Tezos is a blockchain network that governs itself by establishing a true digital commonwealth. It facilitates formal verification, a technique which mathematically proves the correctness of the code governing transactions and boosts the security of the most sensitive or financially weighted smart contracts.
Tezos aims to offer a more advanced infrastructure compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum, by improving over time without there being a danger of a hard fork. Users that hold XTZ tokens can vote on proposals for network upgrades that Tezos developers put forward.
Tezos has an on-chain governance model that allows coin holders to efficiently govern the protocol.
This model is achieved through two layers: A token layer, where users' tokens are used to vote for proposals which directly affect the system itself, and a second functional layer that provides services such as security or dispute resolutions.
Tezos is the brainchild of Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, who co-founded Dynamic Ledger Solutions (DLS) to develop its ecosystem. Tezos' ICO took place in July 2017, during which DLS sold XTZ tokens to participants, raising $232 million worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies. DLS was purchased by the Tezos Foundation in order to ensure that it owned all of the rights associated with the network.
The goal of the Tezos Foundation is to support its advancement and maintenance, including the promotion of academic research, development, and education to help ensure that Tezos continues to develop and remains accessible to all. Also, by encouraging collaboration with other projects in the blockchain space, the Foundation aims to influence and progress the nascent world of Tezos.
The first board members, President and Chairman included Johann Gevers, previously Head of Finance at the Ethereum Foundation who was responsible for overseeing an $11 million fund-raising round in 2014. He describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as "one of the more experienced entrepreneurs in blockchain."
In addition, Tezos implements what are called "baking", where participants can become involved with the networks' governing. Those who hold more XTZ tokens will have a greater chance of becoming a validator. Bakers are tasked with proving that they are not double spending their tokens by proposing blocks to the Tezos blockchain. If a baker is successful, they are awarded newly created tokens.