The Tezos Foundation released its second Biannual Report, detailing the group’s progress in Q3 and Q4 of 2019. Published on March 19, the report reveals that the foundation owns $635 million in assets — much more than the $232 million raised in its infamous initial coin offering. When asked how the foundation was able to achieve such a war chest, the company’s CFO, Roman Schnider, revealed that the project benefited from positive crypto market dynamics. He said:
“The increase is largely due to the appreciation of our blockchain assets over the last three years, BTC and XTZ in particular.”
The report focuses on the foundation’s usage of its funds, revealing that it offered more than $37.6 million in grant funding for the Tezos (XTZ) ecosystem since August 2019. The grants are divided into three main categories, consisting of research and development efforts, ecosystem projects, and community support. Anyone applying for a grant must pass a complex four-step process, where the proposal is evaluated by several committees and undergoes due diligence reviews. The process is managed entirely within the Tezos Foundation, which approved 78 grants out of more than 200.
Though the foundation does not disclose the specific funding amounts awarded to each project, the report notes that payments are subject to the completion of specific milestones. Research efforts are currently heavily focused on Tezos’ smart contract languages. Organizations such as Blockmatic, Buidl Labs, Kyoto University, The Marigold Project, and others, were all funded for developing Tezos’ smart contract languages. Other grants were awarded to Cryptium Labs, DaiLambda, and Nomadic Labs for their work on Tezos core software, including staking, privacy, and performance enhancements.
More than 40 organizations received grants for developing ecosystem tools and applications. This includes several implementations of Tezos block explorers, and staking tools developed by separate companies. Grants were also given to Tezsure, an insurance platform based on Tezos, and camlCase, a company working on bringing decentralized finance to Tezos. Some $13 million were also awarded to local Tezos communities across the globe. Most of them are engaged in spreading awareness of the project by organizing meetups and hackathons. Communities providing educational material are also being financially supported.
As it has been previously reported, one of the major purported drivers of Tezos’ popularity is its foundation’s war chest. By contrast, the Ethereum Foundation’s (EF) wallet currently holds $85 million worth of ETH. This approximately matches the figure the foundation disclosed in May 2019 as part of a $30 million funding commitment. Though EF reports fiat reserves as well, two more funding rounds of that magnitude would consume the majority of its available capital — while Tezos could continue funding projects at a similar rate for at least seven years.
3 Big Blockchain Firms Working Together On A DeFi Product That Pays Passive Income
In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits. The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Do Kwon, founder and CEO of Terra, explained in a prepared statement:
“While DeFi staples such as Maker and Compound have been revolutionary in creating fully decentralized crypto money markets, the volatility of their interest rates makes them unsuitable to be used as a household savings product. DeFi mass adoption needs the creation of a fully decentralized savings account that offers dependable APR.”
Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards. The initial governance for this platform will come from the Interchain Asset Association (IAA), a newly formed organization that sees Zaki Manian of Cosmos, Jack Platts of the Web3 Foundation, and Do Kwon of Terraform Labs collectively steering the ship.
Telegram Is Set To Shut Down The TON Testnet By August 2020
Although Telegram has terminated its blockchain project, Telegram Open Network (TON), in May 2020, the TON test net has been apparently running for almost one year. In a July 6 update, the official TON development group on Telegram announced that it would be discontinuing its support of the test network for TON. Remaining TON validators will be turned off by August 1. In the post, the TON official recommended network participants save all their relevant data and stop their testing processes. Despite the testnet being set to shut down less than a month from now, network participants will still be able to continue their experimentation after the testnet is terminated. In order to do that, users can install their own testnet validators, described in greater detail in three different how-to documents containing guidelines for the Full Node, the Validator, and Test Grams.
Telegram launched the TON testnet for explorer and node software on Sept. 6, 2019. In anticipation of its scheduled Oct. 31 launch last year, the company released an alpha version of an iOS wallet to work with its native token, the Gram. But Telegram’s TON plans were never fully realized, as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suddenly deemed Telegram’s $1.7 billion ICO illegal in mid-October. After a long-running legal battle with U.S. regulators, Telegram agreed to shut down its TON project, as well as return $1.2 billion to investors in line with a court-approved final settlement. As officially announced by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, the firm had already reimbursed more than $1.2 billion by June 25.
Binance Supports An Ontology Upgrade
Binance, one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, has announced on July 5 that it will support the upcoming Ontology 2.0 network upgrade. Ontology 2.0 will include the integration of a number of community-led upgrades to its MainNet. Binance says that it will end support of Neo Enhancement Protocol 5-based, or NEP5, ONT tokens deposits. Any future deposits of NEP5 ONT will not be credited to users’ Binance account, it indicates. Deposits and withdrawals of ONT will be stopped starting July 6 at 9 a.m. UTC. Users will be notified when the Ontology upgraded network becomes stable and deposits and withdrawals are reopened, says Binance.
The Ontology network upgrade will not result in a new token creation and ONG staking rewards for ONT will not be affected. Ontology uses a dual token (ONT and ONG) model. ONT is the coin and can be used for staking in consensus, whereas ONG is the utility token used for on-chain services. MainNet ONT started to release ONG as soon as Ontology MainNet went live two years ago. According to Ontology, from 9 to 12th June 2020, it will give its community the opportunity to have a say in the development of its governance and staking economic model, especially for the Triones node results. However, The Ontology Foundation’s first three-year bonus to the top 49 nodes and the distribution method remains unchanged.