Tezos is a new decentralized blockchain that governs itself by establishing a true digital commonwealth. It facilitates formal verification, a technique which mathematically proves the correctness of the code governing transactions and boosts the security of the most sensitive or financially weighted smart contracts.
The Tezos blockchain protocol is a delegated proof-of-stake system that supports Turing complete smart contracts. Tezos is implemented in OCaml, a functional programming language that offers speed, an unambiguous syntax and semantics, and formal proofs of correctness.
Baking & Endorsing
Baking is what Tezos refers to as the action of signing and publishing a new block in the chain. Bakers need at least 10,000 XTZ to qualify as a delegate, and having additional delegated stake increases their chances of being selected as a Baker or Endorser.
At the beginning of each cycle (4096 blocks), the Bakers for each block are randomly selected and published. Bakers earn a block reward of 16 XTZ for baking a block.
In addition to the Baker, 32 Endorsers are randomly selected to verify the last block that was baked. Endorsers receive 2 XTZ for each block they endorse.
Block Rewards & Inflation
Block rewards are funded by protocol defined inflation. Rewards are calibrated so that the number of XTZ tokens grows at roughly 5.5% per year. If 100% of Tezos tokens are delegated, the annualized yield will be 5.5%. Currently, 38% of Tezos tokens have been delegated, including the 10% owned by the Tezos Foundation, so the annualized yield is currently 14%.
To ensure Bakers and Endorsers act honestly, they are required to post a security deposit for each block they Bake or Endorse. They forfeit this deposit in the event of malicious activity, such as double baking or double endorsing a block.