ICO in 2016 and they received $612,000 over half a year. Its ICO was held on July 1st, 2017 and continued for 13 days and Tezos received $232 million.
Let’s understand What is Tezos and how it gained a lot of traction.
What is Tezos?
Tezos is like other dApp and smart contracts platforms such as NEO, Ethereum, ICON, QTUM and Waves, but there is one significant difference that makes it different from other platforms. It is a self-amending cryptographic ledger that can expand according to the needs of the industry without getting forked from time to time.
In the Tezos Platform, stakeholders can govern the protocol. It is the platform that has created a digital commonwealth, a network where all involved people can allow their voices to be heard and have shared honesty.
It is a new peer-to-peer blockchain platform that helps in computation checking to prove the code accuracy which regulates all transactions.
Tezos is classified into three types of blockchain, including:
Mainnet is a decentralized network where Tezos has a real dollar value. Zeronet is mainly used by core developers as the test network and is reset many times in a day.
How does Tezos Blockchain Platform work?
Tezos uses a network shell to enable its self-amending cryptographic ledger features. To explain the blockchain protocols involved and to know how network shells work, we have explained 3 types of blockchain protocol layers:
- Network Protocol
The network protocol includes downloading the blockchain, broadcasting blocks to networks and detecting peers.
- Transaction Protocol
The scripting language used in building cryptocurrency defines the transaction protocol. For example, the Unspent Transaction Output Model (UTXO) in case of Bitcoin. Considering the example of Bitcoin, the transaction protocol includes codes that mine Bitcoins and uses the digital signature to validate the transaction. Everything that makes a transaction happen is included in the transaction protocol. Changes made in the transaction protocol are “soft forks” that does not affect consensus algorithms and does not divide the chain into two different chains when compared to hard forks.
- Consensus Protocol
Consensus Protocol is one of the efficient ways in the blockchain to reach consensus across all the nodes in the network. For example, Bitcoin uses proof of work while Tezos uses an advanced type of proof of stake, also referred to as “delegated proof-of-stake.”
Tezos dApp Platform includes the following four services:
- The Node
- The Client
- The Baker
We will explain each of the services in a simple manner.
Tezos Node is the main program of the platform that is connected to the network. It verifies all transactions and links with the public distributed ledger.
The node has the peer-to-peer layer, the network shell and context database. Every P2P layer comes with a private key with a stamp of the proof of stake. It means if a peer in the community wishes to new identity within the platform, they will get a low cost.
Tezos dApp platform allows the exchange of known good peers. The exchange is a way to achieve the best connectivity across the platform.
The P2P layer confirms that communication between nodes is encrypted and authentic for security, safety and reliability.
The node component feeds the entire data related to the distributed ledger. The Tezos platform uses Irmin as the backend that provides a functional view of the storage and encodes the public distributed ledger.
Tezos executes scalability tests on Irmin to monitor its performance on large-scale transactions. The context database includes blocks and operations.
An interface that lies between the protocol and the network is called a network shell. It plays a significant role in the platform by taking over blocks sent by peers and validating it against the current protocol.
Tezos updater grabs the source of a new protocol, complies with them and replaces the testnet with the new protocol. After a certain period, it can promote the test protocol to replace the main protocol.
The baker develops and validates blocks, controls its bond deposits and records other blocks called upon by the proof of stake algorithm. The term “baking” is used for what a proof-of-stake miner does.
3. Tezos Client
Tezos Client provides a high-level interface to the node and the protocol as compared to RPCs. The client can save keys, track contracts, deploy smart contracts, send transactions and trigger contract execution with data.
The attacker mainly focuses on denial of service attacks by submitting corrupted data and attempting to trick nodes into performing large amounts of useless verification.
Let’s discuss some of the benefits and features that make the Tezos dApp platform different from other platforms.
Features of Tezos dApp Platform
If you hold a stake in Tezos, you can also take part in governing the protocol. This process is known as on-chain governance. It facilitates coin holders to vote for future performance.
It is a system for upgrading blockchains where code modifications are encoded into the protocol and defined by stakeholder voting. Though anyone can suggest changes in the code, core developers and token holders decide whether those changes should be integrated into the protocol or not.
On-Chain Governance offers a wide range of benefits, including:
- Binding code modifications
- Faster Consensus
- Decentralized Decision-Making Process
- Fewer Malicious Hard Forks
Tezos is a self-amending cryptographic ledger that is designed and developer to allow a simple evolution of blockchain instead of hard forking. Unlike Ethereum and Bitcoin, Tezos believes that hard forks should not a standard way to upgrade the system.
Smart Contracts and Formal Verification
In addition to the self-amending and on-chain governance system, the Tezos dApp platform also supports smart contracts that make it a hybrid between Ethereum and Dash.
Tezos’ Smart Contracts programming language, Michelson is used specifically for writing Tezos-based smart contracts. It is a functional language that allows formal verification.
With formal verification, developers can mathematically prove the correctness of their smart contracts code. But it does not mean that code is 100% correct and does not have any bugs.
Delegated Proof of Stake
Tezos nodes are launched with a delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism that allows stakeholders to create blocks and obtain rewards in proportion to their holdings. It means that a smallholder can also have a chance to produce a block and get a reward. The system is delegated where every token holder can take part as a delegate irrespective of what amount they hold.
Benefits of On-Chain Governance
- Tezos Blockchain Platform can upgrade without hard forking because the Tezos community fixes the upgrade to clear rules. It helps in avoiding inactivity and keep enhancing.
- Tezos allows any stakeholder to be a part of the consensus mechanism and receive rewards for contributing to the stability and security of the network.
- Just like other blockchain platforms, Tezos allows blockchain developers to write smart contracts and build Apps. Tezos’s native smart contracts language, Michelson, enables formal verification that is widely used in mission-critical environments like nuclear, aerospace and so on.
- Tezos has a modular architecture and formal upgrade mechanism. Its self-amendment mechanism allows the network to implement and adopt new technological innovations from time to time.
- Tezos dApp platform provides systematic and formal procedures to reach an agreement on proposed protocol amendments.
- Tezos platform ensures the safety and code correctness for high-value use cases.
How to build dApps on Tezos?
You should be familiar with the smart contract programming language, Michelson for developing dApps on the Tezos platform. It is a static language that can store the information on the type in its bytecode and monitors the type during runtime. Using this feature, Tezos can type check while users are making transfers. If Tezos finds that the type of calling parameters distinguishes from the type mentioned in the contract, the system will show a mismatch error.
There is a challenge associated with web apps when it comes to the blockchain technology that nobody wants their private keys to be accessible to websites. But Tezos dApps have a solution to this problem, TezBridge that uses an iframe and local storage to communicate with apps across browser windows.
Tezos is an open-source, self-amending cryptographic ledger platform that allows the development of dApps and writing smart contracts. We recommend using the Tezos platform for public distributed ledger applications as it has a unique on-chain governance mechanism. Unlike other blockchain platforms, Tezos prevents hard forks and thereby linking the entire community.