Image Source: Road Scholar

Recently, Athens has entered it’s final “promotion phase”. It’s pretty exciting to see such a high turnout from delegates, especially on the first proposed on-chain upgrade proposal.

What Changes Can We Expect?

Following the initial voting period (Proposal Period), Exploration period, and Testing period, Athens, originally proposed by Nomadic Labs, is now in its final phase the “Promotion Period”.

The changes we can expect to see, following a successful promotion period, would be the following:

  • Increase in the gas limit
  • Reduction in baking roll sizes

Initially, the original gas limit was conceived on the notion that it could be changed through the amendment process. If the Athens proposal successfully goes through the promotion phase, the number of IO’s performed in each block will remain unchanged while increasing the gas limit.

Secondly, regarding the changes to the minimum baking threshold, Athens seeks to reduce the minimum baking threshold to 8,000 XTZ per “roll”. A “roll” represents the amount of XTZ a baker must hold to facilitate governance and consensus on the Tezos protocol, and is currently 10,000 XTZ per roll. With Athens, the primordial goal is to reduce this amount to 8,000 XTZ per roll, effectively lowering the barrier of entry for prospective bakers, at current market prices, $8,800 (at $1.10 per XTZ) as opposed to $11,000 for 10,000 XTZ per roll.

Current State of the Promotion Period

There are only 18 days left to vote for the Athens Proposal’s final vote, which will bring in effect and upgrade the Tezos protocol with the aforementioned changes.

Currently, there is 100% favor of Athens according to Obsidian Systems and tracking of the proposal period can be done through here.

Image Source: Obsidian Systems

Further Inducements

Through the amendment process, the proposer can get “rich” off submitting a successful proposal. In a relatively under the radar aspect of Tezos’ governance structure, is the concept of “Inflation Funding”. In the Athens proposal, Nomadic Labs has attached an “Invoice” for 100 XTZ, so the team can buy a round of drinks following a successful proposal.

Why is this unique, you may ask?

A quick preface to this notion, inflation is not necessarily bad. So many people get the idea and think inflation is bad, but depending on how it’s executed, it can incentivize people to perform certain things.

Sure, it would be trivial to fork the code. But the game theoretic makes the forker think though: “can I get rich by going off on my own, or can I get rich by staying here and ‘attaching an invoice’ and have the full backing of an entire community with proven merit?”

The whole point of it all boils down to a new blockchain funding mechanism. As Inflation funding can have the capability and lead to several implications against open source funding and pave the way for teams to begin working for public blockchains, as opposed to private companies.

For additional information on this new concept unique to Tezos, please check out my past medium post.


Tezos’ governance structure and unique funding mechanism known as “inflation funding”, will begin paving the way for teams to begin working for public blockchains as opposed to private companies. With the Athens proposal’s final phase already at 100% in favor of promoting Athens to mainnet, it will be interesting to see voter turnout on more controversial proposals, such as Burebrot.