Lessons from the largest ICO to date

Tezos: the self-amending cryptographic ledger

Symbol: TEZ

Crowdsale period:  1. Jul 2017 - 14. Jul 2017

Funds raised: $232 (65,627 BTC (worth roughly $156m) and 361,122 ETH (worth about $76m). This record-setting token sale made Tezos the #1 among other ICO’s in the amount of funds raised.

Country: U.S. based company

Native token: Tez (Tezzies, XTZ)

Time: Tezos development began in March 2014. In September 2016 the project was presented at StrangeLoop. Tezos ICO launched in July 2017.

Team:  the team includes ten developers and two founders – a family couple Arthur and Kathleen Breitman. Arthur Breitman worked at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley where he served as a vice president. Kathleen worked at The Wall Street Journal, Bridgewater Associates, Accenture, and R3 where she was a senior strategy associate.

Tezos Foundation is supporting the project. Members of the foundation are based in Zug, Switzerland, and manage blockchain related business. It’s advisors include computer scientist Zooko Wilcox, Emin Gün Sirer Associate Professor at Cornell University and Andrew Miller Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Computer Engineering and Computer Science.

About the project: Tezos is a new blockchain seed protocol, built from ground, it’s not using Bitcoin or Ethereum platforms. If blockchains start from a genesis hash, Tezos starts with a seed protocol. This protocol can be amended to reflect virtually any blockchain based algorithm. Also Tezos has its own programming language called the Michelson.


The first important feature of this project is the self-governance system. It means that transactions are validated by the token holders. Moreover token holders approve amendments to the protocol. Testing allows stakeholders to recall potentially problematic amendments. The protocol upgrades are then automatically executed. Self-governance is needed for blockchain decentralization.

The second important feature of Tezos is it’s ability to create smart contracts. The Michelson programming language was designed  to deal with lightweight transaction logic and to be easy for formal verification, which is needed to check if the mathematical code is correct.

The third important feature of Tezos is its Proof-of-stake consensus. Meaning that all token holders have a chance to create a block and receive a reward.

Tezos ICO features

What really made the Tezos ICO successful?

  1. Innovation technology. Tezos strives to compete Ethereum and Bitcoin, becoming a cheaper, more efficient and safe instrument of crypto document organization. Platforms suggesting alternatives to the first and most popular blockchain coins have all the chances to become strong altcoin rivals.
  2. Tezos launched the ICO having an almost ready product in their hands. The founders stated that the launch of the product is planned for early autumn, just a couple of months after finalizing the ICO.
  3. The team identity and white paper were clear, detailed and look reliable.
  4. Tezos stated that the ICO will be with no cap. In other words that there will be no limit to how many Tezzies can be bought. This helped to widespread distribution of the tokens. And also served as a guarantee for the participants that the governance wouldn’t be only the insiders prerogative.
  5. Also the ICO offered a schedule of contributions divided in 5 periods with a time dependent bonus to make sure that the participants wouldn’t delay their participation.
  6. Prior to the ICO Tezos launched sales for private public. They sold out the first tokens with discounts in September 2016 and March 2017 to hedge funds and private individuals. This was needed to fund the last stages of the project development and also to ensure the credibility for other investors during the ICO period.
  7. Clear foundation planning. Tezos stated that the Foundation will ensure functionality of the network and fund engineering, research, legal services, communications and marketing, business development.
  8. Buzz creation prior to ICO. The founders have promoted the idea of the project in insider’s circles couple of years prior to the ICO. The Tezos Foundation was inspiring meet ups and a created a forum attached to the tezos domain.

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