Tezos betanet
- Betanet

Betanet: Everything You Need To Know

The Tezos Betanet network is launching soon, here is everything you need to know in a simple FAQ format. Do you want to trade your tezzies on the Betanet? See below for information on how to redeem your Tezos contribution and begin actively trading and transferring on the Betanet.

What is Betanet?

The Tezos Betanet is essentially a test network which acts and functions like the fully released product. Transactions on the Betanet will be carried into the Mainnet launch. For all intents and purposes, the Betanet launch allows for full use and trading on the Tezos platform. The Tezos Foundation confirmed that this is the case:

The Tezos community has been running the alphanet, a test network, successfully for well over a year. While this provided valuable engineering insight, there is no substitute for real-world experience. To that end, the Tezos Foundation looks forward to helping to support the launch of a betanet. Tezos contributors who opt to use this network should understand that it will undergo unscheduled downtime and may need fixes and adjustments.

Later when the code review and audits have been completed and the network has sufficiently proved itself, we expect that a broader mainnet launch will follow, with transactions from the betanet persisting in the main network.

So, if you’re an original Tezos contributor looking to sell, or someone who is looking to purchase Tezos for the first time, you will be able to trade and buy on the Betanet.

How can I activate my Tezos tokens on Betanet?

If you’re an original Tezos contributor, you should have received a PDF paper wallet to print out and save. You will need this wallet, plus the password you provided during the contribution, along with the email address you listed. Note that you don’t need access to this email address, you will just need to provide it during activation since it’s part of your encrypted wallet.

The paper wallet looks like this:
Tezos Paper Wallet Sample
The important parts listed on this paper wallet are:

  • 15 word secret key
  • Public key hash
  • Email address

Combine these three items with the password you provided during the ICO back in 2017 and you will be able to activate your Tezos tokens on the Betanet. There will be various wallet services that make this job easy, perhaps even software provided by the Tezos Foundation, but we have no exact details on that yet other than knowing that client software is being developed.

More specific activation instructions will become available once Betanet launch approaches, likely in June 2018.

What is baking?

Baking is the process by which the Tezos network is secured and performs transactions. Much like mining, where active clients on the network build each block in the chain, baking is the name for the proof-of-stake process in Tezos. The biggest thing to know is that, unlike mining, the baking process does not require any special computer hardware or investments in high-end graphics cards. Baking can be done on your home desktop or laptop. There is even an effort to run the Tezos baker on devices as small and power-efficient as the RaspberryPi.

“Bakers,” as they’re called, earn rewards in the form of Tezos tokens for writing out blocks of transactions and securing the network. At present, there is a minimum number of Tezos tokens needed to become a baker, which is set at 10,000. Rewards are estimated to average around 5% annually, depending on the number of bakers. The 5% number will change dynamically and will likely be much higher at launch of the the Betanet period since there will be fewer bakers on the network.

What if you don’t have 10,000 Tezzies to bake with? Fear not, for the concept of delegation has you covered.

What is a delegate service?

Even though Baking is fairly easy to perform, it still requires some technical knowledge and should occur on a dedicated computer or server with a solid internet connection. With this in mind, most Tezos owners will decide to “delegate” their tokens to a baking pool.

In a baking pool, the delegate pool owner is the one who sets up the hardware and puts up the bond needed for baking. In turn, you still earn the same reward you would earn if you were baking yourself, minus a small fee to the delegate service.

It’s important to note that even if you choose to delegate your tokens to a delegation service, you still retain 100% ownership of your tokens at all times, and you never EVER have to expose the private keys. If a nefarious delegate or service is asking for your private keys, do not provide them under any circumstances.

There are several delegate services approved by the Tezos Foundation which will be live at the time Betanet launches and more instructions will follow with how to delegate your Tezzies.

Is baking/delegation required?

Nope, not at all. You can choose to leave your Tezzies in your paper wallet and never touch them. The end result is that the won’t earn rewards (similar to earning interest in the bank), but there is no downfall with choosing to not participate in baking or delegation.

What exchanges will allow trading on Betanet?

We don’t have a list of exchanges yet from the Tezos Foundation, but this information will certainly accompany news of the Betanet release. One sure bet is that HitBTC will allow trading of Betanet since it already allows trading of Tezos IOUs. See Tezos Trading for more details.

More to come as more information is released. Leave your questions below and I’ll try to answer them and/or append this FAQ.