1. Research & development
  2. > Blog >
  3. Meanwhile at Nomadic Labs #13

Meanwhile at Nomadic Labs #13

28 October 2021
Nomadic Labs


Welcome to our meanwhile series, the ongoing story of Nomadic Labs’ amazing adventures in the Tezos blockchain space. This post is a recap of our activities in the third quarter of 2021, following on from our 2020 recap and our 2021 Q2 Meanwhile. As always, you can find out more about us here: Twitter @LabosNomades ~ Website ~ LinkedIn ~ Technical blog ~ GitLab repo.

Table of contents (Q3 2021)


You may recall from Meanwhile #12 that we announced the christening of Octez — the veteran implementation of Tezos which had previously been known just by its version number and by a GitLab repo.

The Octez team were active in Q3 2021, releasing Version 9.4 (3 July), 9.5 (29 July), 9.6 (6 August), and 9.7 (7 August); then 10.0~rc3 (10 August), 10.0 (19 August) and then Version 10.1 (26 August). Changelogs are here. To top this off, we released the release candidate Octez 11.0~rc1 on 22 September.

The currently-active version at time of writing (end October) is Octez 10.3. Here is the Octez GitLab repo. Feel free to get the Octez Tezos implementation and join the Tezos blockchain!


We are proud to announce that Mi-Cho-Coq version 1.0 was released on 2 July.

Mi-Cho-Coq is a free and open-source library for verifying the correctness of Michelson smart contracts in Coq using weakest-precondition calculus. It is a Coq library which models all aspects of the Michelson language: its syntax, its type system, and its semantics.1

For concrete applications of this powerful tool, see for example verification of a spending-limit contract, of the FA1.2 token standard (see also an associated paper in FMBC‘21), and of several versions of the Dexter decentralised exchange (Dexter v2 and Liquidity Baking).


The Umami wallet was released in April 2021 and is an all-in-one Tezos cryptocurrency wallet for both beginner and advanced users. At time of writing the current version is version 0.5.3, available for macOS, Linux, and Windows.

We are pleased to announce that during Q3 2021

Umami was built by OCaml developers for OCaml developers using Reason (formerly ReasonML) and supports all the native features of the Tezos protocol, including multiple accounts, tokens, batch transactions, and delegation — with more features in the pipeline. For more information see a Umami Wallet page on Medium, a short essay on the purpose of Umami, and the Umami GitLab repo.

Protocol upgrade: Granada activated, Hangzhou proposed and testnet launched

The Tezos economic protocol enjoys regular upgrades. How this happens concretely is that a self-amendment mechanism is activated to propose an upgrade to the protocol — and because Tezos is an open community, protocol upgrades are approved by community vote. This means that upgrades can only happen when you, the Tezos community, vote that it be so; which is why you’ll notice we only ever talk about us making upgrade proposals.

Recall from Q2 2021 that:

We are pleased to announce of 2021 Quarter 3 that:

For more information on Granada, you can see:

Substantive upgrades in Hangzhou are listed here. These include a new Timelock primitive.

Adoption and Support

Our adoption team have been hard at work developing relationships, and thanks to their dilligence we are proud to report that during Q3 2021:

Our support team has developed several support documents (see the support homepage, ‘Useful Resources’ for a full list):

See also the list of Tezos-related research publications.


Training is a good thing in itself, and also a key complement to adoption and support.

Training in Q3 2021 proceeded apace, and we are pleased to report that we ran half-a-dozen courses training roughly a hundred people in total from countries all over the world — in European countries like Germany, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium of course; but also India, the USA, Canada, and Vietnam — and together with the Tezos in Africa foundation we trained Tezos developers from Tunisia, Algeria, Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria (see tweet 1 and tweet 2).

Check out the Nomadic Labs training webpage. If you’d like us to run a training course for you, in either English or French, then you can send us an e-mail at training@nomadic-labs.com.

Technical documentation

Our Technical Documentation team have laboured mightily to annotate and enrich the lives of Tezos developers everywhere by expanding the online documentation for Tezos developers. This includes the following new content:

