Tezos Betanet Launch
- Betanet, Tezos Foundation

Tezos Successfully Launches Betanet

Originally announced by the Tezos foundation in early April, the Tezos Betanet has successfully launched as of June 30. The self-imposed second quarter deadline came down to the wire just a day shy of a full year since the original ICO fundraiser in July of 2017. The Betanet is, for all intents and purposes, a full working version of the Tezos blockchain with all transactions persisting into the “Mainnet” launch by the end of September. Any contributors who participated in the ICO fundraiser can claim and activate their tokens on the Betanet for live transactions.

The official TzScan explorer has been updated to track the Betanet.

According to the Foundation press release, community baking will begin in roughly three weeks after the network is established and delegation services can finish their initial setup on the network:

Today, we proposed a genesis block that is now the seed of a beta network. Validation (“baking”) has commenced and transactions may now be processed. Community members can connect to the betanet immediately and start baking after the first seven cycles (28,672 blocks or approximately three weeks, depending on the block time). No block rewards will be issued during this time as baking rights are unassigned.

Make sure to take all available safety precautions before interacting with the betanet. Any party or software, such as a wallet, that gains knowledge of private key information will have access to the tokens controlled by the associated public key hash. Always think twice before entering private key information anywhere. There is nothing that we can do to help if tokens are lost or stolen.

The statement itself contained few details other than to the confirm the chain is now live and contributors can begin activating their ICO tokens on the network. There will likely be numerous subsequent announcements in the coming days concerning software packages and ways to buy and trade.

Activating Tokens

The Tezos Betanet page has been updated with information on how to access tokens. At present time, the official documentation from the Tezos Foundation involves using a command-line tool to perform activation:

Holding Tezos tokens (“tez”) allows one to interact with the Tezos blockchain. Contributors can access and manage their recommended allocations using the command line client. This will require entering the activation code of a public key hash and its private key information (a fifteen-word mnemonic, and the email address and password used during the fundraiser).

Contributors who donated using Bitcoin Suisse will need to wait for an update from the company concerning how Betanet tokens can be claimed.

It is also worth noting that Obsidian Systems, the company tapped by the Foundation to develop Tezos user software, also released versions of their Wallet Application and Baking Application for the Ledger hardware wallet device:

Obsidian Systems is pleased to announce that our Tezos Wallet and Baking Applications for the Ledger Nano S are now available! Both can be downloaded here. Instructions for installation and use can be found here.

These applications are managed through the command line, but there are plans to support them with an interface in the near future. We’ll be making additional announcements as more information becomes available.

Beyond the officially-backed command line tools, there are several community-backed projects which allow easier activation of tokens with a graphical interface. Here are a couple tools that the community has been successfully using to activate and access tokens:

Activation

activaꜩ – A community built tool, from Stephen Andrews, which allows Tezos tokens to be claimed on the network using the combination of public key plus the activation code received following the KYC/AML process. After token activation, the PDF wallet will need to be rebuilt using a separate tool.

Wallet

Tezbox – A community built wallet which allows the ICO fundraiser wallet to be imported using the public key, password, mnemonic words and email address used for the fundraiser. Note that the balance will show as 0 if you restore the PDF wallet prior to activation.

Full disclaimer, both tools are under development and subject to change and/or be broken until fully developed and released. There are numerous other Betanet tools under development scheduled to release in coming days.

Trading XTZ

Tezos will trade and list under the symbol XTZ when it eventually hits exchanges. At the time of Betanet launch, there are currently no exchanges which list the token with any trading pairs. HitBTC is still offering IOU trading, though no word yet on when or how owners of the HitBTC Tezos IOUs will eventually get their real Tezos tokens.

Some trading is currently happening between buyers and sellers using third-party escrow services to handle the transaction, though such moves are typically ill-advised for novice users who are not entirely familiar with the process or familiar with trusted escrow services. For most users, waiting until trusted crypto exchanges announce Tezos listings will be the safest option to begin buying and selling.

Betanet Caution

The Tezos Foundation has, in several instances, urged caution among participants in the Betanet. The biggest worry seems to be phishing schemes which will prey on contributors seeking to steal private keys:

Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information by impersonating a trusted party. We encourage every user to take all available safety precautions before interacting with the betanet. Always think twice before entering private key information anywhere. Any user (or software) that gains knowledge of private key information will have access to the tokens controlled by the corresponding public key hash.

Participants are encouraged to guard private keys and fundraiser information, including passwords and mnemonic phrases, as if using real cash. In an instance of loss or theft, they cannot be recovered by anyone, including the Foundation.

Moving Forward

The future is very bright for the Tezos project. Having overcome a year of delays and Foundation matters, the Tezos community is strong and now growing stronger with a successful release. Look for big things in the next few months as the countdown toward the broader Mainnet launch, scheduled for the end of September, progresses. On June 30, the new digital commonwealth was born.