Kathleen Breitman on Tezos: 'The Blockchain Was Made With Upgrading Itself in Mind'

The Tezos-co-founder discussed the long-delayed Ethereum 'merge' and Tezos's history of seamless upgrades.


400 words, 2 minute read

Kathleen Breitman appeared on Bloomberg TV this week and explained how, in contrast to the years-long process of the Ethereum ‘merge’, Tezos has been able to upgrade seamlessly 11 times.

You’ll find extracts from Kathleen Breitman’s comments below, and her full appearance is embedded at the top of this page.

Fundamentally, Tezos is a cryptocurrency that has a formal mechanism for proposing and ratifying upgrades to the protocol, meaning that upgrades happen seamlessly and without the use of a hard fork, which is why the Ethereum merge took so long. […] With Tezos, the blockchain was made with upgrading itself in mind. There’s a formal mechanism which makes this process pretty straightforward and pretty seamless.

On the challenge of scaling blockchains:

One of the benefits of Tezos as a philosophy and a way of approaching innovation, is that when you have upgrades that happen on a pretty regular cadence, […] you don’t have to ‘boil the ocean’ in one go. […] The Tezos consensus algorithm has been changed wholesale, twice, and has also had a number of different improvements that have inched towards scaling, which I think is going to be the next big challenge for any blockchain, including Ethereum.

A lot of networks don’t scale very well, meaning they can’t handle a lot of transactions, which is why you see different things like congestion and fees rising, because the cost […] gets higher as more people use it. So scaling is something we’ve incorporated in the last two upgrades with Tezos, and indeed Kathmandu introduces some concepts and technical capabilities that [will allow] a lot more people to use the blockchain.

Kathleen Breitman’s opinion of Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake:

It’s been a huge relief, because I think [blockchain energy consumption] has been a fact about the industry that has antagonized a lot of people who would otherwise be neutral. This idea of ‘why are you using a bunch of energy to secure your pretend internet money? That seems wasteful’. Hopefully, with Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake, that part of the conversation starts to dissipate, and we can focus on more interesting conversations in the cryptocurrency space.