The number of bakers in Tezos is increasing
The term of the protocol for a validator (its equivalent of bitcoin miners), bakers are crucial to guarantee the nascent security of the network. And this is all the more necessary given the value of the funds at stake.
Since it raised $ 232 million in 2017, the protocol has had a very uneven path to take off. Once alive, however, it has become one of the top 20 blockchains by market capitalization, with a consistently higher valuation of $ 1 billion. In addition, the new blockchain has had an out-of-the-ordinary event.
Looking at the amount of tokens aimed at validating and the number of people taking part is probably the best way to assess the stability of the new network.
"I was particularly impressed by the role the community played in this process," said Mike Reinhart of Obsidian Systems, who is building software for bakers, at CoinDesk in an email.
So far, it has been a general increase of bakers on the whole
There are 108 bakers working on Tezos, at the moment, in addition to the nodes managed by the Tezos Foundation, according to TzScan.io, an explorer of blocks for the protocol. At the time of the launch, all the validation was performed by the Tezos Foundation, but that opened with the seventh cycle (each cycle is performed approximately every three days).
This is only the third week in which the protocol is operational. It is difficult to draw important conclusions from the limited growth or limited wear so far.
But the number seems to grow as services come to make it easier for XTZ owners to participate. 10,000 XTZ is needed to serve as a baker (what the creators call "roll"), as well as some technical know-how and a good connection to the Internet.
At current prices, this is about $ 15,000 in cryptocurrency, but if the holder has a long position in tezos, then cooking gives them a way to earn more revenue while sitting on their tokens.
The number of staked rolls for cooking has increased steadily, helped in part by the growth of delegation services. For holders who do not have $ 15,000 in cryptocurrency to devote to cooking, the protocol also allows users to delegate their tokens to a service to earn rewards. TzScan lists 36 companies that offer bakery services so far.
Also shows three bakers who have already abandoned the provision of proxy services: TZ Baker, Tezos MX and, more recently, XTEZ.
Fear of a centralized protocol  However, two bakers on the platform account for about 20 percent of all the XTZ put into play.
On the other hand, the nodes of the foundation have already fallen to less than 50 percent of the total network. In the current cycle, the other 107 bakers make up 32.8 percent of the xtz aimed at validation.
However, due to the way the delegation on Tezos works, there is a delay since a user decides to delegate tokens and when they actually start work. Tzscan makes it possible to watch several cycles forward and five cycles along the way, at cycle 17, (about 15 days away) those great proxy services are losing market share.
"First, they showed a strong inclination to cook on their own: 46 percent (202/435) of all potential bakers in cycle 17 only have rolls of one to two," said Reinhart from Obsidian to CoinDesk .
Obsidian Systems creates safe software for safe cooking, with the support of the Tezos Foundation. It is currently a command line software, but a graphical user interface is being worked on.
He is not the only member of the community to do so. Stephen Andrews has also created BakeChain, free software for Windows computers available on Github.
However, there is who suspects that the current architecture would tend to centralization. Meltem Demirors of CoinShares, has criticized the concentration of xtz among the largest holders.
"There are a number of new services that come up, but we see the trend towards consolidation that concerns", Demirors, who is a partner with a delegation service called Tezzigator, told to CoinDesk.
Delegation is not easy
"What we are seeing is that people begin to grasp the real implications of being a proxy aggregator – it is expensive and only works on a large scale," said Demirors.
Delegates who withdrew did not provide much visibility on their reasoning, but a service company offered their perspective on the challenges of the business.
Awa Sun Yin of Switzerland Based on Cryptium Labs has 47 rolls in its cooking knot at the time of writing this article. Yin has identified three categories of challenges faced by a new delegation service, not all evident from the beginning. He has divided them into legal, infrastructural and development categories.
Not all new delegates could immediately realize that it is better to establish a legal entity. Once they have, this could convince some to retreat.
Here at the dawn of Tezos, he also pointed out that there are many software updates to the protocol that arrive quickly and that the delegation services must keep up. Coupling this with the fact that there are not enough open source tools to automate all the processes that could be automated for a delegator yet.
"The biggest struggle with maintaining the firing infrastructure is linked to software updates," he wrote. "These versions are hard to predict and, at times, releases are critical, as they may have corrected a security vulnerability."
In other words, it's not as simple as setting up a code on a computer and letting it work.  Having said that, he added:
"Since the technology has been launched recently, there is plenty of room for development and for community contributions, with time and fair participation it will improve a lot."  Building blocks via Shutterstock