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Tezos co-founder explains 11th upgrade: protocol designed to scale ‘without a hard fork’

Tezos co-founder explains 11th upgrade: protocol designed to scale ‘without a hard fork’

As the eleventh upgrade to the decentralized open-source blockchain platform Tezos (XTZ) approaches, set to take place on September 23, the platform’s co-founder has addressed some of the main concerns about the event.

Explaining the difference between the next Tezos upgrade, called Kathmandu, and the major upgrades such as the Ethereum (ETH) Merge, Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman said that the platform was designed to upgrade “seamlessly and without the use of a hard fork,” as she told Bloomberg’s Emily Chang in an interview published on September 22.

In Breitman’s words:

“With Tezos, the reason it’s been able to upgrade 10 times largely seamlessly is because, basically, the blockchain was made with upgrading itself in mind. (…) So there’s a formal mechanism that makes this process pretty straightforward and pretty seamless.”

Step-by-step updates and scaling

Explaining the extent of Tezos’ upgrades, she said that her company has a specific approach to innovation according to which regular upgrading allows updates to “happen piecemeal” and to avoid “boiling the ocean in one go.”

“Tezos consensus algorithm has been changed wholesale twice and it’s also had a number of different improvements that have inched towards scaling which I think is going to be the next big challenge for any blockchain, including Ethereum of course.”

In her opinion, “a lot of these networks don’t scale very well, meaning they can’t handle a lot of the transactions, which is why you see different things like congestion and fees rising because the cost of going on the blockchain and having competition there gets higher as more people use it.”

By comparison, she highlighted that the Kathmandu upgrade “introduces some concepts and some technical capabilities that lean towards having a lot more people use the blockchain.”

Energy consumption

In terms of Tezos’ energy consumption and carbon footprint, Breitman said that the blockchain “has been proof-of-stake (PoS) since 2018, meaning it (…) has a lot less energy usage and a lot smaller carbon footprint than proof-of-work (PoW) networks such as Bitcoin.”

As she concluded: 

“Hopefully, with Ethereum’s transition to PoS, that part of the conversation at least starts to dissipate, and we can focus on more interesting questions about the cryptocurrency space.”

Meanwhile, Tezos’ token XTZ is trading at $1.48, up 2.90% on the day, although it is still down 5.18% compared to the previous seven days. As things stand, the decentralized finance (DeFi) token has a market capitalization of $1.33 billion, as per CoinMarketCap data.

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