Nomadic Labs
Nomadic Labs
Meanwhile at Nomadic Labs #7


It’s time to talk about what has been going on at Nomadic Labs for the past two months. Many of you might know that a lot of us at Nomadic Labs already work remotely on a regular basis. That being said, the situation with the coronavirus hasn’t had a chance to disrupt our work. Some Conferences were rescheduled, others are held remotely and our work at Nomadic Labs continues as usual.

The month of February was packed with four Tezos training sessions organized by Nomadic Labs. Topics included a general introduction to the structure of the project, consensus, fees and gas in Michelson, zero knowledge proofs, how to deploy a node and much more. The entire program can be viewed here. You can follow the individual links to view PDF’s of the presentations that were held.

On the 13th of February we participated in an AMA on protocol development featuring Nomadic Labs, Cryptium Labs, and Dailambda. The thread with all questions and answers is available here.

Philippe Bidinger and Raphaël Cauderlier attended the financial cryptography and security conference 2020 on February 14th. Raphaël presented “Albert, an intermediate smart contract language for Tezos”.

In mid-February, we announced a new version of the mainnet-staging branch and the discontinuation of the mainnet-lmdb branch. We recommend that all bakers still running the mainnet-lmdb branch upgrade to the mainnet-staging branch as soon as possible. The announcement was sent out in our newsletter and can also be viewed here. We would like to remind everybody that all changes also always get communicated on the Obsidian’s baking slack channel, on our twitter account and on the Tezos subreddit.

On February 26th, Pietro Abate attended the Barcelona Tezos meetup sponsored by Nomadic Labs and Tezos Commons. Attendees learned more details about Tenderbake and how to run a Tezos node.

Carthage successfully activated and became the new Tezos protocol on March 5th. The upgrade process was smooth with no issues.

We were also pleased to take part in the ETHCC conference in the beginning of March, although some of us did not make it due to current travel restrictions.

Shortly after ETHCC on March 6th, we organized a Tezos Developer Day. The entire event can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

For individual segments please see the links below:

On March 26th, we organized a “Sapling integration in Tezos” AMA on the Agora Forum. All question and answers can be viewed in this thread

Marco Stronati attended the Virtual Tezos Berlin Meetup on March 28th. These two videos feature Marco:

Stay tuned for more updates next month soon.

Catching sneaky regressions with pytest-regtest

An in-depth look on how we use regression testing to catch bugs in Tezos.

Testing is an important complement to formal methods that we use through out Tezos to ensure software quality. In this blog post we discuss how we use regression testing, through the pytest-regtest tool. Regression testing Regression testing is a coarse-grained testing method for detecting unintended changes in the behavior of the system under test. We have applied regression testing to the tezos-client, notably to smart-contract type checking and execution. Globally, regression testing consists of two components. First, a way of running and storing the...

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Meanwhile at Nomadic Labs #6

It’s time for yet another post in the “meanwhile at Nomadic Labs” series, and we have a lot to talk about. Dive in to find out what you might have missed in January! Nomadic Labs partnered with the IMDEA Software Institute, a leading research institute in Madrid. You can read more about the partnership here or in our press release. A new research program dedicated...

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How to write a Tezos protocol - part 2

This is the second post of a tutorial series on how to implement a Tezos protocol. In the first post, we saw how to write, compile, register, activate and use an extremely simple protocol. We also looked at the interface between the protocol and the shell. In this post, we consider a new protocol called demo_counter which extends demo_noops from the first post in several ways. Blocks can contain simple operations, whose effects update the blockchain state. It is parameterized by protocol parameters passed at activation time. It defines...

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Formally Verifying a Critical Smart Contract

We present the formal verification of the Spending Limit Contract, a critical component of the Cortez wallet.

One of the main goals of Nomadic Labs is the development and applications of formal methods in the domain of distributed software, blockchains and smart contracts. In particular for the Tezos blockchain, for which we also develop the Cortez smartphone wallet (Android, iPhone). This wallet helps Tezos users manage their account and funds in a safe and secure manner. How can the user be...

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Meanwhile at Nomadic Labs #5

In this fifth series of ‘’Meanwhile at Nomadic Labs’’, we discuss recent achievements including some projects we have been working on. December was a demanding month with a lot of ongoing development. Like we briefly mentioned last month, Arvid Jakobsson and Zaynah Dargaye worked on formally verifying the spending limit contract within the Cortez Wallet. We are proud announce that the contract has been formally verified and an updated version of Cortez has gone live...

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Sapling integration in Tezos - Tech Preview

We are happy to announce a first technology preview of our integration in Tezos of the core of the Sapling protocol developed by the ZCash project. By extending the Michelson smart contract language, this work allows for the exchange of digital assets in a privacy preserving way. Why Sapling? In recent years, we’ve seen much progress towards enabling privacy-preserving payments on public ledgers, both in academic research and in the real world deployement with projects such as Zcash, Monero, or Aztec. In...

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A new reward formula for Carthage

Note: This analysis was done with the help of Arthur Breitman and Bruno Blanchet (Inria). The code used for the analysis can be found at this url. A new reward formula for Carthage In this article, we present a new reward formula that we propose for inclusion in Carthage. This new formula is designed to make the network more robust to non-cooperative baking strategies. It does so without changing the total amount of rewards earned by bakers...

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Meanwhile at Nomadic Labs #4

This is the fourth blog post of our ‘’Meanwhile at Nomadic Labs’’ series. We will discuss what we have been working on the past month, in particular about events that we organized or participated in. Babylon successfully activated around one month ago. A more detailed list of changes can be found in our recent Babylon Blogpost. With all of these new features, Babylon was a way larger protocol change than Athens which was mostly...

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Carthage: changelog and testnet

We are happy to announce a new protocol proposal code-named Carthage, developed together with Cryptium Labs. After the feature rich Babylon, Carthage is a much needed housekeeping release. Carthage contains exclusively fixes and small improvements across the board, the more relevant being a corrected formula for rewards. The only “novelty” is an increase in the gas limit which will allow to execute more smart contracts. A testnet called carthagenet has already been running Babylon since last week and will amend to Carthage in the next...

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