This is a joint announcement from Nomadic Labs, Marigold, and DaiLambda.
On 13 February 2021, the Tezos blockchain successfully upgraded by adopting Edo at block 1,343,489. Jointly developed by Nomadic Labs, Marigold, DaiLambda, and Metastate, Edo is the fifth Tezos upgrade in the span of two years, and follows the Delphi upgrade of three months ago.
The Tezos blockchain currently allows protocol upgrades every several months, and we intend for the foreseeable future to take advantage of every such opportunity, rapidly incorporating the best available technology into Tezos. Most cryptocurrency networks lack a mechanism to decide on the content of technical upgrades. By contrast, Tezos’ on-chain self-governance and self-amendment mechanisms allow it to evolve in a way that respects the expressed preferences of its users.
A full list of the changes in Edo can be found on this documentation page. To summarize, however, the upgrade contains some minor bug fixes, some improvements to performance and gas consumption, the addition of a new period (named the “Adoption Period”) to the upgrade process, and two important new features that we have been working on for some time: Sapling, and Tickets.
Sapling is a protocol originally developed by the Electric Coin Company. Edo allows smart contract developers to easily integrate Sapling in their smart contracts, enabling new types of applications such as voting or supporting asset transactions with selective disclosures.
Tickets are another substantial improvement in Tezos. Tickets are currently experimental and should not be used in mission-critical contracts until we have completed our ongoing audit of its implementation. Tickets are a convenient mechanism for smart contracts to grant portable permissions to other smart contracts or to issue tokens. While it’s possible to achieve this with existing programming patterns, tickets make it much easier for developers to write secure and composable contracts, and we expect to see extensive use of tickets after the feature has stabilized.
Just like any other feature of the protocol, Tezos protocol amendments may make changes to the amendment process itself. The “Adoption Period” (sometimes referred to as the “Fifth Period”) is an important improvement to the governance mechanism we have wanted to make for some time.
Up until now, new versions of the protocol have gone live (that is, have been “activated”) one block after voting has been completed, which in practice is only sixty seconds. This has made it difficult for some Tezos bakers, indexers, and other users of the network to assure seamless upgrades of their nodes. We have also seen instances where the lack of certainty about whether an upgrade would be adopted has caused some users to delay preparations until the last moment.
Under the new system, instead of four periods of eight cycles during voting, the Tezos upgrade process now lasts five periods of five cycles. The new fifth period, the Adoption Period, will be a five cycle (approximately two weeks) gap between the acceptance of the new protocol in the Promotion Vote Period, and the time when it is activated on the Tezos network. This will aid in assuring seamless protocol transitions.
We are exceptionally pleased with the progress that has been made on the Tezos protocol and its software in recent months. Thank you to all the developers who worked so hard to make Edo a reality. We intend to inject a new proposal, “Florence”, with a variety of interesting new features, some small, some large, within a few weeks.