Tezos activates Lima Upgrade to address throughput, validators, and bugs

Rick Steves

Tezos has activated the 12th upgrade to the protocol, “Lima,” to increase throughput, introduce a highly-requested feature for validators, and reduce the risk of bugs in smart contracts.

One of the original Proof of Stake blockchains, Tezos is known as a “self-amending blockchain” for its ability to upgrade through its on-chain governance, with the Lima upgrade marking the fourth protocol upgrade in 2022 alone.

The development team Nomadic Labs has highlighted the key improvements to Tezos functionality made by the Lima Upgrade:

  • More pipelining, faster blockchain – The Lima protocol continues the ‘pipelining’ validation project, which speeds up the processing of blocks and operations. It does so by separating validation – lightweight checks such as assessing the correctness of cryptographic signatures, or having sufficient funds to pay fees – from application – which executes the full contents of a block, notably computationally expensive operations such as smart contract calls.
  • Now, a newly received block is only validated before it is forwarded to other peers. This feature speeds up block propagation on the network and is an important step towards reducing block times to 15 seconds and increasing overall Layer 1 throughput on Tezos.
  • Introducing consensus keys – The introduction of consensus keys will allow validators, known as bakers in the Tezos ecosystem, to designate a special key (separate from the baker address key) for signing blocks and consensus operations. In situations where bakers must change their node setup due to security concerns or technology upgrades, this new feature enables bakers to simply change their consensus key without changing their public address. This means they no longer lose delegators due to a change in setup or need to coordinate with delegators off-chain to move them to a new address.
  • Improvements to tickets – Tickets are a type of data unique to the Tezos smart contract language, and a foundation to scalability solutions, that enable many use cases around tokenization, voting, authentication, and more. Lima deprecates the creation, storage and transfer of zero-amount tickets, reducing the risk of bugs in smart contracts.

Tezos adopted by Manchester United, McLaren Racing, The Gap, and Evian

The Lima update has also finalized development work towards Smart Rollups, an innovative Layer 2 scaling solution, expected to debut in the subsequent upgrade proposal. This will allow Tezos core developers aim to achieve up to 1,000,000 transactions per second (TPS).

Tezos has experienced rapid adoption and significant growth in developer activity in 2022, with smart contract deployment up 288% compared to the same period in 2021.

The blockchain protocol has already been adopted by world-renowned organizations and brands, including Manchester United, McLaren Racing, Team Vitality, The Gap, and Evian.

Past upgrades have enabled significant improvements to Tezos functionality that include:

Hangzhou: Introduced several improvements such as views which give smart contracts the ability to read the storage state of other smart contracts, timelock encryption to serve as a countermeasure against Block Producer Extractable Value, caching to provide faster access to lower gas costs to data that is accessed regularly
Ithaca: Introduced Tenderbake, a new Tezos consensus algorithm, which enables fast finality and improved scalability for the Tezos blockchain
Jakarta: Introduced Transaction Optimistic Rollups (TORUs), an experiment into enshrined rollups, leading to increased throughput, lower fees, and a pathway to significantly increased long-term scalability
Kathmandu: Enabled smart contract optimistic rollups on bleeding edge testnets, preparing the protocol for the future full integration of Smart Rollups, and introduced the first steps of pipelined block validation.

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