Introduction to Tezos Blockchain and Developer tools

This article is suitable for all developers who want to learn Tezos. Furthermore, it is an introduction to the Tezos blockchain, and its developer tools will be of help to anyone willing to get started with Tezos.

What you are going to build?

In this lesson, you’ll learn to handle basic operations on Tezos, which includes:

  • Setting up wallet
  • Transferring tez
  • Accessing contract storage
  • Interacting with contract storage

Before we start with the development, let’s take a glimpse of blockchain and further Tezos blockchain.

What is Blockchain?

A blockchain is an immutable, shared digital ledger that records transactions in a peer-to-peer network. It is made up of blocks that are connected by a hash and is unique for every block.

Every block contains some data, its hash, and a hash of the previous block. If someone tries to change the hash of one block, then he has to tamper with all the blocks, which is possible nowadays by using computational power. Hence, it is distributed over a network of blocks to make blockchain secure, making it immutable and eventually secure.

Due to its immutable and distributed nature, it is witnessing great demand in many areas, including Banking, Healthcare, and public administration.

Blockchain for dummies
Blockchain for dummies

What is Tezos?

Tezos is an open-source energy-efficient blockchain network that can execute peer-to-peer transactions and serve as a platform for deploying smart contracts. It uses Liquid Proof of stake as its consensus mechanism.

The main advantage of using Tezos is its self-amending nature which prevents it from the hard fork and splitting the network into two different chains. You can learn more from our in-depth article on Tezos blockchain.

What is Liquid proof of stake?

In Tezos, token holders can delegate validation rights to other token holders without transferring ownership. Liquid proof of stake is a dynamic consensus mechanism that maintains coordination between token holders and accountable governance.

Tezos Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are programs stored on the blockchain that is executed when a predefined condition on code is met.

There are several high-level languages for writing smart contracts on Tezos, among which **SmartPy** and Ligo are the most popular. These are then compiled to Michelson, which is a domain-specific language for smart contracts on Tezos. Tez is the cryptocurrency of Tezos blockchain, to read its complete analysis, head over to Tezos cryptocurrency.

Tezos Blockchain
Tezos Blockchain

You can find below some important links to SmartPy and Ligo.

Introduction to Tezos: Wallets to Handle Transactions on the Blockchain

A wallet is required for handling transactions on the Tezos Blockchain. Some wallets for handling transactions on Tezos are; Galleon, Temple (previously Thanos), Kukai, Airgap, Atomex, Exodus, SimpleStaking, Tezzet, and Trust Wallet. The hard wallets are Ledger & Trezor.

Temple wallet is similar to metamask (Ethereum). It is an easy browser extension wallet for interacting with the Tezos ecosystem. Another popular wallet is Kukai.

Temple wallet
Temple wallet

Testnet and Testnet Tokens

Testnets are separate networks that are used for testing purposes. Furthermore, Testnet tokens are used to interact with smart contracts and dApps on testnet, but they have no fiat value. Thus, they allow users to build and test their DApp without risking any real monetary value.

In Tezos, Mainnet is the main Tezos network, but it is not used for testing. The current active testnet is Granadanet. Furthermore, for receiving Tezos testnet tokens, you can refer to the links given below:

Introduction to Tezos: Libraries

In addition, libraries are useful to integrate Tezos with your application. You can find below some popular libraries to help you with the development of Tezos.

  • Taquito– It is a TypeScript library suitable for development on Tezos blockchain. You can find some important links below if you want to use Taquito for development
  • Conseil js
  • PyTezos – It is a python library for interacting with Tezos blockchains, testing smart contracts and writing Michelson scripts. You can refer to it here.
  • Tezster Dart – It is a dart kit for Tezos to build applications using flutter framework. You can refer to it here.
Taquito
Taquito

You can find more libraries here.

Explorers

Explorers are useful to analyze blockchains. Here you can find all the details about your smart contract. Some popular explorers are:

  • Better Call Dev (BCD)BCD is a Tezos explorer where you can explore DApps, search for your smart contract using your contract’s address and it gives you complete details about your contract.
  • tzkt APITzKT Explorer provides a free REST-like API and WebSocket API for accessing detailed Tezos blockchain data.

You can find more explorers here.

Below you can find some popular projects built on Tezos.

  • TzStats is a tezos analytics website.
  • TzGo – Go SDK for Tezos by Blockwatch Data
  • QuipuSwap is a DEX (Decentralised Exchange for Tezos Tokens). It is similar to Uniswap in Ethereum.
  • Crunchy provides DeFi services and solutions on Tezos to projects, developers, and end-users.
  • Plenty is a decentralized yield farm running on the Tezos blockchain.
QuipuSwap
QuipuSwap

You can find more projects here.

This was the first article in the series of four articles listed below:

  1. Introduction to Tezos blockchain and Tezos developer tools
  2. Writing smart contract using SmartPy
  3. Deploying and exploring smart contract
  4. Integrating with frontend

Since now you have a basic understanding of Tezos blockchain, in the next part, you will be learning to write your first smart contract using SmartPy.

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Prabhat Tiwari
I am someone who loves swimming in the ocean of DeFi and believes the disruptive technology, i.e., Bitcoin will change a lot of things and not just our financial system.

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