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Babylon upgrade activates on Tezos

John Dantoni

Today marks yet another milestone for the self-amending blockchain Tezos where it has experienced an upgrade from its governance mechanism. The activation marked the third on-chain update for the protocol. For the changes to be included, the proposal, Babylon 2.0, needed the support of at least 74.7% of the participants in the network, where 84.53% voted in favor.

Jacob Arluck, Co-founder of TQ Tezos, tells The Block what this event means for Tezos saying that

“The first amendment, Athens, simply upgraded some constants. This is about showing Tezos can upgrade constantly. It's the first major upgrade of the network and enhances the consensus algorithm, expands smart contract functionality, and improves the governance mechanism itself. And it hasn't been without its challenges. Like we've seen with Bitcoin and Ethereum, these networks and communities get stronger with every challenge they overcome. This is the aspect of these networks and, increasingly, Tezos that just can't be copied.”

What the update does?

The Babylon upgrade, initially proposed by Cryptium Labs & the research and development group Nomadic Labs, affects the networks’ consensus algorithm, smart contract functionality, and its governance mechanism.

One of the changes makes it easier to develop smart contracts by making the code of complex contracts simpler and cleaner.

The reward system for bakers (validators) has changed to incentivize them better to include all available endorsements. Endorsements are what confirm that a newly constructed block was valid. 

Lastly, the upgrade simplifies the delegation process. Previously, users had to generate a specific type of address (KT1) that allowed them to delegate their funds. With Babylon, users now can delegate from their public key (addresses starting with a tz1, tez2, or tz3) and not be forced to generate a new contract with a KT1 address.