The list of characteristics that define the Telos blockchain changes over time as the project reacts to new circumstances and develops new features. Currently, some of Telos's defining characteristics include the following:
Worker Proposal System (WPS): the network allocates a fixed number of TLOS tokens to be awarded to accounts that submit proposals for work to be done to increase the value of the network. Proposals that meet a threshold of votes by TLOS token holders receive their requested funds. Reserves are replenished every month from the Exchange Reserve Fund (per TEDP), with extra tokens carrying over into the next monthly period. This system currently contributes nothing towards inflation.
Sufficient Block Producer (BP) Rewards: Telos prides itself on properly compensating block producers, who are responsible for providing the backbone of the network. BP's who are voted to the top 21 spots are all compensated evenly, and each of 30 standby BPs are compensated half the amount of a top-21 BP. Although originally set at 1% of total supply per annum, the BP payout is now being sourced from the Exchange Reserve Fund (per TEDP) at a rate closer to 5% of supply, therefore contributing nothing towards inflation.
Initial Token Balance Equity: since Telos token balances were initiated based off existing EOS balances (snapshot), this gave the project the opportunity to adjust TLOS balances to level the playing field. Specifically, a maximum of 40,000 initial TLOS tokens per account was enforced, meaning that no account would start off with more than 40,000 TLOS tokens. This was enacted to reduce influence of big token holders ("whales") on the network.
Prohibition of Voting by Exchanges: the custodial nature of online exchanges gives them the ability to stake and vote with users' funds, thereby given themselves untoward influence over the network. On Telos exchanges are prohibited from voting with users' funds, giving them less influence.
Block Producer Accountability: standby Block Producers are periodically cycled into active block production, giving them a chance to prove that their infrastructure is working correctly. Standby Block Producers who fail this test will be penalized, preventing bad actors from launching poor-performing Block Producer nodes.