Tezos Has Renewed Hope in 2020, but the Comeback Kid Is Still Untested

Let’s talk about Tezos (XTZ). For a long time, the joint United States–Swiss altcoin has had a strong reputation, yet a checkered past. Only recently has the price begun to reflect the faith that many already had in the protocol. However, is the rapid rise of Tezos justified, or is it another case of crypto “FOMO”?

Let’s talk about the market

Tezos hit an all-time high of $3.70 earlier this year in February. The price has subsequently pulled back, but overall, XTZ is still outperforming the majority of altcoins. This drop does not appear to represent a lack of interest from the market.

Tezos price chart from October 2019 through March 2020  Source: Coin360.com

Talk Tezos to me

Tezos was conceived in 2014 by Arthur and Kathleen Breitman. In July 2017, it held a wildly successful initial coin offering that raised $232 million, making it the largest ICO for a brief time until it was overtaken by Filecoin a few months later. The organizational structure was pure 2017: the Switzerland-based, nonprofit Tezos Foundation held funds, while a U.S.-based firm, Dynamic Ledger Solutions Inc., did the work and was paid by the foundation. In the halcyon days of 2017, many firms thought this structure would allow them to minimize — or even avoid — taxes, but this has largely been proven to be false.

Throughout 2017 and early 2018, the Swiss nonprofit model was considered “vanilla” for ICOs at the time. It was hoped that such structures would give the appearance of respectability, but it was here that things started to go wrong.

As Wired Magazine reported in 2019, the then-head of the Swiss nonprofit, Johann Gevers, found himself in a dispute with the Breitmans, which derailed both the project and its timeline. It was largely because of this very public, very messy dispute that Switzerland’s Crypto Valley and the Swiss nonprofit model lost their luster. Tarred by the public spat, Tezos languished in development hell.

XZT turning around?

However, in early 2019,…

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