Tezos, a proof-of-stake blockchain protocol, is about to get its ninth upgrade, Ithaca 2, which will include a new consensus method called Tenderbake. The new consensus technique will speed up transaction completion and minimize latency across its network, ushering in a new wave of blockchain technologies. Finally, the Tezos team stated intentions to enhance proposals later this year to include optimistic and zk-rollups.
The Tezos blockchain’s ninth upgrade, Tenderbake, is slated to go live later this week, replacing the existing consensus process, Emmy. The Ithaca 2 update is the result of a three-month injection procedure that was approved by the Tezos community. According to the Tezos Foundation, the new Tenderbake consensus process will reduce transaction latency and finality, resulting in speedier transactions and more efficient Tezos DApps.
The most recent upgrade speeds up the platform by enhancing transaction finality, or how quickly a transaction is incorporated and rendered irreversible by the network. This encourages additional developers to migrate their platforms to Tezos, one of the most successful proof-of-stake applications. In addition, the new enhancements provide high throughput and scalability, as well as improved smart contract functionality for apps.
Nonetheless, further use of the Tezos ecosystem by DApps, projects, organizations, and institutions will need the blockchain being more scalable. However, there are structural limits to how much scalability the blockchain can improve without compromising security, decentralization, latency, stability, censorship resistance, or any combination of these.
Tezos, which is run by a community and maintained by builders, creators, and bakers (validators), cannot afford to give up any of the qualities listed above in order to increase scalability. Tezos is considering introducing Layer 2 scaling solutions to assure high throughput and ready it for widespread adoption in order to avoid abandoning any of the major features. The most recent update includes optimistic rollups, a layer 2 scalability solution.
Optimistic rollups operate in tandem with the main blockchain. They aggregate massive volumes of transaction data and transport it away from the main blockchain to rollup-specific nodes. The transactions are then processed off the chain and returned to the main blockchain for finality, ensuring the main blockchain chain’s security works as a backstop in the event of foul play.
The Tenderbake consensus method in Ithaca 2 is based on the Tendermint consensus mechanism from the Cosmos protocol. Tezos’ optimistic rollups are inspired after Arbitrum, a popular roll-up mechanism on Ethereum, with plans to include zk-rollups later this year.
Considering the future of zk-rollups
Sending assets on optimistic rollups and withdrawing assets back to the main chain currently necessitates users waiting for a ‘dispute’ period, which on Arbitrum is 7 days. This has prompted the Tezos community to investigate zk-rollups, also known as zero-knowledge rollups. Similarly to optimistic rollups, zk-rollups entail moving transactions off-chain and publishing promises to the main chain, but zk-rollups include a cryptographic proof of correctness with the commitment. This eliminates the requirement for a withdrawal waiting time. This is achievable because zk-proofs are extremely tiny and can be checked in a fraction of a second by main chain nodes, regardless of the number of transactions or smart contract activities involved.
As the Tezos ecosystem innovates and evolves, the community anticipates receiving further funding to further its roadmap objectives. The ecosystem is supported by venture capital companies, strategic collaborators, and the Tezos Foundation, which disclosed over $1.2 billion in assets under management and over $230 million in grants and investments in the past half-year in their recently released biannual report.