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Tezos Foundation
Tezos logo-200px.jpg
Founded 2017
Headquarters Zug, Switzerland
Key People Ryan Jesperson, president; Kathleen Breitman, CEO, co-founder of the Tezos Foundation; Arthur Breitman, co-founder of the Tezos Foundation; Ulrich Sauter, General Counsel; Roman Schnider, CFO; L.M. Goodman, author of the Tezos whitepaper; Johann Gevers, former president; Eelco Fiole, former CFO
Employees 2-10
Twitter @TezosFoundation
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook tezosfoundation
Website Tezos Foundation Home
Blog Tezos Official Blog

Tezos (XTZ) is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency protocol and smart contract software platform developed by the Tezos Foundation.[1][2]


The Tezos whitepaper was published in 2014 by L.M. Goodman. Later that year, Arthur and Kathleen Breitman hired several software developers to create a protocol based on the one described in Goodman's whitepaper. The Breitmans founded Dynamic Ledger Solutions, a software development company, to support these efforts in 2015. The source code of the Tezos protocol was published in 2016, and the alpha version of the protocol was released in February 2017.

The Breitmans created the Tezos Foundation in in Zug, Switzerland 2017. Later, the foundation held a fundraiser for "everyone with an interest in Tezos." This was designed to be a community engagement initiative as well as a fundraiser.[3][4] The Tezos Foundation raised approximately $232 million worth of bitcoin and Ether.[5]

Tezos launched its betanet on June 30, 2018.[6] The protocol officially launched September 17.[7][8][9]


Tezos is designed to improve upon the shortcomings of existing cryptocurrencies. It uses a proof-of-stake model for mining and community governance, similar to Ethereum, instead of bitcoin's proof-of-work model. The whitepaper that Tezos is based off of was published by L.M. Goodman in 2014. In this publication, Goodman said he designed the structure of the Tezos protocol so that it will not only scale smoothly, but be able to adopt new innovations in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as they are released. He also said that Tezos is designed to be self-sufficient, relying on its community of users to regulate and adapt the protocol as necessary. In the paper's concluding section, Goodman wrote, "Tezos truly aims to be the last cryptocurrency."[10]

The Tezos blockchain uses Michelson. Michelson is similar to the Ethereum Virtual Machine and, while serving the same function, is meant to be more accessible because it includes more human language. Both languages are stack-based.[11]

In January 2019, the company announced that Ulrich Sauter, a lawyer specializing in international business and legal compliance had joined the Tezos Foundation as its General Counsel; the announcement also said that Eelco Fiole, an ethics professor at the University of Lausanne, had joined the company as CFO, and that Earn.com co-founder Lily Liu had joined its advisory board.[12]

The Tezos Foundation announced in June 2019 that Roman Schnider, co-creator of PricewaterhouseCoopers Switzerland's blockchain initiative, would take on the role of Chief Financial Officer, superseding Eelco Fiole.[13]

Athens A vs. Athens B

In March 2019, the Tezos community voted between two systemwide upgrades: Athens A, or Athens B. The majority of the community voted for Athens A, which increased the computing size of each block on the Tezos blockchain, allowing for larger transactions to be carried out more efficiently. It also caused the decrease of "roll sizes" - aggregated Tezos tokens that are held in order to be randomly selected as part of the block-producing process.[14] In late May 2019, after nearly three months of voting and testing the new software, the Tezos community decided to enact the "Athens A" upgrade on block number 458,752.[15] Athens A officially went live on May 30, 2019 at approximately 9 PM EST.[16]


In March 2019, Coinbase Custody announced through Coinbase's Medium blog that it would begin offering staking services to clients who are institutional traders. The concept of this service is based on the proof of stake model. The first coin that will be used in this service is Tezos. This service involves storing Coinbase's clients' assets in cold storage, substantially mitigating the risk of theft. Because of the way this staking service works, only certain cryptocurrencies will be applicable; bitcoin, which uses a governance model based on proof of work, and Ethereum, which is also currently using this model, will not be supported in the near future.[17][18]

In April 2020, Binance.US added support for Tezos staking.[19]

Legal Battles

A lawsuit between Tezos' original president, Johann Gevers, and the Breitmans created controversy around the Tezos project. The dispute originated in 2017 with the Breitmans accusing Gevers of self-dealing as president of the Tezos Foundation. Gevers responded with accusations that the Breitmans had attempted to smear his character as well as take control of the foundation. The dispute ended when Gevers stepped down in 2018. He was replaced by the foundation's current president, Ryan Jesperson.[20][21]

Key People

  • Ryan Jesperson - President
  • L.M. Goodman - Author of the Tezos whitepaper
  • Kathleen Breitman - CEO; Co-founder of the Tezos Foundation, Dynamic Ledger Solutions, Inc.
  • Arthur Breitman - Co-founder of the Tezos Foundation, Dynamic Ledger Solutions, Inc.
  • Ulrich Sauter - General Counsel
  • Roman Schnider - CFO
  • Johann Gevers - Former president
  • Eelco Fiole, former CFO