The controversial Tezos project has finally launched its betanet, following months of protracted delays due to internal issues coupled with legal and regulatory problems. Just before the launch, the project founders explained that while the network is functional, it is still experimental in nature, thus its users should not be surprised by probable downtime periods or even emergency hard forks. A further caution was also issued, warning that Tezos cannot help its users if their XTZ tokens are lost or stolen.
Tezos is a smart contract platform that raised $232 million in its ICO a year ago, which was a record-breaking sum back then. Despite the fact that it has long been surpassed by such prominent projects as EOS or Telegram, it still represents a huge investor confidence in the project. Only time will tell if it manages to shake off the recent controversies that have hampered the project.
According to the official statement by Ryan Jesperson, president of the Tezos Foundation, “The future of Tezos rests in the hands of its community. This moment marks an inflection point for the project, and we are excited to support community developers, scientists, validators (“bakers”), and enthusiasts from all over the world as they drive the success of this innovative, decentralized network.“
Mr. Jesperson also said that all betanet transactions are anticipated to persist into the mainnet, the launch of which should commence as soon as the betanet “has sufficiently matured”. The block validation (same as mining in bitcoin network) is referred to as “baking” in the Tezos sphere. The project claimed its community members will be able to start baking after the 28,672nd block is validated, which is expected to take around 3 weeks.
The president also went on to reaffirm the secure nature of the Tezos network, claiming that, “From the outset, the code base underpinning the Tezos protocol has been engineered with security in mind. Although no system can be completely secure, every system can be continuously improved towards that goal — fixing bugs, maintaining and adjusting the code base, and integrating additional functionality are several actions that may be taken while the betanet is live.“
Tezos path to the eventual launch has been a problematic one, with the company making headlines for the wrong reasons on numerous occasions. The most significant issue was that, similarly to Ripple, Tezos tokens have been considered a security by many of the investors. As a result, the company has had to deal with several class-action lawsuits as it has not registered with the SEC and thus was blamed for purposefully misleading investors. Due to lacking SEC registration, the XTZ tokens could not legally have been sold to US citizens, which is another major problem for the project.
If that weren’t enough, the Tezos Foundation has been torn by an internal fallout between co-founders Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, who own the intellectual rights for the project, and former president Johann Gevers. The conflict seemingly ended when Gevers stepped down in February, however several parties associated with the Tezos project have sued each other no less than 4 times.
The inner conflicts did not stop there as a couple of developer groups announced plans of creating separate Tezos versions, which would get rid of such features as the KYC procedures.
So far, Tezos stands as a perfect example of how an ICO, holding a huge amount of potential, fails to deliver on its promises. The betanet will hopefully serve as a stepping stone, which helps the project rebound, although the inner struggles might just prove to be too difficult to overcome.
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