  • A tutorial explains GADTs (Generalised Algebraic Data Types) in the context of Tezos. GADTs are a hugely powerful, but complex, OCaml mechanism. The tutorial illustrates example applications of GADTs within Tezos — especially as applied to the Michelson interpreter for ensuring the absence of certain classes of smart contract runtime errors.
  • A tutorial helps developers add unit tests to legacy code modules, by providing schemes for increasing the testability of existing code.
  • A series of pages explains the consensus algorithm, customised for each protocol version. As part of this revamp, existing pages on Proof of Stake have been restructured to describe the proof-of-stake mechanism and the associated concept of delegation, independently of the consensus algorithm.
  • We have enriched and documented event-based logging. This existing feature generalises the classic logging API (which will be deprecated in due course, though not just yet!). The documentation includes a page for developers and a page for users.
  • We have written structured documentation on releasing a new protocol proposal.
    • The main page is a checklist detailing all the steps of this process, including both technical steps and public-relation steps. Two other pages (linked to from the main page) describe specific sub-procedures:
    • Protocol freezing provides a guide for removing dead code from older protocols.
    • Adding a new environment handles the case when a protocol proposal needs new features from the shell. In this case, a new protocol environment must be created. This page details all the steps involved.
  • A new tutorial guides developers in writing and executing long-running tests in the Tezt framework. This presents infrastructure for storing results in an InfluxDB database; for visualising the results with Grafana; and for sending alerts when test results differ significantly from the previous tests. Long live tests!
  • Finally, a new page in the User sections of the documentation gives an overview of the versioning schemes in use in the Tezos ecosystem: including Octez releases, protocol releases, protocol environment numbering, and RPC versions; and we explain which schemes are orthogonal and which are related. We hope you will find this useful.

PhD student, Intern, and apprentice interviews

We are extremely pleased at Nomadic Labs to host interns (stagiaires) and apprentices (apprentis), and to supervise some PhD students in collaboration with the local universities in Paris. In Q2 we introduced a ‘people’ category in our blog, to host interviews with our valued guests.

We are delighted by the variety of interesting and special people with whom we have been able to work. Interviewees in Q3 include:

Media Interviews and Academic Papers

We are delighted to report that:

We are also delighted to announce that:

We maintain a list of Tezos-related publications; if your paper should be included then please let us know at contact@nomadic-labs.com.

Finally, we are pleased to report on two AMAs, and on a video which we released for World Youth Skills Day on 15 July:

  • An AMA on /r/Tezos on 13 July.
  • An AMA on /r/Tezos on 25 August.
  • We produced 30s of life advice for World Youth Skills Day (15 July) on tips for the next generation of software engineers. The question was: “What are the most important skills to build a career in the Blockchain field?”. The answers included: understanding decentralisation, persistence, rigourous development practices, communication skills, abstract critical thinking, good sense of humour, rigour, strong taste for technology, humble, hard worker, and to be passionate about blockchain technology. It does seem theoretically possible for a single human being to combine all of these skills — and if you do … then please see our careers page!

The following two talks by Arthur Breitman, the co-founder of Tezos, are not part of Nomadic Labs’ activities — but if you are reading this far then they well be of interest:

NL research seminars and blog posts

Our series of Nomadic Labs research seminars saw the following talks in Q3:

Our series of blog posts has been particularly active and you can check out our in-depth articles for a growing list of detailed articles on our work.


Nomadic Labs releases all of its software and research freely and openly. Consistent with this philosophy, we play our part in promoting an ecosystem of academic research, by contributing to the organisation of academic conferences and workshops. In particular:

Contract calls

Nomadic Labs is part of the Tezos ecosystem, and on this topic it may be worth noting that the number of smart contract calls on Tezos has displayed a striking exponential increase in Q3 2021.

Here are the figures in brief: Tezos turned three years old on 30 June 2021 (see the genesis block, baked on 30 June 2018). In those first three years we had 5 million contract calls. Then we saw another 5 million contract calls in July and August — and then another 5 million contract calls just in September. This means that Tezos saw twice as much smart contract activity in Q3 2021, as it saw in the entire first three years of its existence, so this quarter does appear to have witnessed a step change in activity.

You can view summary bar charts here. Nomadic Labs is pleased to have played its part in these encouraging and excellent developments.

À la prochaine

Before you go, we’d like to advertise:

  • The Infrachain summit on 18 November in Luxembourg, in Italy, and Online. Infrachain aims to support and foster the European blockchain industry and the Summit is about supporting real business with a gathering dedicated to blockchain topics.
  • Nomadic Labs will have a booth at the Digital Finance Summit 2021 in Brussels, with an overarching theme of Sustaining the Economic Recovery.

We hope to see you there.

Thanks for reading what we’ve been up to in Quarter 3 of 2021: three months of Nomadic Labs building and testing software and extending public understanding and adoption of blockchain technology. Do check in again for the next Meanwhile for Quarter 4 of 2021.

  1. Computer scientists would call this is a deep embedding of Michelson in Coq. 

  2. A corporate baker is a corporate institution that sets up one or more block validating nodes on the Tezos blockchain. More information is on bakers is here