Last Friday, we had Arthur Breitman join us on Wechat for an Ask-Me-Anything session. We translated the questions and Arthur’s answer below. Enjoy!

<Begin Transcript>

Nour (imToken): Before we share our topic, let’s have our guest Arthur briefly introduce himself.
Hello Arthur.

Arthur: Hi everyone, I’m Arthur Breitman, I’m the co-founder of Tezos. Thank you for coming to this AMA. I’m here to answer your questions. So please feel free…

How is Tezos going to compete with platforms like ETH2, Avalanche, Cardano? What will make Tezos stand out going into 2021 and beyond?

Tezos stands out because it has credible prospects for longevity. Looking at the cryptocurrency space, how many protocols can you say for sure will be running in 50 years? Work on ETH2.0 started in 2014 and is expected in 2023, an 8-year upgrade cycle.

Tezos has upgraded more in the past two years than the rest of the industry combined. While Cardano does interesting academic research, IOHK has been big on promises and short on delivery. Avalanche integrated innovative ideas in its consensus, but Tezos can adopt those ideas. The entire cryptocurrency space is our R&D department.

Outside of these upgrades, are there any works done by the community that you’re excited to see in 2021?

The DirectAuth integration in Kukai. Kukai lets you send/receive Tezos transactions to anyone’s Reddit or Twitter account. It’s not completely non-custodial but it’s still decentralized. Kukai is planning to extend this service to email, phone, and more. This is great for onboarding.

Wallets are often overlooked but they can be tremendously helpful for mass adoption. I’m also excited for the Ethereum bridges bringing more tokens on the Tezos platform and NFT minting platforms. Most of all, it’s when all of these things come together.

We’ve talked about Proof of Stake security, self-amending mechanism, and many upgrades on Tezos. Is there anything you’re particularly excited about or envision seeing in terms of what comes next? Is there anything left in the position paper to make good on? What are we thinking about now?

The F proposal being worked on by many teams: Nomadic, Cryptium Labs, DaiLambda, Marigold, and others. This proposal includes: work by Cryptium Labs on baking accounts, performance improvements on encoding conventions, caching contracts. Overall, there are a lot of performance and development improvements in Michelson that I think is exciting. One of the most striking features in this proposal is a concept dubbed “liquidity baking”. The idea is for a small fraction of the block reward to accrue towards a uniswap-like contract between tez and tzBTC.

In terms of future technology, I would love to see better randomness with VDFs. The Ethereum Foundation is doing interesting work producing custom hardware for VDFs, I think it makes sense to wait until these are available. On better consensus — there is research being done with test nets launched using fast finality mechanisms, based on Tendermint algorithm and others. Prediction markets for proposal evaluation would be good.

At the moment, I think the focus in the immediate term is primarily on on-chain scaling for performance rather than sharding, like Eth2. Focusing on zero knowledge proofs -backed scaling could be useful.

How does Tezos today compared to the vision you had for it at the beginning?

In the position paper, Tezos is built on 3 pillars: POS, self-amending governance, safety in smart contract language. It’s pretty true to the vision.

Things we envisioned that are being worked on now: the Edo proposal which has zero-knowledge proofs. Inflating funding has lagged a bit, though we’ve seen experiments with invoices attached to protocols.

In the light of upgrading other public chains to the PoS mechanism, what method will Tezos use to expand its ecosystem reach?

Almost everyone is still underbuilding UX and chasing the same crowd of crypto enthusiasts. I think there are opportunities in breaking out of this mold. Everyone can come up with a nice innovation or improvement. What makes the difference is continued, iterative innovation, year after year.

Self-governance is one of Tezos’ most eye-catching innovations. Why is Tezos a self-amanding blockchain? What are the advantages of Tezos’s self-governance function compared with Polkadot?

Polkadot is first and foremost focused on enabling parachains. The idea being on generating revenue from providing consensus and security to these chains. However, if the sharding technology succeeds, there is little scarcity in providing these types of services, making the approach self-defeating in the long run.

From the perspective of DApp developers, what advantages does Tezos have in terms of contract development language, consensus, and block generation compared to other public chains?

Tezos is designed first and foremost as a cryptocurrency. DApps are useful insofar as they enable more uses of the underlying currency, not the other way around. The Tezos smart-contract language has a focus on security and verification. Smart contract bugs can be very costly. For example, the Polkadot team designed Ethereum’s smart contract language Solidity and standard multisignature contracts but a bug in those contracts led them to lose hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money.

In addition to the Delphi upgrade, which reduces the gas cost of smart contracts by 75%, what layout and attempts have Tezos made in the DeFi field? When will the DeFi ecosystem belonging to Tezos appear?

Dexter is a decentralized trading platform contract deployed on the chain where liquidity has been steadily increasing. The lowest hanging fruit for DeFi ecosystem to take hold is to bring tokens to the chain. This is what Tezex and Bender labs are working on, among other things.